FunnyFest kicks off May 29

The 14th annual FunnyFest comedy festival begins on Thursday May 29 with 70 comedians from across North America performing at 20 shows in Calgary over 11 days and nights. According to executive director Stu Hughes’ calculations that adds up to 11000 punchlines.

"We want Calgarians to embrace it because it’s their festival they own it" he says.

Hughes started the festival in an effort to promote mental and physical well-being through laughter and to show how serious subjects can be addressed using comedy. "That was the impetus behind this. We thought we could implement massive social change" he says.

The format for the festival includes four to six headliners per show and pairs up-and-comers with more seasoned comics. As a non-profit organization FunnyFest is primarily run by volunteers with proceeds going to various charities.

Two of the more well-known performers this year are Glen Foster known for his comedy special "That Canadian Guy" and multiple award-winner Tommy Savitt (pictured) known as "The Tommy Lama." Hughes says this year’s event also features more aboriginal comics and comprehensive standup and comedy seminars.

For schedule and ticket information visit funnyfest.com .