The economic impact results are in for the 2018 WTF Comedy Festival. And they’re Wonderfully Terrifically Fantastic.
All joking aside, the event attracted just under 500 visitors from across Ontario and the U.S. Held June 7 to 9, it also generated more than $84,000 of direct visitor spending for the local economy, along with thousands of more dollars in spinoff and indirect commercial activity.
WTF, a.k.a. Way Too Funny, a.k.a. Warning: Too Funny, was established by Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, a division of the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation. The organization’s goal was to develop a major event to attract visitors before the start of the busy Agawa Canyon Tour Train season. Mission: accomplished.
“The economic impact and visitor spending generated by the WTF Festival was significant but, also important, the event provided some top-notch entertainment for local residents,” said Alana Kenopic, Manager of Sports Tourism & Special Events for Tourism Sault Ste. Marie. “We’re happy with the results and are already planning for next year’s festival, which will have new elements and fun for the whole family.”
WTF 2018 featured a number of components, including a Russell Peters headline show at the now-named GFL Memorial Gardens, Variety Show at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, the Dave Broadfoot Awards luncheon at the Machine Shop, late-night shows at Soo Blaster and the Canadian Night Club, Murder on the Agawa Express comedy murder mystery aboard the Agawa Canyon Tour Train, and a laughter yoga session at Sault College. Total attendance at all the events combined was 3,735.
Meanwhile, information on the yet-to-be-themed 2019 WTF Festival will be available in the coming months at www.wtffestival.ca.