A yuk or two

Tara Thorne yuks it up, announces finalists and more contests.

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The old cliche “laughter is the best medicine” goes far in a town like this one, but there’s been no place to go get those laughs for about 20 years. Though both Picnicface and Comedy Dawgs, among others, have made valiant efforts to provide the city with regular does of stand-up comedy, they’ve had to do it in bars and at student unions.

That changes this week with the opening of Yuk Yuk’s, the legendary comedy institution founded by Toronto comic Marc Breslin.

“Yuk Yuk’s has been around for 30 years and they’ve been booking tour shows in Halifax for the last 30 years as well,” says franchise owner Marc Sauvé, who also owns the equally new Yuk’s in Moncton. “The last time there was a Yuk Yuk’s in Halifax was in 1986, that’s long gone. I’ve been a comic with Yuk Yuk’s now for 13 years and decided to come off the road. I’ve always had a dream to own my own comedy club. Next week will be a culmination of a lot of hard work.”

The club’s home is in the Westin at 1181 Hollis. “The hotels are very used to hosting people and having people have a good time,” says Sauvé. “It’s in a perfect location, it’s been really revitalized in this area. It was the area I totally wanted to be in.”

Yuk’s will operate Wednesday through Saturdays, with Wednesday being amateur night. “If you think you’re funny put your best five minutes together,” says Sauvé. “Remember, it’s not improv, it’s prepared. And then we’ll see from there.”

For the club’s first week, Sauvé has nabbed 22 Minutes star Shaun Majumder for four nights beginning October 11. “I can remember doing road gigs with Shaun and doing legions out west,” says Sauvé. “He’s a phenomenal person and probably the hottest comedy star in Canada right now.” Majumder will be joined by Tom Rubin and Bill MacIntosh.

Sauvé promises “full-blown headliners” in the near future: “National guys, 90 percent Canadian—Joey Elias, Tim Nutt, Kenny Robinson, Mark Walker from Truro. You name it, they’re coming in.”

Tickets for the Majumder show are $22.50 and available by calling 429-YUKS (or email your best joke to Sauvé at marc@>yukyuks.com and you might get comped). If you’re a comic interested in performing at amateur night, email halifax@>yukyuks.com.

Masters of the art universe

The finalists for the Lieutenant Governor’s Masterwork Award, worth $25K, were announced this week.

“This work captures beautifully the sense of community which the arts can inspire and challenges us all to be innovative and involved with our communities,” said the jury of Le Petit Circle, an outdoor theatre camp for kids in Cheticamp.

Lorna Ramlochansingh’s tapestry Spirits of Coora Road is “a rare and vivid example of an art form that requires the utmost in individual commitment, tenacity and dedication.”

To Find Us: Words and Images of Halifax, an anthology edited by Sue MacLeod, “is diverse in class, age and culture and goes well beyond the stereotypical image of the city of Halifax.”

Peter Allen’s composition, Variations on The Halifax Explosion for Orchestra, is “a masterwork that could be performed and have life in any symphonic concert hall in the world.”

And Rita McKeough’s audio installation Wave Over Wave “represents a sensitive blend of the rural and urban, a moment in time that stretches the senses and spans the deeply personal and regionally reflective.”

The award will be presented on October 19.

Your calls are important to us

The Atlantic Filmmakers’ Co-operative is on the lookout for entries for its annual Film 5 program, which allows a handful of emerging filmmakers the chance to produce a five-minute film. The deadline for director-producer teams is 5pm on October 20. For eligibility, forms and the like, hit afcoop.ca.

Up the stairs from AFCOOP, the Centre for Art Tapes is looking for works that fall under the theme Traumatic Landscape, which will screen for one night in February at the Dalhousie Art Gallery’s show Imaging a Shattering Earth. The deadline is November 10, and the application should include an artist’s statement, a bio and a three-page CV. Send works to: Centre for Art Tapes, Att: Traumatic Landscape, 5600 Sackville St., Suite 207, Halifax B3J 1L2. Email cfat.programming@ns.sympatico.ca for more info.

tape it. Send it. email: tarat@thecoast.ca

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