One Day in St. John’s: Comedian Mark Harnett

The co-star of The Canoe Project on where to dine in St. John’s, NL

Photo of Mark Harnett by Laura Ellen

Despite being a self-professed late bloomer into the world of comedy, St. John’s-based actor Mark Harnett has more than made up for any lost time in the past few years with a multitude of memorable performances at the Hubcap Comedy Festival, the Newfoundland Comedy Festival, and Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Clubs across the country.

More recently, Harnett has been garnering recognition as the creator and co-star of the Indigenous-focused Fibe TV1 comedy series, The Canoe Project. The short-form series follows Harnett—an Inuit man—and co-star Jimmy MacKinley—a slimy Newfoundland government official—as they move from a small community into the big city of St. John’s.

“The Canoe Project is an idea I had five years ago based on my experience growing up in a community of less than four hundred people and moving to St. John’s,” Harnett explains. “It’s about the stereotypes I encountered during that process, but isn't intended to belittle or degrade anyone. It’s intended to entertain and show that we can all have a laugh no matter what our heritage."

We recently had the opportunity to chat with Harnett, who took some time to dish on his favourite food and drink spots in and around St. John's, N.L. 



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Bagel Cafe on Duckworth Street in St. John’s. They prepare generous portions of toast, ham, fried baloney, sausages and eggs the way you want…but the toutons, or flummies as they are known in Labrador (fried bread dough), are the biggest and best, [especially when] smothered in molasses or maple syrup!


The Jigger in Bay Bulls, N.L. When waiting to go on a boat tour to see puffins and hopefully whales, The Jigger has the best lunch at good value. I go for their seafood chowder and fish and chips, but my kids love the chicken fingers, poutine, and hot sandwiches as well.


Big R Restaurant on Blackmarsh Road. Big R is always amazing no matter if it’s Jiggs Dinner, burger platters, seafood, and fresh homemade baked goods—this place never fails when you are away from your own kitchen.


Yellowbelly Brewery on the corner of Water and George Street. They brew their own craft beers and it’s in a historic building. It just has the best atmosphere and drinks for a Canoe to fill up on, and the menu is awesome as well.

All of these places come with the friendliest servers as well, which is as great as the food and beverages they serve!