Yo Trieu had a five-year plan when he founded Fraser Valley Comedy (FVC) three years ago: get people laughing and coming back for more, develop credibility, and, once established, celebrate comedic victory with an epic festival.
“I was thinking it would take five years (to get there) in the back of my head,” said Trieu. But two years ahead of schedule, while celebrating their third anniversary, Trieu says FVC is ready to deliver a 10-day comedy festival in the fall.
“Now at three years I think we’re ready,” he said. “We’ve got the connections and the community support.”
And they’ve got Harry Doupe. Doupe, who’s performed at several FVC shows, is an award-winning stand-up comedian and co-founder of the YYComedy Festival in Calgary, which is the sixth-largest comedy festival in Canada.
After discussing the future of comedy in the Valley, Trieu says Doupe became instrumental in the FVC’s decision to host a comedy festival in 2018, and will be organizing the event.
“(This proves) we’ve grown. Our crowds have grown – we’ve left the dark ages and can see the light,” Trieu added with a laugh.
Started in the spring of 2015 at the Roadhouse Bar & Grill in Rosedale, one of the hardest challenges FVC has had to face in its three years is losing that venue.
“We lost that and had to scramble to find new venues,” said Trieu. “But we’re doing pretty good now.”
“(Yet) the Fraser Valley – from Langley to Hope – is still pretty untapped for comedy,” Trieu added. “And comedy is becoming more mainstream. It used to be guys talking about bad things, but it’s changing, and people are okay with that, (so) they’re coming (out to our shows).”
So with their ever-growing audiences in mind, and an impressive roster of comedians to draw from, Fraser Valley Comedy has planned a gut-busting, two-day comedy event in Hope and Chilliwack to celebrate three successful years of bringing laughter to the Fraser Valley.
Beginning on Friday, April 27, at 8 p.m., FVC will be hosting a comedy show at the Hope Local House - Silver Chalice Pub for those a bit further out in the Valley.
Headlined by Steve McGowan, and featuring Carl Turnbull, Trieu says the show is hosted by local comedic favourite Mike Honkawa and is sure to delight.
McGowan, who’s been doing stand-up for almost a decade, humours audiences with his wild, frat-boy-style of comedy that makes every show feel like a party. Following along, Turnbull will then crank the comedy up a notch with the dark and dirty style that’s created a buzz in the Vancouver comedy scene.
And while that’s going on in Hope, Trieu will be co-hosting a comedy competition with Sam Waddington at Chances Chilliwack.
With no cover fee, the competition relies on the audience to determine the winner as a dozen comedians battle each other to get the loudest round of applause. Whoever remains standing after the final round will not only win bragging rights, but a $250 grand prize.
But the fun doesn’t stop there, says Trieu. To wrap up the comedic celebrations, Fraser Valley Comedy will be putting on one final show at The Wellington Local House on April 28.
Hosted by Katrina Bennett and headlined by Sophie Buddle, this show also features appearances by Carl Turnbull, Ed Konyha, and Harry Doupe. The show starts at 8 p.m., and there’s a $20 cover at the door, which opens at 7:00.
“This is a big celebration,” said Trieu. “Most comedy (organizations) don’t last this long, so this is really great!”