The Canadian Comedy Awards Festival was founded by the Canadian Comedy Foundation for Excellence, a not-for-profit organization. A third entity, the Canadian Comedy Association, has been created and is also under this umbrella, providing a mechanism for national voting and awarding of "The Beavers" each year. The organizations and the team behind them share a common goal: to celebrate and grow Canadian comedic talent.
It all began in the year 2000 with the 1st Annual Canadian Comedy Awards in Toronto, hosted by Dave Thomas. Tim Progosh brought together the first advisory board to create a national awards focused on comedy. They set the mandate, "To recognize and celebrate Canadian achievements in comedy at home and abroad."
In 2003, the Canadian Comedy Foundation For Excellence was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation to turn the awards show into a 3-day festival. It made sense - all the top five nominees in sketch, stand-up and improv in one place at one time!
Canada is renowned for producing the best comedy performers, directors and writers in the world and the Canadian Comedy Awards Festival has become the event to salute and showcase the best of the year. The Festival acknowledges a definitive group of Canadian artists by presenting "The Beaver" to the best in: Live, Film, Television, Radio and Internet categories. It is a unique vehicle to salute Canadian artistic excellence.
The Canadian Comedy Awards Festival attracts more than 130 Canadian artists who come together for performances, workshops, seminars, awards, special presentations, networking... and to have a big party.
1st Annual Canadian Comedy Awards at the Masonic Temple in Toronto with host Dave Thomas
2nd Annual Canadian Comedy Awards at The Guverment in Toronto with hosts Pat McKenna and Sheila McCarthy
3rd Annual Canadian Comedy Awards at The Docks in Toronto with host Brent Butt
- Festival moves to London for 5 years. A not-for-profit foundation is created to grow the Festival
- 4th Annual Awards with host The Royal Canadian Air Farce
- 5th Annual Awards with host Scott Thompson
- 6th Annual Awards with host Rocco The Puppet
- 7th Annual Awards with host Deb DiGiovanni
- 8th Annual Awards with host Ryan Belleville
- CCFE implements a nationwide volunteer committee system to allow comedy professionals total input on all aspects – awards criteria, marketing, programming and communications.
- CCFE produces a successful event in Regina stabilizing the Foundation and gaining valuable skills.
- 9th Annual Awards with host Alan Park
- Festival moves to Saint John, NB; it's a tremendous success
- 10th Annual Awards with host Sean Cullen
- The CCFE produces the 11th Canadian Comedy Awards and Festival in Toronto - 38 shows in 5 days in 6 venues, attracting a who's who of Canadian comedy. The programming and production committee coordinates our largest program ever.
- Awards Host : Dave Foley
The awards were televised in 2000 and 2001. The 2001 Awards show received a Gemini nomination for writing. In 2007, two variety specials were aired on The Comedy Network (TCN). In 2008, TCN aired Best of the Fest Special, hosted by Gerry Dee. In 2009, TCN aired Best of the Fest Special from Regina hosted by Shaun Majumder. In 2010, TCN aired the 10th Anniversary special, hosted by Samantha Bee and Jason Jones.