Making people laugh to lend a hand : HAHAHAÏTI
Louise Richer, Director of Montréal’s École nationale de l’humour (ENH), in partnership with the Haitian government, launched an inspired and unifying initiative to fill Place des Arts’ Théâtre Maisonneuve for a gala benefit. This event would raise money to finance the implementation of a training program in Haiti.
To help raise funds, the gala included a show featuring comedians from both Haiti and Québec—an outstanding success, creating an opportunity for the Francophone and Creole communities of North America to get to know something about each other’s culture. Many laughs were had and much money was raised for a good cause.
It’s commonly known that cultural expression is important and, in some circumstances, essential. Culture and humour are always good for you, of course, but become more important in places like Haiti, where the population continues to struggle after the major earthquake. Comedy writing and performance play a big role in society, enabling people to express their emotions and their identity, as well as regain their pride. The project spokesperson, Dany Laferrière, was front and centre that night, helping to celebrate cultural diversity.
Also of note, ENH celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2013. In that time, ENH has helped almost 500 comedy writers and performers explore their talents!