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Series of costly losses in 2023 contributed to Just for Laughs insolvency: report


A report filed in Quebec Superior Court details the reasons behind the financial troubles that led the parent company of the Just for Laughs comedy festivals to cancel its flagship event and seek protection from its creditors.

The Thursday court filing from an insolvency trustee shows Groupe Juste pour rire inc. posted a net loss of more $7.9 million in the first 10 months of 2023.

Among the factors the trustee says tanked its revenue was a March comedy festival in London that led to a loss of around $800,000 after ticket sales fell short of expectations.

Groupe Juste pour rire also lost about $2 million on the 2023 edition of the Montreal Just for Laughs festival, which the trustee says the company knowingly staged at a loss in an attempt to match the scale of the one held before the COVID-19 pandemic.

A production of the musical comedy "Hair" was another costly enterprise.

The trustee says changes to YouTube and Facebook video monetization rules, and the TVA Groupe's decision not to purchase the 24th season of the company's prank comedy television show "Gags," also reduced revenue.

- This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 16, 2024. Top Stories

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