Three days and 70 funny women later, the first annual SheDot Festival wrapped up with a hilarious gala, hosted by Trish Stratus. In one of the city's most historic performing venue's, Trish warmed up the crowd at the Opera House. She seemed a perfect fit bringing stories of her past work with the show's headliners through The Second City. Calling herself a pseudo-alum, she called Naomi Snieckus her 'funny girl mentor' and chatted about her time as host of The Second City's Next Comedy Legend with Elvira Kurt.
The first act featured Naomi Snieckus and Carolyn Taylor and their improv act AUNT JOAN. From The National Theatre of the World, this opener had the crowd hot and ready for more! Next up was CORY!, comprised of Second City Mainstage alums and multiple Canadian Comedy Award winners Lauren Ash and Leslie Seiler who reunited to perform for the gala. After Trish showed off her penchant of puns, she introduced the 'inCORYgible' duo of Lauren and Leslie who's act had the crowd laughing non-stop right up until their last set which had Lauren Ash butt naked – because naked is funny. Sandra Battaglini should have been warned that a 7-time champ doesn't back down from a challenge. And after asking if Trish could do move to her, the host did some hoisting and carried Sandra off the stage. She of course returned to kill her set. Finally, Trish welcomed 'the main event' Elvira Kurt who wrapped up the gala, sending the guests off in stitches.
The evening was a true celebration of the femmes of funny. The profits of the evening went towards the Jo-Anna Downey Fund, a woman who is in part responsible for Toronto's vibrant comedy community. Hopefully, this is the first of many more years of the SheDot Festival, the festival of funny women.