Just for Laughs to expand with new financing

U.S., Middle East, Australia showcases set

TORONTO -- Montreal's Just for Laughs comedy festival has received a CAN$10 million ($8.1 million) cash injection from the Quebec Solidarity Fund to launch comedy showcases in the U.S., the Middle East and Australia with local talent.

The financing deal follows the launch by JFL parent Gestion Juste pour rire Inc. of comedy festivals in Toronto and Nantes, France. Another five-day comedy festival is set to bow in Chicago in June, in partnership with TBS.

The Chicago festival will act as the Montreal-based group's flagship U.S. comedy festival.

The equity financing from the CAN$7.3 billion ($5.9 billion) Quebec investment fund aims to help market the Just for Laughs brand internationally so that new comedy festivals can be launched with local partners.

Alongside its comedy festivals, Just for Laughs-branded TV series air in 125 markets internationally.