Montréal, Québec (Corel Professional Photos).
Festival Juste pour rire
Festival Juste pour rire owes its creation to Gilbert Rozon, who decided in 1983 to establish "juste pour rire," the world's first comedy street festival that would be accessible to all francophones and unite humorists from various countries. Launched on 14 July 1983, the Festival Juste pour rire has continuously developed through the years and achieved international recognition, enabling Montréal to build a unique niche in the world of comedy and maintain its star status ever since.
The first shows in 1983 featured well-known humorists from the Québécois cultural community and emerging comedy artists trying to break into the field. In 1986, an English-language festival was created for the highly enthusiastic public, presenting comedians from Montréal's anglophone cultural community, and others from English Canada, the United States and Europe.
With its long-awaited arrival in mid summer, Festival Juste pour rire offers many moments of hilarity. Théâtre Juste pour rire, founded in 1991, presented several comedy plays, and in 1998, Mondial d'Impro Juste pour rire added performances in improvisation. The "Weekend des jumeaux'' followed, with its parade of twins of all ages and diverse programming, rallying young and old in high spirits. Films are also prominent during this month of comedy and laughter at the Festival des films Juste pour rire (formerly Comédia).
In addition, the festival presents various galas to honour early Québécois humorists and celebrate the careers of up-and-coming artists. Finally, Montréal's Juste pour rire museum opened its doors in 1993.
Reinvented year after year, yet always true to its original mission of comedy, Festival Juste pour rire now takes place in Nantes (2006), Toronto (Just for Laughs, 2007) Chicago and Edinburgh (2009). Since its inception, over 2 million spectators throughout the world have attended Festival Juste pour rire's more than 1,500 performances in sunlit streets on lovely July evenings - 1,300 of these performances free!