Vancouver Comedy and Arts Fest February 7-17, 2013

Margaret Cho photo by Lindsey Byrnes

Vancouver’s annual comedy festival has brought some of the biggest names in the game to our fair city: Steve Martin. Carol Burnett. Betty White. And the next installation of the festival will be no different, except it will have a new name: Vancouver Comedy and Arts Fest.

Artistic director Will Davis says the name change “coincides with new focus on increasing an experience festival, rather than a string of venues festival.” In other words, he wanted it to be more like Bonnaroo or Bumbershoot, where the focus is on a variety of acts, rather than one specific medium.

“We liked the concept of getting outside of our niche and expanding,” says Davis. “This time there will be bands, DJs, parties and clubs that will fit under the umbrella, which will be lead by a great brand of comedy.”

While the entire festival’s lineup will be announced over the next few weeks, four big shows were revealed today.

  • The Professor Blastoff podcast will have a live taping at the Playhouse at 7 p.m..  The show is hosted by Tig Nataro, who’s had an astonishing year after becoming gravely ill with a virus, losing her mother and then discovering she had breast cancer. She’s made it through and is performing at an all time high, so this is one show that shouldn’t be missed.
  • Reggie Watts will play the Vancouver Playhouse on Friday, February 8th at 9:30 p.m.. There’s no real accurate way to describe Watts, except to say that he’s unlike anything else you’ve ever experienced. Part performance art, part comedy act, part live concert, no two shows are alike.
  • Comedy Bang Bang, hosted by Scott Aukerman, will also be at the Playhouse on Saturday, February 9th. When this show passed through Vancouver last August, its line up was kept a secret until the last minute. But the wait was worth it, as crowds were delighted to sets by Sarah Silverman, Patton Oswalt and Tim Heidecker. The bill will be a secret until the show starts, but it’s guardenteed to be big so get your tickets pronto.
  • Margaret Cho will be performing her current touring act, Mother. The comedy superstar, who’s particularly known for lovingly imitating her immigrant parents, will close out the festival on February 16th at The Centre.

For more information on the Vancouver Comedy and Arts Fest, visit

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