COMMUNITY comedy in Geraldton has been rescued by a generous donation from the City of Greater Geraldton. As part of its Artist Opportunities program, local comedy group The Comedy Emporium will receive a $3,000 cash injection to help continue to run free community comedy writing workshops and entertainment evenings.
“I am so overwhelmed and moved that the kind people at CGG and the Queens Park Theatre recognize the importance of what we are trying to achieve,” The Comedy Emporium director Julian Canny said. “We have a mandate to invest in the local entertainment industry. We are trying to create something that belongs to the people of Geraldton. We want to provide shows for Geraldton, by Geraldton people.”
Free weekly comedy writing workshops have been a major part of developing local talent, with the group growing from one person to a team of five. The Comedy Emporium has only been operating for four months, and in that time has brought happiness and laughter to more than 400 people. They plan to bring this number up to 1000 by the end of the year.
“Without the support of the City of Greater Geraldton and the Queens Park Theatre we simply would not be where we are today,” Canny says. “They have been integral to our successes and have been there every step of the way, and this funding will mean we can strive to achieve even more for the Geraldton community.”
City of Greater Geraldton mayor Ian Carpenter said, “Our community loves comedy as demonstrated by attendance of QPT’s comedy shows. The Comedy Emporium’s project will engage with a broad range of community members and build local capacity in comedy. This will enable QPT to showcase more local performers, and enable local performers to tour regionally, nationally and internationally.”
Canny’s passion for comedy is obvious, his community mindset driving his work. The Comedy Emporium’s first goal was always to get the Mid West region involved and invested in making the region a happier and better place.
“Laughter is an amazing gift,” Canny says. “We are so honoured that people believe in what we are doing. One of our big dreams is to put Geraldton comedy right up there as a major part of the Australian comedy scene.”
With the uniqueness of The Comedy Emporium shows, this goal is not so far away. Already the Emporium team has extended their region, with a hugely successful sold-out show in Dongara in July, to add to two sold-out shows in Geraldton.
To keep this momentum, the Emporium team has recently announced YouTube-famous John Robertson’s live stage adaptation of The Dark Room on October 9 at the Queens Park Theatre.
“With so many amazing projects we need the community of Geraldton to get behind what we are doing and support our shows,” Canny says. “We try to keep our ticket prices as low as possible to make The Comedy Emporium accessible to everyone. Hopefully this means we get to make more people laugh, and make the Mid West a bit of a brighter place.”
The CGG Artist Opportunities Program provides successful applicants the opportunity to undertake arts projects for the creative enrichment of the community. This aligns with our community’s vision for vibrant arts and culture, as identified through the 2029 and Beyond and Creative Community planning processes.