Guelph Comedy Festival 2017 Performers


2017 Preview Gala Performers


DeAnne Smith

Comedian. Writer. Trouble-maker. DeAnne is a Canadian Comedy Award winner who has performed all over the world, including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the Iceland Comedy Festival and Just for Laughs Montreal. In July 2017 a video of her stand-up called "Straight men, step up your game" went mega-viral garnering 28 million views on Facebook alone. 

Jess Salomon

 A former UN war crimes lawyer turned stand up comic. Jess recently taped a gala set at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival. You may also have heard her on CBC’s Q, Laugh Out Loud and The Debaters.

Soul Decision

This sketch comedy duo was recently named the “Best of the Fest” at both The Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival and Montreal Sketch Fest. Both Kevin Vidal (nice guy) and Christian Smith (cool guy) are also alumni of Second City. You may recognize Kevin from Workin' Moms (CBC) and Sunnyside (CityTV). You may recognize Christian from Alias Grace (CBC/Netflix) and Reign (CBS).  


Headlining & Feature PERFORMERS 2017

Stand-up, improv, sketch, and a dedicated LGBTQ+ stage. Touring talent and local rising-stars on every show. GCF 2017 features comedians from Just For Laughs Montreal,  JFL42, CBC Comedy, The Beaverton, The Winnipeg Comedy Festival, Sirius XM, The Second City Toronto, and so much more. 

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Absurd. Aggressive. Hilarious. These two former Second City cast mates shared a stage, and now they’ll share a place in your heart. You just might not like how they got in there. Just don’t say their name three times…

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This Canadian Comedy Award-nominated troupe takes on serious subject matter in the most absurd ways. This crew of comedians test the boundaries of sex, existentialism, feminism, breakups, death and disaster. Even though the subject matter sounds dark their tone is refreshingly light. They present a cool take on the issues facing young adults today to make you think while you’re laughing at the absurdity of it all.

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Fake Cops has established a strong local following in Toronto thanks to their outlandish theatre-packing productions such as the alternative comedy showcase “The Disaster” and an improvised battle arena “The Thunderdome.” In 2015, FAKE COPS won the “Emerging Ensemble” award under the Tony & Pat Adams Freedom Fund for the Arts presented by Bad Dog Theatre.

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Courtney Gilmour has become one of Toronto's fastest rising stand-ups. She has been performing for five years making appearances at the All Jane Comedy Festival in Portland and taped a set for Kevin Hart's new channel LOL. She is also the first woman to win the Just For Laughs "Homegrown Comics" competition.

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Hoodo Hersi was nominated for the Tim Sims Encouragement Fund at Second City, taped her first TV comedy special for No Kidding and was a member on the panel for The Inside Joke (both of which aired in 2014 on iChannel). She has been invited to festivals across North America and to be part of many prestigious shows including The Nubian Disciples of Pryor at Yuk Yuks. Oh, and she also writes for VICE and The Beaverton. 

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Marito Lopez, originally from El Salvador, moved to Calgary, Alberta in Western Canada at the tender age of four.  His fiery, high-energy, and charismatic persona has landed him on stages and screens across the country, including appearances at the Hubcap Comedy Festival, NXNE, JFL42, MTV Canada, and Yuk Yuks.

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The Making-Box Brigade

The Brigade is the performance ensemble behind The Making-Box, Guelph’s hub for live comedy and improv education. Voted Guelph’s Best Live Theatre for the past three years by The Mercury-Tribune. 

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ChantY Marostica

Chanty Marostica, known for a unique brand of high energy, physical comedy, bringing their jokes to life through a combination of storytelling, impressions, and spot on timing. They are a captivating performer, with a hilarious skewed perspective.  Chanty has performed in Just For Laughs, The Winnipeg Comedy Festival, and JFL42's Sirius XM Top Comic Competition.

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Not long ago, Brian Millward was a University student at Guelph. Now he's living in Toronto as a stand-up comic and getting booked all over town. He's performed alongside some of Canada's top talent on LGBTQ shows and beyond. He makes his festival debut this year alongside Chantel Marostica at our LGBTQ+ show on Wednesday. 

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Chris is a young stand-up comic and actor who has been performing across Canada for the past seven years. NOW Magazine has described him as having “charisma and raw talent to burn.” You might have seen him on Much Music’s Video On Trial or listened to him on Canada Laughs on Sirius XM and this Fall you can catch him on CMT’s newest sketch comedy show Almost Genius.



Every night is opening night when you make up a musical! 7 musical theatre performers set out to create their own legendary musical. Will it turn into a Little Shop of Horrors? Will they Grease the audience? Will the sun come out tomorrow for this group? Your suggestions help drive the creation of a never-seen-before-and-never-seen-again musical!


Joe Vu abandoned his lucrative career in advertising to be totally disowned by his Asian parents. In his first year, he placed runner up in the Toronto Comedy Brawl. From there he's gone on to perform at The Winnipeg Comedy Festival, CBC the Debaters and The Just for Laughs Festival. His comedy comes from the perspective of the under represented south east Asian voice. Absurd, intelligent, and insightful, his routine is at once both entertaining and educational.




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If Amber looks familiar, you might've already seen her walking aimlessly around downtown Guelph, or sitting alone coolly at the bar like Strider from LOTR, or maybe just maybe you've seen her perform at Time of The Month, Making Box Comedy: Headliners, New Faces, Rainbow Reels, or countless open mics.



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Spencer Dunn has been performing in the Guelph comedy scene for almost four years. He’s a current member of The Making-Box Brigade and has performed in every province except PEI (which is unfortunate because he looks so much like a baked potato and they’d probably love him there). 



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Kate has spent the majority of her comedy career as an improviser, but when the Making-Box afforded her opportunity at a First-Timers show she discovered a whole new way to use unwilling audiences as personal therapists. With sets ripped from her own life she’s either laudable or laughable and demands you pick one of those adjectives. 

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HayLey KEllett

Hayley has spent most of her life celebrating two things: ontario peaches and the joys of improv. Naturally she was filled with pride to be nominated for a Canadian Comedy Award: Best Female Improviser (2015) as well as NOW Magazine's Best Female Improviser (2015). 

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CAS Knihnisky

Cas has been subjecting Guelph and Guelph-adjacent audiences to her talk/lunge blend of standup comedy since early 2015. Sitting comfortably at the ‘dark’ end of the humour spectrum, Cas’ stage and comedy presence have been described as ‘a funny contradiction of exhaustion and intensity.’ Cas performs improv with The Making-Box Brigade, co-host of The Making-Box Comedy Open Mic and comedy-transit-based podcast CarPod Diem. 

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Taras got his start in stand up this year at the open mic at The Making-Box. As a child of Ukranian immigrants, he learned all his English from ABBA on the radio by mimicking their speaking. He's mastered the language now, Taras has no shortage of racy, ranty and ridiculous stories from his experiences as a queer, Ukranian Christian. Taras makes his Guelph Comedy Fest debut at the LGBTQ+ stand-up show on Wednesday night. 

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Rob is an improviser and (don't tell his girlfriend) former magician. He and the other members of his troupe Fanny Pack have been the youngest headliners of the Big City Improv Festival for the last three years in a row, and were featured last year in the Young Stars Showcase produced by Bruce McCulloch of Kids in the Hall. Career highlights include being booed before even taking the microphone at a stand-up show where he was introduced as being originally “from Vaughan."


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Jenna MacAskill

Comedian. Video game addict. Cat bearding enthusiast. Jenna is the weirdo on the bus you know you shouldn't make eye contact with. But you do. Because she's staring right at you. Don't worry, we're a little uncomfortable too.

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DAVE MAcinnis

Dave MacInnis is a stand up comic orginally from Cambridge, ON. He has been performing for just under four years. He is also the Host & Producer of Comedy Night at Jimmy Jazz every Sunday in Guelph.


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Stuart is a photographer/videographer who started to take his sense of humour seriously when introduced to The Making Box in 2016. He likes to talk about his insensitive responses to tragedy and the 1998 computer game StarCraft. He particularly gets off on bragging to audiences about how well his fantasy hockey team is doing.

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Daina Wallace is an office worker by day, and afraid of eating meals alone in restaurants by night. Her material pierces the depths of the human experience, ranging from online dating to offline dating. You can find her performing in and around Guelph with the confidence of someone whose parents don't know she performs comedy