Canadian comedians lament loss of Vancouver comedy club
'People are here to listen to what you have to say'
A Vancouver comedian says an era of laughs is coming to a close as one of the city's most well-known comedy clubs leaves its location in the Century Plaza Hotel and Spa on Burrard Street.
The Comedy Mix, one of only three commercial comedy clubs in Metro Vancouver, is closing its doors April 27.
"It's always been a beloved place for many of us," said Ed Hill, a stand-up comedian who has played the club several times. "It's a great venue downtown."
The club opened in 2003, and since then has become a hub for comedians, be they first time laugh-earners or veterans. Hill said the venue's set up evokes an intimate feeling that always made material "feel fresh."
"It really brings the energy back into the love of comedy, for me personally."
The club's general manager, Kelly Nielson, said the venue is closing down because the lease is expiring, but he had few other details.
"We're not 100 per cent sure why," said Nielson. "We only got two-months notice."
Now, Nielson is scrambling to find a new location to move the club to. He said he is hopeful a new venue will become available soon.
"There's also a lot of development in this area, which complicates things."
Comedy clubs have a unique dynamic in the world of live entertainment, said Hill. Comedians require immediate feedback — laughter, or the lack thereof — from their audience in order to do their job well, he said, and venues like The Comedy Mix are designed with that in mind.
"It's kind of a hush-hush feel, like a speakeasy. People are here to listen to what you have to say, and respond immediately to what you say," said Hill.
Hill isn't alone in his sadness over the loss of The Comedy Mix. Various comedians who have played the stage have weighed in on social media expressing their condolences.
On this stage for the final time, with a pack of other comics, to say goodbye to <a href="https://twitter.com/theComedyMIX?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheComedyMix</a>. This fantastic, iconic Vancouver club is shutting down after this weekend’s shows. (Hopefully to open in a new location). <a href="https://t.co/tCT35g6B3F">pic.twitter.com/tCT35g6B3F</a>—@BrentButt
Famed Canadian comedian Brent Butt called the venue "fantastic" and "iconic."
With files from On the Coast