Big laughs coming to Civic Centre

PORT HAWKESBURY: A Canadian comedy headliner is making a local appearance.

“I’ve driven through Port Hawkesbury many times when visiting friends in Cape Breton, but this will be the first time I do a show there,” said Gerry Dee, who’ll be performing at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre’s Bear Head Conference Centre. The show takes place July 3 at 7:30 p.m.

“Stand up is where it all started for me, and I’m really excited to get out to Cape Breton and do a date in Port Hawkesbury.”

Dee is best known as the centrepiece of the CBC sitcom Mr. D, now entering its eighth season. In 2013, Dee’s work on the series earned him the Canadian Screen Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Comedic Role.

Dee is also a bestselling author, with his “Teaching: It’s Harder Than It Looks” becoming a national bestseller in Canada.

“We’re absolutely delighted that he’d come to our venue,” said Paula Davis, the Director of Marketing, Recreation, Tourism and Culture for the town of Port Hawkesbury.

“If people are looking for a fun evening, he won’t disappoint for sure. Anyone who’s watched the Mr. D. Show knows how funny he is. His wit is very dry.”

Davis noted that Dee’s comedy is family friendly, and finding a comic who works clean can sometimes be difficult. She also noted that a good turn-out for the show will encourage other acts to come to town.

“The more people who come out and support events, the more artists will be interested,” she said.

Dee, who comes from Scarborough, Ontario, has connections to the local area, as he studied physical education at StFX and his wife comes from Glace Bay. Attending StFX is something he remembers fondly.

“The teachers there were great and I learned a lot from them when I embarked on my journey as a real teacher, and that led to the show and the stand-up, and the stories I have about teaching,” he said. “I had a great time at StFX.”

Dee, who usually doesn’t tour in the summer, has a number of big dates lined up before landing in Port Hawkesbury. He’s performing at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto and the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium in Halifax, in the run up to his local appearance. He has other dates in Moncton and Charlottetown as well.

He noted that shifting gears from acting on Mr. D to stand-up isn’t too taxing, as stand-up includes writing and performing as well.

Balancing acting, stand-up, book writing, and other projects is maybe his biggest challenge, which he says he handles by matching good time management skills with a compulsion to stay active.

“I’m always on the go, always busy, and I can’t let things sit too long – jugging a bunch of things is something I like,” he said.

Tickets are on sale at the Civic Centre box office, online www.phcivic.com or by calling 902-625-2591.

The event is supported by The Reporter, 1015 The Hawk, and Maritime Inn Port Hawkesbury.