Oddblock Comedy Festival

Comedy Festival Not your average block party

Sam Jay performs at Oddblock 2016

Photo by Dwayne Larson

Keeping venues close together is important for the Oddblock Comedy Festival. 

“When the festival is in full swing and people are milling about, running from one venue to the next ... that’s the energy we want associated with the festival,” Kevin Mozdzen says. 

Mozdzen and John B Duff are the co-founders of the festival. Together, they organize diverse lineups of more than 50 performers.

The Oddblock Comedy Festival takes place Aug. 24 to 27 in venues that are mostly no more than a block from The Park Theatre. 

While tickets to the gala at the main venue cost $25, there are also events with no cover charge, which make them more accessible to the wide range of budgets in the community.

The emphasis on location is a reminder that the festival is part of the Osborne community, and that anyone participating is part of that. 

“The other important component to choosing a venue is having a business that is excited to be part of the festival,” Mozdzen says. 

It can be challenging to adapt a restaurant or community centre for a show, but when a business is willing to make it work, it adds to the positive, community-centred atmosphere of the festival.

While the organizers hold no gender quota, they find the festival to be much more interesting with diversity. The festival showcases sketch and stand-up comedians ranging from groups such as H.U.N.K.S to solo acts by LGBTQ+ comedians like Chantel Marostica. 

“If you don’t like comedy, there isn’t something for you,” Mozdzen says. But as Winnipeg’s only summertime comedy festival, Oddblock is a great bet for a good laugh.

WHEN Aug. 24 to 27

WHERE Various venues in South Osborne (Winnipeg)

$$$ Early bird V.I.P. pass $99 (subject to increase); Other events are free / ticketed

DON'T MISS The opening gala on Aug. 24 at The Park Theatre

WEBSITE oddblock.ca

Published in Volume 71, Number 27 of The Uniter (June 1, 2017)

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