For the full 3-day street festival lineup, head to toronto.hahaha.com
All tickets for Just For Laughs TORONTO can be purchased at toronto.hahaha.com
TORONTO, August 31, 2023 - Just For Laughs TORONTO presented by Beneva, in collaboration with SiriusXM Canada, is excited to announce the return of the free street festival as part of the 11th annual festival, running across the city from September 21 – 30, 2023.
If you know…you know…last year’s inaugural street festival is still the talk of the town. Now, back by popular demand, Just For Laughs TORONTO’s free street festival is set to return September 22-24, 2023.
Occupying a sprawling 100,000 sq-ft space centrally located at Front St. E and Berczy Park, it’s only one block away from Union Station where you can conveniently hop on GO transit to get there to enjoy the festivities.
Come and indulge in delectable bites from food trucks, sip on refreshing drinks from bars featuring Muskoka Brewery's beers and Muskoka Spirits Hard Sparkling Waters, relish the offerings of local restaurants, and enjoy captivating art installations, all the while picking your perfect spot in front of the main stage presented by Beneva, which promises unforgettable performances by a variety of comedians for all ages, in addition to live brass bands, DJs, and more. This inclusive event will be open to all, ensuring that everyone can revel in the laughter and join the street party in the heart of the city.
The daytime programming is tailored to tickle the funny bones of all ages. From musical performances to drag queen story hour, there will be non-stop cascades of giggles that will create unforgettable memories for your whole family. In the evening, performances by iconic comedy stars who promise to deliver an epic dose of laughter and entertainment that will be talked about for years to come. With more programming to be added next week, this line-up will truly be something for everyone.
Performances run Friday, September 22 from 4:00 PM – 10:30 PM;
Saturday, September 23 and Sunday, September 24 from 1:00 PM – 10:30 PM.
“As an insurance company, Beneva is defined by its mutualist roots. We’re committed to the community, and we want our involvement to have a positive impact on everyone. As the presenting partner of Just For Laughs Toronto, our goal is to bring tons of feelgood entertainment to Torontonians,” said Jean-François Chalifoux, President and Chief Executive Officer of Beneva. “We’re proud to be a part of this inclusive and accessible event, and even prouder that the Beneva Stage will be presenting totally free hilarious shows for the second straight year.“
The Beneva Stage will feature performances that Toronto has been waiting for!
Fred Armisen – Friday, September 22, 2023 - 9:15 PM
Fred Armisen is a comedian, writer, producer, and musician. He is the co-writer and co-star of IFC’s Emmy-nominated series Portlandia, which he created alongside Carrie Brownstein. He is currently in the hit Netflix series Wednesday as Uncle Fester, and as “Tico '' in HBO’s Los Espookys, which he co-wrote and executive produced. He can be heard in the hit animated Super Mario Bros movie. Armisen currently stars in, writes, and produces IFC’s hit show Documentary Now, for which he has received two Emmy nominations. He has also appeared in HBO’s Our Flag Means Death, Judd Apatow’s The Bubble, and Amazon’s series Forever (which he was also an executive producer on). He has appeared as a voice actor in Netflix’s Big Mouth and The Mitchells vs. The Machines. An 11-season veteran of NBC’s Saturday Night Live, Armisen has engaged audiences with memorable impressions and characters. In 2014, Armisen was named band leader of the “8G Band” on Late Night With Seth Meyers. The band, curated by Armisen, includes members of indie rock bands Les Savy Fav and Girls Against Boys.
Reggie Watts – Saturday September 23, 2023 - 9:15 PM
Reggie Watts is an internationally renowned Musician/Comedian/Writer/Actor who is well-known as the bandleader on CBS’s The Late Late Show with James Corden. Using his formidable voice, looping pedals, and his vast imagination, Watts blends and blurs the lines between music and comedy, wowing audiences with performances that are 100% improvised. He performed as the DJ at the 2021 Emmy Awards. Watts’ first Netflix special Spatial released to massive critical acclaim, with the New York Times calling it “a giddy rush of escapist nonsense” and dubbing Watts “the most influential absurdist in comedy today.”
Additional headliner to be announced next week!
Perhaps best known as a founding member and the bass playing half of Juno Award winning reggae punk rock innovators Bedouin Soundclash, Eon Sinclair is also known as The Soul Proprietor. With his band Bedouin Soundclash, he has released four records and toured the globe extensively, headlining shows in Europe, Australia, China, India and the US, as well as performing alongside acts such as No Doubt, Coldplay, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and Nine Inch Nails. The tale of Bedouin Soundclash has been filled with step after step of something special — from live shows that are as emotionally incendiary as they are monstrously entertaining, to albums that have stoked the hearts and minds of thousands.
“A powerhouse band and vocals that shake the foundations”. With the worldwide pandemic wrecking utter havoc upon the careers of many musicians, Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar elected to use their time off the road to record, mix and master their latest tour-de-force, the astonishingly powerful, funky and deeply soulful “The Reckless One”. The follow up to 2018’s Juno-nominated “Run To Me”, “The Reckless One” represents another massive step forward for Samantha Martin as a songwriter, singer, arranger and band leader. The vocal blend that Delta Sugar produces is pure, unadulterated gospel-tinged, neuron-tingling magic where the sum is even richer than the already soul-melting parts.
Few independent bands have had a career as varied and unpredictable as the indie pop sextet Sub-Radio. Founded in Washington DC by a group of childhood friends, the band released a series of EPs between 2018 and 2020, blending the pop-punk they grew up on with the indie-pop stylings of WALK THE MOON and The 1975. Forced online by the COVID-19 pandemic, they found enormous viral success on Reddit and TikTok in 2021, streaming their high-energy live performances to more than 20 million viewers and driving a huge new audience to their single “Flashback”. The band signed with indie label Th3rd Brain in early 2022 and released their latest. EP, Past Selves in February of 2023. In support of the new release, Sub-Radio announced The Past Selves Tour which kicks off in August of 2023.
The Fuddles Are Back! is a catchy collection of silly upbeat songs that the whole family will enjoy. It covers relatable themes such as friendship, growing up, animals, nature and even the chaotic joy of bedtime. The songs explore and encourage creativity while celebrating imaginative play and a simple sense of home. They have performed at a variety of events and look forward to reconnecting with fun seeking audiences in 2023.
Fred Penner is gentle man with an undeniable ability to make you feel good about yourself. This musical master brings more than 40 years of commitment, consistency and depth to a career that blends the many genres of performing and communication. He continues to grow and create music for his generations of “Fred Heads”. From hosting the United Way National conference in Saskatoon to emceeing the renowned Polaris Music Awards and being part of the C3 Legacy Expedition supporting the truth and reconciliation process in remote parts of Canada, apparently retirement is not in the cards for him. The phone is still ringing! And his concert touring continues.
The Heavyweights Brass Band hits hard with its seasoned blend of groove, energy, virtuosity, and originality! For over a decade, this Toronto-based, New Orleans-inspired brass institution has brought theatre-goers to their feet and club-goers to the dance floor with an inspiring blend of original music and unexpected covers. The decision is in and audience members across North America unanimously give the win to HWBB in a knockout! Their music has been featured on film, commercials, radio, and television and they have performed and recorded with the best in the game from percussion legend Giovanni Hidalgo to NOLA legends Roger Lewis of the Dirty Dozen Brass band and Joe Lastie of Preservation Hall fame.
With over 20 years’ experience, DJ DVS has been a fixture in the greater Toronto area music landscape since 1994. Spending the first 10+ years of his career in the Urban Club and University Market, DVS spun at every major club in the city, as well as every major University and College. After returning from a 5-year hiatus, DVS shifted his focus in 2013 to DJing inside Toronto’s hottest Lounges and Patios, as well as high profile corporate clients. Twice nominated for South Asian DJ of the Year, DVS specialises in open format, playing everything from Hip-Hop, R&B, House, Old School, Top 40 and everything in between.
Luna Elle is an 18-year-old Canadian emerging artist who is swiftly making her mark on the music scene. With a deep-rooted affinity for the soulful R&B of the 90s and 2000s, Elle creates a musical landscape that transcends generations. Her commanding vocals and heartfelt storytelling have not only garnered her a devoted fan base but have also attracted the attention and support of influential figures in the industry. Most notably, basketball icon Shaquille O'Neal confidently stated, "Luna Elle is next up, you heard it here first." Following this resounding endorsement, Luna Elle burst onto the scene, capturing the hearts of audiences everywhere. Seamlessly blending the nostalgic elements of classic R&B with the contemporary sounds of today. Her lyrics delve into themes of love, relationships, and the intricate human experience, all conveyed with a lyrical depth and maturity that's beyond her age.
Rich Aucoin is a multi-sensory spectacle of a show Part Daft Punk-inflected Dan Deacon, part DIY-driven Flaming Lips as filtered through Girl Talk (Austin Chronicle). A band of keyboards/synths/guitar/bass/drums/horns playing in sync to everything from old films to Youtube videos. An interactive show which can be viewed like theatre or immersive; underneath a large parachute from kindergarten and a sea of confetti. He has won 5 Nova Scotia Music Awards and 3 ECMAs and has been nominated 11 times. He won Best New Artist at the Canadian Indies. “How It Breaks” went #1 on the CBC Top 20 Countdown. His music videos and streams have garnered over 2 million views. He cycled across Canada and the US for music tours for charities.
For over twenty years, The New Faces of Comedy showcases have catapulted the careers of so many of today’s most celebrated comedians. It has consistently been a must-see event of the JFL MONTRÉAL Festival, offering a unique platform for exceptionally promising and unrecognized talent to kickstart their careers. Come see the exceptional class of 2023 up-and-coming Canadian comedic talents take to the outdoor stage. The lineup includes: Brendan D’Souza, Dakota Ray Hebert, Faris Hytiaa, Henry Sir, Maddy Kelly, Michelle Forrester, Moe Ismail, Natasha Lyn Myles, Ryan Williams, and Spencer Adamus.
Warrior Princess, Star of Stage and Screen, The Second Coming (Of Shania), Current Reigning Woodys Queen of Halloween and Queen of The Drink. A Dora-nominated actor, plays Sporty in the Spice Queens, reads for Drag Queen Storytimes, and has won several drag competitions across Toronto. She’s had starring roles on CBC, Global TV, and CTV. She’s everyone’s favourite small-town girl turned big city star- Lucy Flawless! Bel Bel started her full-time Drag career shortly after winning Crews & Tangos Drag Race in 2015. In June 2019 She was crowned Miss Crews & Tangos and still currently holds the title until future notice. Her performance background started with musical theatre and film as she studied theatre at York University and Graduated from The Randolph Academy of Performing Arts. She starred as Babs in the CBC GEM Original show Queens which launched in June 2020. Baby Bel Bel is also known for her high energy, bright coloured wigs and costumes, and hosting events with humour to bring all the laughs and smiles to her audience.
RupLoops is an interactive, live looping performance, using vocal percussion, rhythmic rhymes and an arsenal of eclectic instruments from around the globe. He utilises his diverse skills as a musician to create a pulsating, entertaining and engaging musical experience. He is a gifted educator and performer and has a deep passion for intercultural work and intercultural sounds. RupLoops’ show will take you on a journey of sound exploring anatomy, geography and culture. With a mix of hip-hop and global sounds, his tunes into themes of home, identity, culture, justice, dignity and celebration.
Two of Toronto’s finest Nino Brown + Young Teesh join forces for a back-to-back set of bangers, filled with a love for anything bass and anything waist.
Tour de force rapper, DJ, producer and visual/conceptual artist Myst Milano can't be stopped. She has played shows with Lizzo, Thundercat, Chino Amobi, Ashanti and Ja Rule, LSDXOXO, and many more, amassing nearly 200 shows to date since the beginning of their career in 2016. Recognized locally not only for their performance prowess but also for digital activism with online party platform Club Quarantine in Summer 2020, she is as versatile as they are steadfast and unwavering, in both their beliefs and their creative output. Production-wise, she tends to veer towards the primitive and steady, however changeable and vast their beat catalogue may be; as far as writing goes, Milano effortlessly bounces from the playful and giddy, to the hopeful and serene, to the deep and dangerous and back again, never skipping a beat.
Witch Prophet is a queer, East African, singer-songwriter, and the Co-CEO of Heart Lake Records. She provides her fans with a soundscape of vocal layers, loops, raps, and harmonies on a bed of hip-hop, jazz, and soul inspired beats. Think Erykah Badu meets Lauryn Hill meets Portishead. She finds depth and connection in creating music as a portal for self-growth and discovery, as she navigates and better understands her cultural and queer identity. She has shared the stage with and opened for acts like Lido Pimienta, Sudan Archives, Shabazz Palaces, The Hallucination (fka A Tribe Called Red), SAMMUS, Sean Leon, JPEGMAFIA, Snotty Nose Rez Kids and THEESatisfaction to name a few.
Tynomi Banks is an International, world-class Drag Entertainer. Recognized best for her full production performances, Banks dominates a stage while radiating a powerful, but playful energy. Her hustle led her to become the first Drag Entertainer to perform in Toronto’s Dundas Square during World Pride 2014. In just one month, during Pride 2018, she became the first Drag Entertainer to work with Hudson’s Bay Company and the only Queen to partner with Spotify for a featured playlist, which also resulted in a billboard over Dundas Square in Toronto during Pride. She has since partnered with Sephora, Shoppers Beauty, Amazon, Absolut, Netflix, Crest, and Ikea to name a few. Banks became the first Drag Entertainer to be the trophy bearer at the 7th Annual Canadian Screen Awards. In 2021, Banks was the only drag performer to be featured in a Superbowl ad other than Rupaul herself. Then in February, she partnered with Black Lives Matter Canada to create and sell a line of merchandise where partial proceeds went to dismantle all forms of anti-Black racism, liberate Blackness, support Black healing, affirm Black existence, and create freedom to love and self-determine. You can catch Tynomi Banks on Season 1 of Canada's Drag Race on Crave (Canada), LogoTV (USA) and BBC3 (UK).
Al Val is a comedian/musician/actress from Toronto. Her honest and insightful yet silly and spontaneous account of her transgender journey has turned heads across North America and has earned her appearances at renowned festivals such as Just For Laughs, JFL Toronto and Vancouver, Off-JFL/Zoofest, Halifax Comedy Festival, The Arctic Comedy Festival, and many others, as well as earned her a writing role on the 30th season of CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Though she has taped standup performances for CBC Gem, Crave, & CTV and was a lead cast member on OutTV's Drag Heals season 3, Al Val is surely an act that must be seen in person to be believed - and celebrated!"
THE ONE AND HOLY GAY JESUS is an internationally recognized drag king serving up a mouth- watering communion of Latinx wine and non-binary bread. Born of virgin-ish loins and baptized in sex-appeal, he’s best known for his multidisciplinary protest pieces decked out in draglesque. Gay Jesus is featured on Season 1 of CBC Arts’ docuseries Canada’s a Drag and, in 2019, received one of his biggest honours to date - a nomination for LGBTQ Person of the Year from the Inspire Awards. In 2022, Gay Jesus flew out to Winnipeg where he headlined a sold-out show for the Cluster Festival and was also a featured performer for Canada Pride hosted in Treaty 1 Territory. Most recently, Gay Jesus performed at lavender wild, Canada’s first ever queer festival which has since been described as the Sapphic Super Bowl.
Thank you to our other generous partners, Virgin Plus (Official Mobile, Internet and TV Partner), Boston Pizza (Official Restaurant Partner), Sussex Strategy (Official Government Relations Partner), Muskoka Brewery (Official Beer & Ready To Drink Partner), Colgate (Official Toothpaste), National Bank of Canada (Official Bank), Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) (Official Lottery Partner), Wayne Gretzky Estates (Official Wine and Champagne Partner), Go Transit (Official Public Transit Partner), Kayak (Travel Search Partner), Square (Supplier of Payment Solutions), The Ontario Government & The Government of Canada.
All tickets for Just For Laughs TORONTO can be purchased at toronto.hahaha.com
Festival passes range from $69 CDN (excluding service charges). Single tickets range from $39.50 CDN (excluding service charges).
Established in 2012 and now in its 12th year, Just For Laughs TORONTO (formerly known as JFL42), is a pass-based interactive comedy festival based in Toronto, created by the Just For Laughs Group, the most important player in the global comedy industry co-owned by Groupe CH, Bell Media and ICM Partners. Developed with a mandate to celebrate the most hilarious, innovative, riveting and relevant comedy experiences in the world with Toronto audiences, Just For Laughs Toronto’s unique interactive pass-based ticketing and reservation system makes it the first comedy festival of its kind. Just For Laughs entertains millions of spectators with its festivals on Canadian and international stages, in Montréal; Toronto; Vancouver; Austin, U.S.A.; Sydney, Australia and London, U.K. The Group organizes shows featuring thousands of comics from Canada and other countries, including established artists as well as up-and-comers; stages its own comedy shows and musicals; produces touring shows; broadcasts digital and televised content (notably Gags, which is shown in 150 countries and followed by an online audience of ten million on YouTube); manages talented artists; and is the originator of the ComedyPRO and JPR Pro industry conferences.
Created by the coming together of La Capitale and SSQ Insurance, Beneva is the largest insurance mutual in Canada with more than 3.5 million members and customers. Beneva employs over 5,000 dedicated employees: people looking out for people. Its human approach is rooted in mutualist values that are shared by its employees. With $25.1 billion in assets, Beneva positions itself as a major player in the insurance and financial services industry. Its head office is located
in Quebec City. Policyholders of contracts issued by an insurance company of Beneva Group Inc. are members of SSQ Mutual and La Capitale Civil Service Mutual.