Just For Laughs COO stays Montreal Based
Just For Laughs COO stays on – Bell Media and Groupe CH today announced the completion of an agreement to join ICM Partners, one of the world’s largest talent agencies, and Howie Mandel in the acquisition of Groupe Juste pour rire, the comedy enterprise that produces the world’s largest comedy festival in Montréal and numerous TV and live productions in Québec, across Canada, and around the world.
Just For Laughs remains a Montréal-based company backed by two key industry players: leading broadcaster and content creation company Bell Media and Groupe CH, which owns premier promoters and festival organizers evenko and L’Équipe Spectra, alongside the Montreal Canadiens Hockey Club, the Bell Centre, and other high-profile Montréal properties.
This year’s Just For Laughs festival and French-language counterpart Festival Juste pour rire take place in Montréal from July 14 to July 29.
Terms of the transaction will not be disclosed.
“Just For Laughs is truly thrilled with this arrangement between our dream team of supporters,” said Bruce Hills, COO, Just For Laughs. “Bell Media, Groupe CH, Howie Mandel, and ICM each bring a different skill set, and each is investing the time and other resources to ensure a bright future for the unique Just For Laughs experience.”
“Just For Laughs is world-renowned as home to the funniest original content on any platform, featuring the best established talent in comedy alongside the rising stars of the future,” said Gerry Frappier, President, French-language TV and RDS, Bell Media. “As Canada’s leading content creation company, Bell Media looks forward to amplifying Just For Laughs via our broadcast and digital services, and is excited about working with ICM and Groupe CH to support the growth of Just For Laughs in Montréal, across Canada, and around the world.”
“We’re very pleased to partner with Bell Media, Howie Mandel, and ICM on Just For Laughs,” said Geoff Molson, CEO of Groupe CH. “Together, our mission will be to ensure the continuation of a great cultural event for Montréal, one that puts Montréal in the international spotlight. We look forward to applying our experience to help further the success of the Just For Laughs festivals and artists into the future.”
“Our goal from the outset was to find on the ground strategic partners who understand and appreciate both the 36-year history and deep cultural resonance that Juste pour rire/Just For Laughs has in Montréal and Québec,” said Chris Silbermann, Managing Director, ICM Partners. “In Bell Media and Groupe CH we have found the perfect combination of best-in-class partners to help us build the festival locally and expand it nationally in Canada, digitally, and internationally. Along with our partner Howie Mandel, we are so excited to collectively roll up our sleeves and take the world’s largest, best, and most-respected comedy festival to new heights.”