Legendary comedian Don Burnstick says laughter is good medicine and will be sharing even more of those laughs across the country since being added to the Darren Ross Agency’s roster. He is touring in 2023 and hopes to enter the U.S. market soon.
“Don Burnstick is a legend in the comedy world and is by far one of the most well known among Indigenous people,” said Jace Martin, agency president. “Our agency seeks to help artists enter the mainstream and work together to bring more exposure to their work and develop strategies to put them in front of more diverse audiences. Don has a reach of more than 100,000 Followers and recently released a TikTok that garnered more than 400,000 views in only a few days.
“Don fits perfectly with the Darren Ross Agency as we cater to events all over North America and comedy is another form of entertainment needed as well as music. He is our first Comedy act to sign with the agency.”
Burnstick is Cree from the Alexander First Nation near Edmonton. The agency’s website says he is the youngest of 15 children and that coupled with growing up on the reserve, taught him a variety of coping mechanisms, one being his use of humour.
“I lived on the streets of Edmonton as an alcoholic and drug addict. In 1985, when I sobered up at 21, there were not too many 21-year-old males that were alcohol and drug free so I was asked to share my story,” the site reads.
His message speaks to a proud heritage, the importance of healing through humour and his continuing desire to leave a better world for future generations.
“Don is always writing new material and has worked hard throughout his 30-year career developing his material,” said Martin. “He is well known for Indigenous comedy but is proud to be expanding into more mainstream comedy and entertains more diverse audiences. He is definitely a family-oriented comedian who doesn’t swear in his act but engages the audience and makes his shows interactive. Don also holds wellness workshops across Canada.”
Martin told the Two Row Times this is his first opportunity to work with Burnstick, as president of the agency and now Burnstick’s manager. The team is strategizing to bring Burnstick into the U.S. market and expand his audience.
Martin said he wanted to bring Burnstick on board because he is a well known comedian and he felt Burnstick could bring a lot to the agency as far as work ethic and new ideas to help attract festivals, events and media.
“Our first event together is this Sunday, Jan. 22 at The Gathering Place by the Grand on Six Nations starting at 7 p.m.,” said Martin. “We will be shooting his first special with the agency titled, ‘Turtle Island’s King of Comedy, Don Burnstick LIVE from Six Nations.’”
Martin hopes to pitch the special to Netflix and other mainstream broadcasters.
The Darren Ross Agency is 100 per cent Indigenous owned and operated on Six Nations. Some of the current artists on the roster include JUNO Award winners Crystal Shawanda and Derek Miller, Guitar Magazine Top 50 Guitarist of All Time Stevie Salas and US Billboard Top 40 Recording Artist Jace Martin.
Visit darrenrossagency.com for more information on Burnstick and the rest of the agency’s lineup.