Building a culture of comedy one joke at a time

Fraser Valley Comedy shows draw in talented comedians and eager crowds from across the Lower Mainland.

Yo Trieu (left)

Yo Trieu (left)

Fraser Valley Comedy is poised to celebrate a year of laughs at their anniversary show this Friday.

The local comedy group is operated by two local comics Yo Trieu and Cliff Prang, and they organize and take part in monthly shows around Chilliwack, creating a “comedy culture” close to home.

Trieu took the plunge and organized his first Fraser Valley Comedy gig in May, 2015.

“Why should I do comedy in Vancouver? It’s a long drive, gas is expensive. Why not start a scene in Chilliwack,” he’d been asking himself.

On a visit to the Rosedale Roadhouse Bar and Grill, he asked owner Hanne Vandenbrink what she thought about the idea of hosting comedy gigs at the bar.

She agreed to give it a shot. And on May 1 2015, the bar was packed. Vandenbrink admits that she was a little surprised, but with such an impressive turnout, she was excited to invite them back.

Trieu started promoting the Fraser Valley Comedy group online, continued to host monthly gigs in Rosedale with a growing number of comics, and was joined by Yarrow comedian and actor Cliff Prang.

“I had been driving into Vancouver for four to five minute spots [on stage],” Prang said. But the idea of local gigs, which would allow him to spend more time with his family, was too perfect to pass up.

Today, the Fraser Valley Comedy network includes many well-established and up-and-coming comedians from the valley, and just as many from Vancouver. While there are an array comedy venues downtown, the market is so over-saturated that comedians from the city are willing and eager to head out east for these opportunities.

This comedic duo have built up their reputation with packed gigs and stellar feedback from audiences and business owners alike, allowing them to secure regular gigs at Corky’s Irish Pub, Chances Chilliwack, Major League 2 and elsewhere.

They continuously mix-up the rotation of comedians, who are always ready to deliver fresh and hilarious jokes.

“And everyone in Chilliwack is hungry for comedy,” Prang said. “There’s no shortage of audiences.”

As Fraser Valley Comedy prepares to celebrate their one-year anniversary, they’re steadily improving the quality of their shows and the skills of their comics to ensure many more anniversaries to come.

An essential goal of the group is to create a sustainable culture of comedy in Chilliwack, one that could potentially host its own comedy festival in the near future.

Their anniversary comedy show takes place Friday May 6 at 8 p.m. at the Rosedale Roadhouse Bar and Grill (51277 Yale Rd. East).

Trieu and Prang are on the line-up with comedians San Aung, Harris Anderson, Margo Prentice, Ed Konyha, Mike Haire, and the headliner John Beuhler.

Beuhler has opened for Zach Galifianakis, Dennis Miller, Joan Rivers, Martin Short, Craig Ferguson and more, and has performed specials on Just For Laughs, CBC, CTV and The Comedy Network.

“He’s a beast,” Prang said. “He’s one of the top comics in Canada right now, and I’m very excited to share a stage with him.”

As a gift to the community for supporting Fraser Valley Comedy over the past year, the event is free to attend. Table reservations at 604-794-3389 are encouraged in advance.

Follow Fraser Valley Comedy on Facebook for event listings and share some laughs with friends close to home.