BY TAMARA VON ESTORFF
Hundreds of people gathered at the Art Gallery of Burlington last week to attend the fourth annual Burlington Comedy Festival.
Monday’s show included performances by four phenomenal comedians, including Mark Forward, Jack Wise, Arthur Simeon, and Jessica Holmes. Ticket bundles offered a “Food & Funny” deal, where guests could enjoy a delicious meal as they sit back and watch the show. Regular admission included a show with snacks and beverages available for purchase.
The Burlington Comedy Festival began in 2016. It’s an event where comedians across Canada are brought together to perform in Burlington venues. This year’s festival included 11 performers and ran from Feb. 24 to Feb. 27.
First up was Irish magician Jack Wise, who has performed in events all across the U.K., specifically as a wedding magician. His performance included a ventriloquist act with a volunteer from the audience, good old classic card tricks, and a sword swallowing act using a 24-inch solid steel sword. Wise calls himself “A proud member of the Sword Swallowers International Association”.
Next up was Jessica Holmes, who has been a cast member of the Canadian Air Farce Show for 15 years. She is also an author, motivational speaker, and mental health advocate. Her performance included middle-aged mom jokes and comedic parody impressions of big-time pop stars including Celine Dion, Shakira, and Britney Spears.
The third performer, Arthur Simeon, was born in Uganda, Africa and immigrated to Toronto in his early adult life. He is a gifted storyteller and has performed in the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal six times, and has appeared on CBC Television, HBO, and the Comedy Network. His performance included jokes and storytelling about his life as an immigrant.
The final act was multiple award-winning comedian Mark Forward. He has performed at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and has had nine appearances at the Just For Laughs Festival. His performance included playing an acoustic guitar and singing duets with audience members, all while dressed up in a hot dog suit.
Overall it was a good weekend for Burlington residents. The festival’s finale took place on Wednesday with all of the 11 performers. People took to Twitter to express how much they enjoyed the festival, including pictures and videos of some of their favourite acts, including comedians Kate Barron and Derek Seguin, who were also performers at the festival.
For information on future events, follow the Burlington Comedy Festival on Twitter.