Comedy friendships integral to ‘Snowed in’ tour success

A group of friends headline the 11th annual version of the Snowed in Comedy Tour, which in the midst of a 65-stop run through nine Canadian provinces.

One of the quartet of comedians set to perform in Brandon on March 12 says the Snowed in Comedy Tour has changed his career.

Four comedians will perform at the 2019 Snowed in Comedy Tour at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium next week. The show has entered its 11th year and is considered one of the largest comedy tours. This year, the show runs through 65 cities across the country.

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Wawa, Ont.’s Pete Zedlacher is entering his fifth season as part of the tour. He says his participation has rejuvenated his passion for his profession.

“This tour has changed my life in a very real way,” Zedlacher said last Friday morning on his way to a show in Red Deer, Alta.

“I got to a point in my career where all I was doing was festival appearances for television and corporate work, and comedy had lost its excitement for me. Jumping onto this tour is like having to do a new half-hour of comedy every year, which is good. It’s a challenge I enjoy taking on.”

Zedlacher will be joined on stage by Vancouver, B.C.’s Dan Quinn and Erica Sigurdson along with Paul Myrehaug, who is originally from Camrose, Alta. Quinn is awinner at Montreal’s Just for Laughs Comedy Festival competition, while Myrehaug earned $25,000 at the Great Canadian Laugh Off in 2007 and won the Seattle International Comedy Competition the previous year.

Sigurdson, meanwhile, has appeared on CBC Radio’s The Debaters comedy show more than 40 times.

“We’re just four best friends getting together and having a blast for a few months,” said Zedlacher, the 2006 Canadian Comedy Award winner for best male stand-up. “The tour started about 11 years go and we’ve since become one of the biggest comedy tours in the country. It started with eight shows in the first year and I came in five years ago. Now we’re up to 65 shows through nine provinces.”

Although the performers basically stay the same – Debra DiGiovanni, Damonde Tschritter and Arj Barker are jumping in and out of the line-up during this year’s three-month tour – Zedlacher said each comedian starts every year with fresh material. He said it can be nerve-wracking to give up a “killer set” at the end of each tour, but provides new entertainment for audiences that are returning to the show on an annual basis.

“What’s interesting is we have people coming back again and again because we do a different show every year and people like our story,” he said. “We’re doing this without any corporate sponsorship or promotion behind us and we did it because we originally wanted to go snowboarding… People see us grow every year. We come back and crowds get our takes on the past year. That’s the theme; we get together and reflect on the year that was.”

Tickets to the Brandon stop of the Snowed in Comedy Tour are available through the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium’s website at www.wmca.ca.

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