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HomeEntertainmentOnly for Laughs cancels Montreal comedy pageant, seeks creditor safety

Only for Laughs cancels Montreal comedy pageant, seeks creditor safety


The Montreal firm that operates the Only for Laughs comedy pageant has cancelled this 12 months’s version because it seeks to keep away from chapter.

Groupe Juste pour rire Inc. stated in a information launch Tuesday that it’s searching for safety from its collectors because it begins formal restructuring beneath Canada’s Chapter and Insolvency Act.

The corporate stated it plans to proceed operations “in a scaled-down format” because it restructures and that it hopes the pageant will return in 2025.

“The choice to provoke restructuring proceedings was reached after thorough consideration of all choices out there to the corporate, making an allowance for its very tough monetary state of affairs given the numerous adjustments in our enterprise panorama in recent times,” the corporate stated.

Julien Provencher-Proulx, a spokesman for Groupe Juste pour rire, confirmed that 75 staff, round 70 per cent of its employees, have been laid off Tuesday.

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Tickets for the French and English comedy festivals in Montreal this summer time remained on sale on the corporate’s web site Tuesday.

Along with these festivals, various different performances in Quebec have additionally been cancelled.

Provencher-Proulx wrote in an e-mail that individuals who have bought tickets can return them to the field workplace the place they have been bought or contact their bank card firm in the event that they bought tickets instantly from the pageant.

The Toronto Only for Laughs pageant, set to happen in September, is run by a separate group and has not been cancelled, Provencher-Proulx stated.

Juste pour rire, which held its first pageant in Montreal in 1983, blamed its monetary woes on various elements, together with the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation and the altering leisure business. It stated COVID pressured it “to successfully stop operations for 2 years.”

The corporate, whose officers declined interview requests, stated it’s in search of new buyers, or consumers for elements of its enterprise, and that it hopes to protect operations “as a lot as doable.”

It had laid off one other 21 staff in December, in response to a discover filed with Quebec’s Labour Division.

The corporate is 51 per cent owned by Bell and Montreal occasion promoter Evenko, whereas Los Angeles-based expertise company Artistic Artists Company owns 49 per cent. The pageant has introduced lots of the greatest names in standup comedy, together with Kevin Hart, Dave Chappelle, Amy Schumer and Jerry Seinfeld.

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Along with ticketed indoor reveals, the French and English festivals featured free outside performances.

Martin Roy, the CEO of Quebec pageant affiliation the Regroupement des événements majeurs internationaux, stated that whereas he’s saddened by the information, he’s not shocked.

“We’ve been saying for months, even years, that issues are usually not going nicely within the pageant sector, particularly for the festivals which are introduced freed from cost, amongst others, in downtown Montreal,” he stated in an interview.

Inflation has pushed the worth of internet hosting a pageant up by 35 to 40 per cent since 2019, he stated.

Response to the information began pouring in on X, previously Twitter, with many saddened by the cancellation of the favored pageant.

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“Unfathomable” and a “large loss” have been some simply among the reactions, with one commentator stating the potential financial fallout for the town from misplaced tourism {dollars}.

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— With recordsdata from World Information’ Annabelle Olivier, The Canadian Press’ Stéphane Rolland

&copy 2024 The Canadian Press




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