Library bringing comedy to cultural centre stage

by Stephen Dafoe

Stand up comedy returns to the Morinville Community Cultural Centre June 19 to kick off the annual St. Jean Baptiste Festival weekend. After a successful inaugural year, the Morinville Community Library and board are once again trading checking out books for promoting a live comedy show.

Mike_Dambra_-_headshotThis year’s headliner is Mike Dambra, the Smart-Ass King of Comedy. He has opened for Howie Mandel, Rosie O’Donnell, Adam Sandler, Michael Bolton and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts.

Ken Hicks 2Opening for Dambra is Edmonton comic Ken Hicks, who has performed at Caroline’s on Broadway, in New York City, and at The World Series of Comedy in Las Vegas.

Planning and running a comedy show is something outside the realm of offerings from most libraries, but the Morinville Community Library likes to push the boundaries of diverse programming.

Library Supervisor and show organizer Ashley Janes said while the comedians may not be entirely clean, neither are some of the books the library regularly checks out for patrons. “We’ve always advocated that we are a public library, a community library that represents all interests from people in the community,” she said. “That includes maybe not the cleanest comedy show. It’s another way of reaching a different sector in the community.”

But more than offering a loud and rowdy comedy night, the performance will help the library with other programs throughout the year. In 2015, the library put no money into its budget for programming, taking the bold decision to fundraise for programming dollars rather than build it in and ask taxpayers to support programs.

“The comedy show fundraiser is an interesting way for us to get out into the community during St. Jean Baptiste,” Janes said. “This brings some diversity into the festival and in turn we raise some money for the library.”

The show is sponsored by Infinite Event Services and The Morinville News. Tickets are $15 per person. Tables of eight are available until the end of May for just $100. In June, tables of eight will be the full price of $120. Single tickets for the licensed event are available at the Morinville Community Library front desk.

What are you doing June 19? If you are into stand up comedy, you'll want to sit down for this upcoming show.

Posted by on Monday, 11 May 2015

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