Comedy in Kelowna
Comedy in Kelowna. Ok lets start this column with a little K-town comedy history. You really can't talk about comedy in Kelowna without starting with Herb Dixon. He's been doing comedy throughout the valley and North America for over 32 years and it was the Snickers Comedy Club in the Sandman that was the home to our first comedy show in Kelowna. Started in 1988 the club really got going by 1993 when it moved to two shows each weekend hosted by a guest or Herb Dixon. The show would eventually wind down in 2003 as Herb got busier on the road it made it tough to ensure the quality of the local show was up to the standards he wanted to see.
Before the Snickers Comedy Club wrapped up there was also a large effort in 2000 and 2001 to found a Comedy Festival in the summer. From what I could tell the first year went really well with over 6000 attendees reported. Unfortunately even the $50K from the City of Kelowna (over two years) didn't help ensure that the Festival lasted beyond its second year. Whether it was the wrong time of year or just bad luck I can't find much info on the reasons for its cancellation but now that a decade has passed perhaps its time to take another look at the Comedy Festival concept in Kelowna. What do you think?
Rob Balsdon might have two of the most fun jobs ever
More than four years later Train Wreck Comedy is going strong and hosts monthly shows at O'Flannigans and Lake City Casino. I caught up with Rob Balsdon to talk about all things related to comedy in Kelowna.
The next show at Lake City Casino's (Friday, March 28th) is most likely sold out so here is the info on next month shows
In chatting with Herb Dixon about this story it was interesting to hear him talk about some of his first times working with Rob. I'll refer to it as that invisible moment where the "torch was passed" but that's just my twist on the tale. Herb was inviited to open a big show with Norm McDonald in Kelowna but he had to turn down the opportunity. He suggested that they instead hire one of Kelowna's newer acts, Rob Balsdon. The rest is history.
One of my favorite ideas that Rob worked on last year alongside Keynote productions was the Halloween Howler at the Kelowna Communtiy Theatre. From what I hear its back on for 2014 so its great to see the appetite for the art of comedy in Kelowna grow. So is it maybe time that Kelowna take another look at the concept of a Comedy Festival? Do we have what it takes to make it successful?
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