A & E



ChestersHub Staff

Lots of laughs and applause in Saugeen Shores this past weekend as the Saugeen Shores Comedy Festival hit various venues in Port Elgin and Southampton.

The three day festival opened on Thursday evening at Chester's Bar & Grill, Port Elgin, with James Hammond's Thursday Night Mic On The Road comedy show. Hammond, who has appeared on YTV, CBC, hosted Much Music Video Dances and appeared on the hit TV show Orphan Black, started the show off and introduced each of the evening's comedians, which included the night's headliner Paul Thompson, Nitish Sakhuja, Ian Fergus, Glen Foster and festival organizer, Blair Streeter.

Streeter, who has produced and hosted hundreds of shows, contests as well as weekly open mic nights in the Greater Toronto Area, has strong ties to Saugeen Shores and worked for the town of Port Elgin as a teenager. His parents are full time residents of Saugeen Shores and he spends most summers at his family’s cottage in Southampton . “James [Hammond] and I kind of came up with the idea to do shows up here when we did a show in Kincardine three years ago,” he said.

Streeter hosted Friday night's acts at Maple Hall in Port Elgin, which featured 'That Canadian Guy' Glen Foster as the headliner. Foster has been one of the top headliners in Canada for over three decades and has appeared in his own one hour comedy specials as well as appearing on numerous other television shows including appearances with CBC's Just for Laughs.

Foster said he enjoyed the two shows, especially Maple Hall. “How Canadian is that,” he said. “I got a lot of good comments at both shows, so I would say that the crowds enjoyed themselves.”

Friday also featured Saugeen Shores' very own Jennifer O'Reilly as one of the acts who then appeared Saturday night at the Walker House in Southampton as part of the all female stand-up show Mary-Janes of Comedy, the longest running all female stand-up comedy show in Toronto.

Lianne Mauladin, who performs regularly at comedy clubs in and around Toronto and has performed across the USA and in the UK hosted the evenings show, which also included Camille Côté, Marianne Gibson and Candice Gregoris.

In an email to The Hub after the festival, Blair Streeter wrote, “Pretty much everyone loved the shows but we had just enough complaints to let us know we're doing something right. We're not trying to bring middle-of-the-road comedy here, these comedians take risks. It's a comedian's job to touch on topics that make people uncomfortable, the biggest laughs hide in the darkest places and it's healthy to explore them and flush them out.”

This was his first time running a festival of this size. “We brought in $150 for the hospital, entertained over 200 people during the three days and [the comedians] all had a blast. Thanks to Saugeen Shores and my friends and family from all over Grey-Bruce for their incredible support this summer.”

Streeter called the festival a success and said that it will be back next August with lineups, venues and show times to be announced.Mary JanesGlen Foster That Canadian GuyJen O ReillyLianne Mauladin