Summer comedy festival announced with Russell Peters headlining

Russell Peters

Tourism Sault Ste. Marie just announced at the Machine Shop that a major summer festival in June is coming.

The WTF (Warning: Too Funny) comedy festival will be here in June from the 7th until the 9th.

The headlining act is award-winning Canadian comedian, Russell Peters, who will perform at the Essar Centre as part of his Deported World Tour.

The event will kick off with a luncheon at The Machine Shop to award Luba Goy the Dave Broadfoot Award for Canadian Comedic Genius, and K. Trevor Wilson the Roger Abbott Award for up and coming Canadian comedy talent.

The festival will also introduce some very unique experiences to the Sault Ste. Marie tourism industry, including late-night comedy shows at venues around town, a Variety Show, consisting of comedians, musicians, and other performers at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, an Interactive Comedy Stage for children and adults to try their hand at stand up comedy, school engagement programs offering comedic relief, and laughter yoga team-building exercises.

On June 9th, the festivities will take to the towering forests and scenic landscapes of Northern Ontario, aboard the Agawa Canyon Tour Train as a comedy murder mystery, Murder on the Agawa Express. This ride into the Canadian wilderness, a source of pride for many Saultites, will provide an intimate and gut-busting experience for passengers, who will take part in solving a crime on board the train in an interactive theatre production.

The team who put this event together include Tim Progosh, the Executive Producer, who came to know and love the Tourism Sault Ste. Marie staff at the Festivals & Events Ontario (FEO) annual conference hosted in the Sault last year, as well as Tim Murphy, Sponsorship Director and On-site producer.

When asked about the inspiration behind the production of this type of festival in Sault Ste. Marie, Progosh said they wanted to create “something different. Something unique. Something you can’t get anywhere else.”

The WTF Festival has potential to be an annual occurrence, Progosh explained.

Needless to say, this event will be the first of it’s kind in the Sault, and is sure to entertain and accommodate the Sault Ste. Marie community and draw in visitors from across Ontario as well.

Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, primarily Executive Director Ian McMillan, Sports Tourism and Events Manager Alana Kenopic, and their dedicated team, Alicia Brown, Lindsey Ackland, Jennifer King-Callon, and Tara Lucarelli, have been hard at work to bring this project to fruition since the FEO event last March.

With investments from private sectors Tourism Northern Ontario and others, the event had come to life without a single cost to tax-payers.

Mayor Provenzano applauded their hard work and encouraged the Sault community to “get out and support this event.”

For more information or to purchase tickets or packages, please visit, where you will find ticket bundles for the entire weekend at a discounted price, as well as the adorable, truly Canadian WTF mascot – a Moose Goose – created by Alicia Brown, Wade the 4th.


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