Comedy in Victoria, BC

I like to complain about not being in Melbourne. I miss that city – its buildings, its festivals, and most of all its comedians. But Victoria, BC hosts quite a number of comedy events year-round. Here is a hopefully-comprehensive list. Have I missed anything?

Hecklers

Hecklers Bar & Grill plays host to Victoria’s longest-running stand-up night in Victoria (as far as I’m aware). On Friday and Saturday nights stand-up comedians (mostly, if not all, Canadian) perform. Shows are at 9pm and cost $10. Call them to reserve.

Hecklers also hosts an amateur comedy night every second Sunday(ish). Check out their Facebook page for more information.

Ratfish

Upstairs Lounge Ramada Victoria Hotel, every second Wednesday 8:oo-9:30pm. No cover.

Ratfish is a fairly new comedy night. It’s run by Mark Robertson, and started last November. Lineups feature amateur comedians, plus headliners like Wes Borg, and Jason Lamb from The Zone.

Phillips Comedy Night

Second Sunday of the month at the Victoria Event Centre. Doors at 7:30pm, show at 8pm. $10/8.

“Stand-up. Sketch. Music. Videos. Improv. If it’s funny we’ve got it at Phillips Comedy Night.” Used to be Run by Wes Borg. Now run by Paul McKinnon. According to their Facebook page, this night has been around since 2008.

Atomic Vaudeville

Next show: Emperor Jimbo presents Sweet Treats. March 10-19. Doors at 7:30pm, show at 8pm. Victoria Event Centre. $20/15

Atomic Vaudeville is THE Victoria cabaret troupe. They’ve been around since 2004, and have performed over 50 episodes of their crazy, messy, frenetic, hilarious cabarets. Featuring many of Victoria’s top performers, AV just keeps going. And that’s a good thing.

Sin City

Tuesday nights at 8pm (no show April 5); finale on June 21. Victoria Event Centre. $12/10

Sin City is a live improvised soap opera. It premiered this February, and follows a cast of characters through 20 episodes. Taking place in 1984, “this season will feature the hi-jinks, foibles and shenanigans of a wealthy family whose fortune was built on the invention of typewriter-ribbon – and soon faces peril amid intrigue, lust, and betrayal.” Episodes are accompanied by a live, improvised musical score. Newcomers can read program notes if they’ve missed episodes.

The Showdown

Third Sunday of every month. Victoria Event Centre.

The Showdown pits seven performers against each other, for a prize of $100! “Created by improviser and storyteller Dave Morris, The Showdown is hosted by Victoria’s own Rod Peter Jr and features performers from all artistic pursuits: stand-up comedians, musicians, actors, poets, storytellers, dancers, M.C.s, improvisers, you name it we have it!” This night’s been going strong since 2009.

Underground Comedy Fort

An evening of amateur stand-up, March 15 at the Fort Street Cafe. Doors at 7:30pm, show starts at 8:30pm. $5

As far as I know, this is just a one-off event, but maybe it will become regular if it’s successful. Organized by Wes Lord. Lineup is on the Facebook event page.

Vic Slam

Third Thursday of the month. Cabin 12. Doors at 7:30pm. $5

Slam poetry isn’t technically comedy, but it can be pretty darned funny. Victoria’s slam poets are mindblowingly talented. If you’ve never been to a slam, you absolutely should.

Impromaniacs

Final show: April 28. Intrepid Theatre Club.

The Impromaniacs have been around for 21 years, and 2011 marks the end for them. They will do one final show on April 28 “featuring a mix of music, poetry, improv (of all flavours) from friends/alumni/local performers.”

Canadian Improv Games: Vancouver Island

The Improv Games season is over for now, but will start up again around November and run until February. You can check out their website or Facebook group for more info.

Stump Ranch Comedy

Run by Kevin Banner. An occasional comedy night in Sooke.

Felicita’s

Felicita’s pub at UVic often has amateur stand-up nights. Nothing at the moment though…

Loading Ready Run

They’re not stand-up and they’re not live… but you don’t have to leave your house to see them. Loading Ready Run are Victoria’s own Internet comedy troupe.

No Way Yes Way

Some of the second years in Applied Communication at Camosun have just started their own production company, and are putting out funny skits every week. Check em out!

**Let me know if I’ve missed anything!**

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About whoseroses

Rose is an arts administrator from Victoria, BC. She has worked at some of Canada's biggest and best festivals, including the Victoria Fringe Festival, Just for Laughs in Montreal, the Winnipeg Folk Festival, and the Victoria Film Festival. She co-founded the Winnipeg Spoken Word Festival, and helps produce the Victoria Spoken Word Festival. Rose is a graduate of Camosun College's Applied Communication Program, and is passionate about theatre, spoken word, comedy, and her community. She runs on festivals.
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6 Responses to Comedy in Victoria, BC

  1. chas_m says:

    Thank you VERY VERY MUCH for listing (I believe) every ongoing comedy event in town! And most of them are even worthwhile! 🙂

  2. wes borg says:

    Uh… I think I still run Phillips Comedy Night… unless I’ve been fired and no one told me… which is I guess possible.

  3. Many thanks for mentioning PHILLIPS COMEDY NIGHT
    (and many of the other comedy shows held at the fabulous
    Victoria Event Centre) on your blog – HOWEVER, for the record,
    WES BORG is still the Host/Producer/Head Honcho of Phillips
    Comedy Night, NOT Paul McKinnon. I should know.
    You may have got this impression because I do a lot of the promo
    for PCN, and other Victoria Event Shows. Please correct this
    error as soon as you can, because Wes is pissed, and you don’t
    want to get a guy like that mad – trust me.
    Many thanks for supporting comedy in Victoria.
    Hope to see you at the Phillips show this Sunday (March 13 8pm).
    Cheers,
    – Paul McKinnon
    Promotions
    Victoria Event Centre.

    • whoseroses says:

      Ack apologies! Thanks for clearing that up, Wes and Paul. I got confused with Dave handing over the Showdown reins, and somehow decided Wes had done the same. Fixed now.

  4. chas_m says:

    Yeah, Rose, please do come up and say hi to us gnarly comic types if you come out to the March 13th show! I’m sure Wes will only beat you up a little, the rest of us are very grateful.

  5. Ken Unger says:

    Can anyone help me ? I am looking for a comedian for a fundraiser in Victoria May 4 th.

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