Canada funds laugh fest in Montreal

MONTREAL — Comedy fans are in Montreal this week for the world’s most famous laugh festival.

Just For Laughs has returned to the city for a 41st edition, which government officials expect will strengthen local communities and the economy.

Ottawa has provided the festival $800,000 through the Canada Arts Presentation Fund, which Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said will help provide audiences with bilingual programming, including performances by internationally renowned artists.

“Every summer, the various street shows, galas and other activities rock the streets of Montréal,” said Rodriguez.

“The Festival provides a unique platform for renowned and up-and-coming talent and allows artists from home and abroad to showcase their creativity and comedic genius.”

The Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec (CED) has also provided $650,000 for the Just For Laughs Festival to support marketing and promotion internationally, attract investors and tourists, and develop new products.

Patrick Rozon is the chief creative officer of Groupe Juste pour rire, the organization that hosts Just For Laughs. He said the festival promises a “dynamic” experience for people of all ages.

“With comedy, flair and immersive experiences, Just For Laughs continues to be one of the world’s greatest annual cultural events,” he said.

Just for Laughs takes place from July 14 to 29.