No laughing matter: Canadian standup comedians demand more respect
After 33 years, the comedy album of the year category is making its return to the Junos this weekend.
It’s a small win in an ongoing battle for Canadian comedians to be fully recognized as artists, which also ties in with their efforts to have access to government funding.
The Canadian Association of Stand-up Comedians (CASC) was formed in 2017. The group is lobbying to have the Canada Arts Council’s definition of performance arts changed to include standup comedy.
Right now, standup comedians are unable to receive funding under the council’s grant programming, which amounted to $144.8 million in 2016.
Sandra Battaglini is a comedian and one of the people behind CASC. She wrote an open letter to Justin Trudeau last year calling on him to take action.
Battaglini talked to Day 6 host Brent Bambury about the continued efforts by comedians to be taken seriously by the government, and why it’s so hard for them to get across the border.