CentreFest fundraiser features comedy superstar

Roman Danylo, star of Comedy Inc. on CTV and The Comedy Network, will headline a cabaret style, adult only comedy show in Red Deer on March 18.

Proceeds from the event will support CentreFest – the City’s annual summer downtown street festival.

Randy Butler, who handles communications and events for the Downtown Business Association (DBA), said “Danylo is quite famous, he’s been on Just for Laughs and other comedy programs. He’ll partner with Red Deer’s own Neil Grahn, who stars on The Irrelevant Show on CBC Radio.

“Cabaret style means this is an 18-plus show, alcohol will be served, people will sit at tables and not in rows. Danylo does sketch comedy, he does stand-up and there’s going to be audience participation. We’re expecting a really great time.”

Danylo, who’s from Calgary but now lives in Vancouver, said, “I did one of my first improv shows in Red Deer many years ago and I remember driving there in an old car with no heat. I used a straw to blow warm air onto the windshield so I could see out. So I have fond memories of Red Deer.

“I know there’s a good theatre there but sometimes comics don’t get much respect. I’ve performed in places without lights or even a microphone. I once performed in a restaurant where they turned up the heat lamp on the buffet and said we’re ready, do your show.

“Neil Grahn (formerly part of an improv comedy group called Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie) and I are old friends so this show will be a blast, a mixture of improv and stand-up and with lots of audience participation,” he added. “It’s a live show, so you want a lot of audience participation, otherwise you might as well go to a movie.”

Meanwhile, CentreFest is set for July 29-31.

“It’s a new and creative way to raise some much needed funds,” said Laura Turner, executive director of the DBA.

“I know it will be a comedic success and I’m hoping it will be a financial success too. CentreFest is very successful, knock on wood, it’s always had fabulous weather and we have incredible acts from all over the world. I love that it’s on the street and we change things every year and expand on what works.”

There are only 120 tickets for the March 18 event, which will be held at the Scott Block.

They will be sold at $30 a pop and are available at Sunworks, Comforts the Sole and the Black Knight Inn ticket centre.