Just For Laughs Toronto Applauds Federal Budget Support for Marquee Festivals

    TORONTO, Jan. 28 /CNW Telbec/ - Wednesday, January 28, 2009 - Just For
Laughs Toronto, a recently established non-profit organization that has
produced the Just for Laughs Toronto Festival over the past two years
welcoming over 250,000 visitors and generating over $10M of tourism and
economic activity over a 4-day period in July, expressed its satisfaction with
yesterday's federal budget.
    Specifically, Just For Laughs Toronto recognizes the federal government's
renewed commitment to enhancing arts and culture in Canada by allocating $276
million in new money to the sector, including $100 million over a two-year
period for marquee festivals that bring in large numbers of tourists.
    "We are delighted that Finance Minister Flaherty's budget appropriately
recognizes recent statements of Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore and
Minister of State for Tourism Diane Ablonczy that a marquee festival such as
Just for Laughs Toronto is more than entertainment. It is an economic engine
that creates jobs in the cultural sector and supports continued employment in
all aspects of the tourism industry.", stated Yves Desjardins-Sicilano, Vice
President and General Manager, Just For Laughs Toronto.
    This news is particularly timely as Just for Laughs Toronto is currently
planning to grow its presence in Ontario beyond its annual Festival. It is
planning to establish a comedy creative cluster dealing in all areas of comedy
management, production and distribution. This new venture will focus on
enhancing Just For Laughs' international comedic repertoire by adding a
multi-ethnic and foreign language component, thus recognizing the unique
character of Toronto and southwest Ontario.

    Just For Laughs is active in many areas of entertainment production
including Festivals, Television, Theatre and Touring. Its inaugural Montreal
festival 26 years ago is now the world's largest and most prestigious comedy
event welcoming over 2 million people each summer. During its 26 years, the
Montreal Festival has featured some of the top comics in the world, including
Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle, Jon Stewart, Chris Rock, Ray Romano, Dane
Cook, John Cleese, Rowan Atkinson and Tim Allen. Each year, over 1,000
industry executives are drawn to Montreal for what is considered the hottest
breeding ground for new talent. In the spring of 2006, the company's French
division launched the Festival Juste pour rire Nantes Atlantique in France and
in 2007, Just For Laughs launched the Just For Laughs Toronto Festival, both
to great success. The newest city added to the list is Chicago with Just For
Laughs: A Very Funny Festival set to debut this summer. The company also
successfully tours across the globe bringing some of the Festivals' best
talent to Canada, the U.S., Bermuda and Asia and has personal management
offices in Los Angeles, Paris, London and Montreal. Just For Laughs television
shows are seen in over 139 countries and on over 97 airlines around the world,
in the past have been seen on MTV, Showtime, HBO, BBC America, ABC and Fox in
the US. Just For Laughs is currently seen in Canada on CBC, as well as The
Comedy Network.

For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Ingrid Hamilton - GAT, (416)
731-3034, ingrid@gat.ca; Source: Meredith Sharpe, Public Relations Manager,
Just For Laughs, (514) 845-3155, x 2358, msharpe@hahaha.com

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