Exclusive: High Tide Comedy Festival Announce Their Gaggle Of Comedians

New Brunswick’s long-awaited High Tide Comedy Festival is finally happening this month and at last we know who will be administering the tickles to our collective funny bones. Today, the Quispamsis-based festival has announced their full comedic line-up.

Mark Burnett and Didi Lombard, organizers of the High Tide Comedy Festival, say that the emphasis on the abundance of east coast comedic talent was an easy choice. In the last two years the scene has exploded, with comedy nights becoming a regular event at many venues and even a Yuk Yuks comedy club opening in Saint John.

“Our festival celebrates the quality comedic talent we have on the east coast. Recently, I had a local comedian thank me for including locals in the festival. I had to correct him since it’s actually the other way around. This festival was built for them because of the talent they have. They need a stage and we’re happy we can provide it for them,” says Burnett.

“On top of that, having performers like Brian Aylward travelling home from half way across the world gives the festival even more purpose.”

Burnett says he’s even more excited for the festival gala and kids show. “All of our headliners from the weekend will be part of the gala so we’ll have the opportunity to see the best of the fest all at once. I’m mainly excited for the kids show for the candy bar. I’m joking, of course. Kids are inherently hilarious, so getting them on stage to tell jokes should be a riot.”

Here are the performers for the inaugural High Tide Comedy Festival.

 Brian Aylward

In November 2016, Aylward  was awarded “Best Standup Comic” at the Canadian Comedy Awards. In February 2017, Brian’s solo show “Big In Asia” was nominated for “Best Comedy” at Fringe World in Perth, Australia. But it all started with a bet made in 2005. The Newfoundland native and then English teacher Brian Aylward stepped on stage for the first time at a rowdy expatriate bar in Anyang, South Korea. He went on to pioneer the active English stand-up comedy scene in South Korea, officially establishing Stand Up Seoul in 2009 and turning the country into a legitimate destination on the international comedy circuit.

Aylward performed hundreds of shows across Asia, taking his own brand of humour to the likes of Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, India, Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Thailand, and even Myanmar.

Upon returning to his native Canada in 2010, Brian went on to become the twice finalist in SiriusXM Radio’s “Canada’s Top Comic” (2011/2013), a national headliner with Canada’s Yuk Yuk’s comedy clubs, and performed theatre tours across Newfoundland.

Brian has performed at many festivals around the world, including Just For Laughs 42, Halifax Comedy Fest, Hong Kong International Comedy Festival and the Masala Mayhem Comedy Festival in Hyderabad, India. He has also appeared multiple times on CBC’s The Debaters.

With an enormous presence and a consummate love for making people laugh, Aylward details his deepest frustrations with the world through his razor-sharp routines and huge sack of ridiculous stories from his travels around the world. Brian’s memorable live performances are not to be missed!

 Jen Grant

Not to be confused with Jenn Grant, from Prince Edward Island, Jen Grant from Ottawa, Ontario Jen Grant has achieved virtually everything you can in the world of stand-up comedy in Canada.

She has performed at every major comedy festival in the country including the Just for Laughs Festival, the Ha!ifax and the Winnipeg Comedy Festival. All of which have aired on national television. She can also be heard on CBC‘s “The Debaters” and has her own TV special on The Comedy Network.

She was the first Canadian to reach the finals of the prestigious Boston Comedy Competition and was listed as one of the top five funniest people in Toronto by Toronto Life Magazine 2014. One of her proudest achievements was when she performed for the Troops in the Middle East.

A story telling, observational style of comedian, Jen is both unique and relatable. From topics such as her cool mom to dating a younger man to her love of naps, she will have you laughing until you’re crying. Funny tears. Not sad ones. Jen is a clean comic who is adaptable to any setting and is an excellent choice for any corporate function. Her ability to weave hilarious jokes with funny audience interaction is extraordinary. She is one of the top comedic talents in Canada.

Now living in Toronto, Jen lived in New York City from 2008-2011 and had the opportunity to play major comedy clubs with such legends as Jim Bruer, Robert Klein and Louis CK.

Jen released her debut CD called “Nobody Likes Your Homemade Wine” in the spring of 2014. It is available for download on www.jengrant.com.

 Julien Dionne

Canadian Comedy Award nominated comedian and podcaster, Julien Dionne, has been touring Canada and parts of the US, since 2006. Originally from Scoudouc, New Brunswick, Julien now calls Wakefield(QC) home via Toronto — having spent 2 years in New York City cutting his teeth and honing his craft alongside some of the best comedians in the world.

His comedy has been heard on XM/Sirius Satellite and CBC Radio. Julien was a performer at JFL42 (Just for Laughs-Toronto),  The Hubcap Comedy Festival in Moncton, The New York City Frigid Festival,  and every major comedy club from Victoria, BC to St.John’s Newfoundland.

Julien has also appeared in numerous television commercials and played a lead role in the CBC mini-series, Canada: The Story of Us that aired in 2017.

Julien can be heard twice weekly as host of the popular, The Julien Dionne Comedy Hour Podcast on iTunes and at pod.jdcomedyhour.com every Tuesday and Friday. His two albums, ‘Too Soon‘(2012) & ‘Beginnings‘(2014) are at JulienDionne.com.

 James Mullinger

British comedian James Mullinger was one of the hardest working stand ups in the UK as well as the Comedy Editor for GQ Magazine. Since moving to Canada in February 2014 he has been nominated for a Canadian Comedy Award for Best Live Solo Show and a Just For Laughs Award for Best Comedy Show. He has sold out the Imperial Theatre twice, appeared on CBC many times, produced three seasons of his own television series which follows him travelling around Canada performing comedy shows and headlined Yuk Yuk’s comedy clubs all over the country. A big budget movie had been made about his life (starring actors from Twilight, Downton Abbey and Notting Hill and comedians such as Jimmy Carr, Gilbert Gottfried, Mike Ward and Pete Zedlacher). It was described by NME as the “funniest film of the year.”

On 28th April 2016, James sold out Harbour Station Arena in Saint John, outselling Jerry Seinfeld, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and Jeff Dunham! Come and see why James is taking Canada by storm. Click here to watch the CBC documentary film City On Fire about James’ record-breaking arena show.

 Sabrina Harnish

Sabrina Harnish is a kitchen dweller, story teller from Fredericton, New Brunswick. Her comedy career started a little over a year ago when she appeared in a Something Funny show in Quispamsis. Since then, she’s been bringing her brand of Grade A Mom Rage to shows all over the province. She was Runner Up in James Mullinger’s Comedy Bootcamp, which showed recently on Bell TV1 Atlantic. She’s published two slim volumes of poetry and has a column in AgelessNB. She lives in Burton with her husband, daughters and grandson. She has an oppressive mortgage, a grocery getter car and a notorious runaway dog.

 Brian Godsoe

Born and raised in St Stephen, New Brunswick, Brian came to Fredericton to get a degree in the only job that makes minimum wage you need a degree for, Early Childhood Education. Now a happily divorced father of two amazing boys, Brian has continued on with his hatred of money by becoming a comedian. He’s performed in Calgary, Toronto, and Stratford, Prince Edward Island, but mostly right here in New Brunswick where he loves it the most. He’s “The Nice Guy of New Brunswick Comedy”, or so they keep telling him.

Jimmy MacKinley

Born on the Miramichi, Jimmy graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University of New Brunswick in 2007 and decided to try his hand at the performing arts when he realized New Brunswick did not need any more scientists. His first time on stage was in 2011 at an open mic in Fredericton and he has been hooked ever since. Since then Jimmy has gone on to perform with some of Canada’s top comedians performing with Yuk Yuk’s, Sirius XM as well as featured on CBC’s Laugh Out Loud on CBC Radio One.

Travis Lindsay

Travis Lindsay started doing comedy at the age of sixteen, Since then he has been a three-time semi-finalist in Canada’s Next Top Comic (2011, 2013, 2015). He has performed at the Halifax Comedy Festival ( 2012, 2013. 2015, 2016) and was a Coast magazine Halifax’s Favourite Comedian of 2013 nominee.

Lindsay has performed at the Border City Comedy Festival in 2014, The Hubcap Comedy Festival in 2016, where he won the CBC comedy competition, and recently won James Mullinger’s Comedy Boot Camp where he was crowned one of the funniest people in Nova Scotia. He was in the sketch troupe Father Problems, which won the Bite TV sketch award. Written and performed with Dave Thomas (SCTV, Arrested Development) on the Second City Stage and has coached for the Canadian Improv Games. He also once met Rosa Parks.

 Francois Weber

Award-winning stand-up comedian, actor and playwright, François Weber has appeared at the CBC’s Winnipeg and Halifax Comedy Festivals, and most recently on The Debaters.

Francois is originally from Northern Ontario, however, presently calls Prince Edward Island home. Growing up in a bilingual family, he is fortunate to have the ability to perform in both English and French.

Being a full time high school teacher, he can also deliver a keynote speech for teacher conventions entitled “Slow Down and Smell the Classroom”.

 Darren Elmore

Part of the thriving East Coast comedy scene, Darren Elmore cut his teeth in the very competitive Vancouver stand-up scene for five years before relocating to New Brunswick.

Since then, he has performed all over the Maritimes and taken part in the Sirius XM Top Comic and James Mullinger’s Comedy Boot Camp competitions.

Darren has also performed on CBC Radio’s Laugh Out Loud program and appeared twice on Bell Aliant / James Mullinger’s television series, “Blimey! An Englishman in Atlantic Canada”.

His comedy takes a very honest and endearing look at the struggles of a small town gay man trying to find his place in the world while inhabiting two very different communities and struggling with the stereotypes to which they both hold him.

 Brittany Campbell

Brittany Campbell was born and raised in Charlottetown, PEI. Her brand of comedy is for 19+ adults who love to laugh about terrible things.

She spends her spare time teaching youth, convincing her family that she shouldn’t have kids and frequently spending $46 for the bridge to get the hell off of PEI to tell jokes.

 JC Surette

Ten years of experience as a comedian. He started when there was a Yuk Yuk’s in Moncton. It closed, and JC Surette was left with a vicious addiction to stand up comedy. He moved to the city of Montreal to feed his addiction and hone his craft. He is a fluently bilingual comic from New Brunswick. You can see it in his eyes when he plays in Anglophone parts of New Brunswick that he needs to be funny or they will “deport his acadian ass.”

 Colin Hollett

Originally from small town Burin NL, Colin Hollett burst onto the St. John’s comedy scene in 2009, winning that city’s Great Canadian Laugh Off with his first ever performance. From there, he quickly became a feature on the local comedy circuit, with his high-energy, almost manic stage presence and original down-to-earth story telling, making him an immediate crowd favourite.

Colin has headlined from Newfoundland to B.C. Appeared on Newfoundland’s local station NTV and is regularly aired across the country on CTV with his featured rants. He has performed at the St. John’s Comedy Festival and has been a main feature in the Frosty, Burin Day, Grand Bank, Salmon, and Mussel Bed Soiree festivals. Also he was invited to perform with Newfoundland Legends Shaun Majumder & Mark Critch in “The Gathering” Festival.

Colin continues to tour and perform, loving the energy of the road and the chance to get out and connect with fans. “I just really like making people laugh,” he says. “It’s the best feeling in the world- bring a room together and making strangers laugh. You’ve actually used a joke to make someone happy, even if it’s just for a second. So anytime anyone wants to say ‘hi’ to me after a show or find me online, I’m more than happy.” Normally, this would be hard to believe, but seeing Colin in action makes it clear: What you see is always what you get.

 Garrett Clark

This last year has been the busiest to date for Garrett Clark. In just a nine month period Garrett has performed at three of the prestigious Just For Laughs Festivals (Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver) hitting many of the stages including opening for Todd Barry and Iliza Shlesinger. He was also selected among the “Best of Fest” at Big Pine Comedy Festival in Flagstaff, Arizona and recently headlined shows all across Scotland. After training with The Groundlings in Hollywood, Garrett has landed countless TV spots and earned roles in award winning short films.

Other credits include CBC Television, Winner of the World Series of Comedy (Winnipeg Satellite), NXNE, Seattle International Comedy Competition, CBC’s LOL, Second City alumnus and regular play on Sirius XM Radio.

 Neal Mundle

This middle-aged Maritimer put his comedy and acting aspirations on hold for many years to focus on his day job and raise a family of four. Now he’s getting his revenge. Neal brings his own perspective of being a step-father and Dad in the 21st century to the stage with a style that he would like to describe as eclectic, although he admits he doesn’t really understand the meaning of the word but likes the way it sounds. Whether you’re a Dad, a parent or just a human being trying to get through the week you’ll find something to relate to. If you can’t laugh with him, you can at least laugh at him.

 Glen K. Amo

Glen K. Amo has opened for James Mullinger at The Imperial Theatre, Saint John. He has performed with Something Funny, KV Billiards, Quispamsis, and, for better or worse, starred in the Mid-Life Crisis Comedy Tour.

 Eric Payne

Eric grew up on Prince Edward Island. He spent twenty-three years with the Canadian Armed Forces then according to Payne,“Something funny happened.” In 2005 he became a leg amputee. It took a bit of time and rehab but Eric found the humour in it and has been relaying his humour to audiences since March of 2011. Eric not only does Stand up but does inspirational speaking engagements and sits on many boards having to do with persons with disabilities also homeless veterans.

 Marty-D

Marty-D is co-founder and host of Comedie en Acadie. Since his first festival in 2015 he’s opened for many big names, including Mike Ward’s latest tour. He recently won Acadie Just Pour Rire and New-Brunswick’s Funniest.

 Scott Champagna

Scott Campagna was the winner of the 2013 HubCap Comedy Festival Contest. He has opened for top names like Pete Zedlacher, Joey Elias and Mike MacDonald. He can be heard on XM Radio and seen on the Bell Network Community TV in the TV show “Blimey-An Englishman In Atlantic Canada”. Scott has also performed in Ontario and all around the Maritimes. He has shared the stage and travelled with many top name comedians. Scott has performed arena and theatre shows opening for the Legendary Thane Dunn with the most recent being to a sold out crowd at the Imperial Theatre in Saint John, New Brunswick.

 Eric Chiasson

Eric is a bilingual comedian who started doing comedy in 1993 and worked regularly at it until the end of the decade. After some encouragement he got back into comedy in 2015, making his English language debut while performing in Southern New Brunswick.

 Mark Harnett

Arriving in Newfoundland on an ice pan from Labrador 40 plus years ago – this late bloomer of comedy has taken stages from St. John’s to Calgary. Mark “the Canoe” Harnett’s show comes to life from his own personal experiences and opinions, culture, relationships, and being a dad. Often labelled a “suggestive” comedian – whose jokes and stories relate to most of the general population. Mark always keeps his audience in mind, reminding them that its OK to laugh as life is too short to be taken too seriously!

The High Tide Comedy Festival takes places October 20-21, 2017 in Quispamsis, New Brunswick.

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