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The Guardian interviews Sam McDonald

Local stand-up comedian Sam MacDonald is shown outside the Churchill Arms Pub where he hosts trivia Tuesday evenings. - Tony Davis

Sam MacDonald cares about the comedy community and sees a major problem.

In Canada, comedians are not considered artists. This leaves them unable to apply for the same grants and working agreements other creators have access to.

The P.E.I.-based comedian hopes to change that. He is the ambassador of the Canadian Association of Stand-Up Comedians (CASC) for P.E.I. and has launched a petition.

“Since comedians don’t have arts funding, we are fighting each other for scraps,” MacDonald said.

Every second Monday, MacDonald hosts a local all comedy open mic at Baba’s Lounge, encouraging other Island residents to give comedy a shot.

“So many people find it surprising when they learn Canadians comics aren’t considered artists. They always bring up ‘Just for Laughs’ comedy in Quebec.”

“Just for Laughs” brings in foreign talent from the United States, MacDonald said

“It’s easy for Americans to come here and perform, but it can cost a Canadian performer upwards of $10,000 to try and go tour in the U.S. Currently, I’m paying out of pocket for every show. It’s not uncommon that after a show I am in the hole.”

Read the full article by  on The Guardian.

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