Just for Laughs Cancels 2024 Festival, Files for Creditor Protection

The annual Montreal fest, as well as its Toronto iteration, are both not happening this year

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Mar 5, 2024

The 2024 edition of the Just for Laughs comedy festival has been cancelled as its parent company aims to avoid insolvency.

UPDATE (3/7, 12:15 p.m. ET): The company has since clarified that, beyond its original Montreal event, the Toronto iteration of the fest has also been cancelled for this year. The Vancouver edition took place last month.

Multiple outlets report that festival owners Groupe Juste pour rire inc. are seeking creditor protection as the company begins formal restructuring under Canada's Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

"Unfortunately, the 2024 edition of the Just for Laughs Festival will not take place, at least not at the same time and in the same form as it customarily has," reads a statement from the company. "Once the restructuring is completed, we hope that the festival will take place in 2025."

The company blames a "very difficult financial situation given the significant changes in our business landscape," which led their board of directors "to the conclusion that the financial situation of the organization left no other choice than to initiate formal restructuring proceedings."

"The global pandemic forced us to effectively cease operations for two years, with significantly reduced revenue, while carrying nearly all of the associated overhead costs," the statement reads. "The pandemic was followed by the inflationary times we continue to experience, meaning our cost structure increased appreciably, exerting unprecedented financial strains."

The company does plan to maintain operations "albeit in a scaled-down format" during restructuring, per the statement.

Founded in 1983, Just for Laughs is the largest international comedy festival in the world. It is held annually each July in Montreal.

Latest Coverage