By Beeber, Al on January 24, 2020.
When her long-time friend and fellow Canadian comedian Dan Quinn asked her to join the Snowed In Comedy Tour roster, Debra DiGiovanni just couldn’t say no.
Now in its 12th year, the tour has snowballed from a few dates to a cross-country jaunt encompassing 70 shows in 63 Canadian communities.
“I was so grateful, ” said Ontario native and Los Angeles-based DiGiovanni, who will be known to Canadians not only for her TV specials but also for the old MuchMusic series “Video on Trial.”
“It started out with about five or six shows and has turned into this wonderful thing,” she said earlier this week in an interview from Whistler, B.C., where the tour was being staged for a couple of shows.
The Snowed In Comedy Tour hits the Yates Centre on Jan. 31. DiGiovanni is one of four comics who will be giving southern Albertans some much-needed laughs at the show.
Quinn asked her to join the tour for years, said DiGiovanni, and she relented three years ago, starting with 20 shows in 2018.
“It’s like a comedy camp, it’s got that kind of vibe,” she said about performing on the tour which also includes Quinn, Camrose native Paul Myrehaug and Pete Zedlacher. Other comics make guest appearances on the tour which won’t conclude until April 25 in Charlottetown, P.E.I.
The tour also hits the Esplanade in Medicine Hat on Feb. 25.
“It’s so much fun, it’s really a gift” to be on the tour, said DiGiovanni, who has starred in specials on both Netflix and Crave.
“I get to hang out with guys I like.”
The tour is being staged in smaller centres across the country where something like this may be a bigger deal than in metropolitan areas accustomed to major talent hitting the stage.
The tour is going “to little towns and cities I didn’t know existed,” she said, citing a couple.
“In the smaller cities, people are excited….they’re thrilled to see us.”
The comics are hitting small and larger venues alike including a pub in Whistler, soft-seat theatres like the Yates, a ski resort and even a military base at Cold Lake.
DiGiovanni relocated to the warm climes of southern California six years ago and “it’s been interesting to say the least. I feel it was a good decision for me. I have my green card but I won’t get citizenship; I’m Canadian for life.”
Her relocation was due in part because working in Canada “got a little easy.” She was well-known from her stand-up shows and television and “I didn’t want to be in that position” of being too comfortable.
“The change of scenery was really good. Starting over is really humbling and I love comedy now more than ever. And I’m grateful Canada still wants to listen to me.”
With only about 20 minutes to perform in each venue, comics on the Snowed In Tour keep their material fresh for both themselves and their audiences.
“The shows are different every time. People are guaranteed new material. We love it.”
Tickets for the 8 p.m. show at the Yates are $48 regular, $38 for seniors and $28 for students.
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