More than two decades ago, Frank Gregus and Maurice Hamilton set out on a venture as amateur home winemakers. Their cottage industry flourished into Pacific Breeze Winery in 2005, and since their first professional release in March 2007, their family-owned garagiste—or "garage winery"—has hauled in more than 50 international medals, including Intervin's "Best Winery of the Year" award in 2010. From grape to barrel, barrel to bottle, and bottle to kiddie pool, Pacific Breeze Winery's lavishes meticulous attention to each small-lot, handcrafted product. This diligence infuses every sip of robust reds and elegant whites, each of which begins its journey at premium vineyards across North America.
The Global ComedyFest corrals some of the best and brightest comedians on the international circuit into Vancouver for a marathon of laughs, fun, and moderately uncomfortable first dates. Big names such as zany former MTV staple Tom Green perform alongside up-and-comers in more than 30 performances throughout the festival. Eschew the everyday monodimensional comedy with a combination stand-up and comedy 3-D video show featuring Canada's own Reza Peyk, Jy Harris, and Gary Fong, or opt for a night of “it’s funny because it’s true” laughs at the Gerry Dee show. The Edge of the Fest performance pushes the festival’s edgiest artists to the limits of social acceptability, while the Best of the Fest showcases top comedians such as Greg Behrendt and Peter Chao.
An evening at The Giggle Dam begins as a typical night out, until a zany cast member delivers your appetizer. That's because the theatre treats the dinner and performance portions of its shows as one and the same; rather than only using printed menus, the cast sings the dinner selections to the audience, and rather than postponing the entertainment, the entrée delivery is part of the show. Every plate of the four-course meal—which features rotating dishes such as roast beef and gravy, salmon, and vegetarian pasta—is crafted by award-winning chef Pieter Van Meenen, who incorporates seasonal ingredients and fresh techniques in each of his inventive creations. As the audience dines, the actors float around the room and converse with every table while hamming it up with their impressions and gags.
Once the actors are familiar with the audience members' names, hometowns, and shampoo preferences, they hit the stage and engage the audience in an outrageous and politically incorrect original musical comedy show accompanied by an eight-piece band. Every performance is a Giggle Dam original written by the members of the diverse cast who all bring something different to the table, whether it's singing in musical theatre, touring with a rock band, or performing in burlesque shows. The Giggle Dam cast pulls from these experiences to create shows full of laughs, music, and willing audience participation. To keep things fresh, the company swaps out the shows four times a year, premiering a new display every three months to feature more vibrant characters, catchy songs, and side-splitting laughs.
Fighting Chance Productions has been praised by the Vancouver Sun and Vancouver Courier for engaging its audiences with a diverse and dynamic playbill. As artistic director and founder of the nonprofit company, Ryan Mooney has amassed an enchanting ensemble to woo theatregoers in the 2011–2012 season with renditions of classics such as The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Charles Dickens's final, unfinished novel, and the sultry musical Sweet Charity, the melodious tale of a dancer-for-hire's attempts to conceal her profession from her bashful betrothed. Patrons can savour the quirky comedy and emotional candour of an all-male troupe performance of Jon Maran's The Temperamentals, a play about the first LGBT organization in the United States and the love affair between its founding members. The farcical woes of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum will resonate with viewers also grappling with the plight of mistaken identities and low-thread-count togas in the same historic Jericho Arts Centre in which Cathy Wilmot exhibits one-woman wizardry channelling the reclusive estrangement of socialites Edith Beale and Little Edie Beale in the production of Grey Gardens.
Vancouver TheatreSports League mingles the adrenaline rush of athletic events with the dramatic drollery of improv comedy to produce sidesplitting shows that are crafted on the spot for 60 minutes of audience-integrated outlandishness. Audience earthlings yell out suggestions as the multitalented improvisers ignite games and challenge themselves to bring laughter to your tears. Scared Scriptless's comedic members cultivate the genre's most admired styles while pushing envelopes into feral territory previously only trekked by wild yard gnomes and hyena nightmares.