This June, the annual Banff World Media Festival will be taking place in Banff, Alberta, Canada. Each year, the festival shines a spotlight on some of the best creative minds from across the entertainment industry, giving awards to the most distinguished among them. One such award is the Sir Peter Ustinov Comedy Award, which is granted each year to a comedian who has shown quality and class throughout their career. The inaugural award in the category was given in 1993 to the late John Candy, and recipients of the award since include Bob Newhart, Martin Short, Kelsey Grammer, John Cleese, Ricky Gervais and Chuck Lorre, to name a few. As of today, you can add another name to that list: Russell Peters.
— Banff Media Festival (@BanffMedia) May 18, 2016
On Wednesday, the officials at BANFF announced that Peters would receive the nod in recognition of his over 20-year career, which has seen the comic find great success both on stage and on screen. On top of the award, Peters will deliver a master class to festival attendees, detailing the ups and downs of his career, from his open mic days in Toronto to his writing and shooting his first special.
Peters’ career has been nothing short of wildly successful for nearly ten years now. The comic was self-financing, distributing, and in some cases producing his own comedy DVD’s as early as 2008, which featured footage from huge shows at venues like Madison Square Garden’s WAMU Theater and London’s O2 Arena, an act few other comics could follow. He wrote and produced the first-ever Netflix-exclusive comedy special, Notorious, which kicked off a trend that has given comedy fans everywhere hours of entertainment from comics like Jim Norton, Tom Segura, Bill Burr, and countless others. His crossover power is strong as well, as he co-starred in Jon Favreau’s well-received film Chef, and is also providing his voice for the new, sure-to-be-huge CGI reboot of the classic children’s film The Jungle Book.
The Banff World Media Festival will take place from June 12th – 15th at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Peters will accept his award at The Rockie Awards Gala on June 14th at 7:00 p.m, and will deliver his master class presentation on June 15th at 2:30 p.m.