BIG Winter Classic was born out of an idea to celebrate Calgary year-round, not just in the fleeting summer months. Arts, music local beer and YOU collide!
If you don’t know me, my name is Victoria Banner and I am somewhat of a comedy evangelist. I am literally obsessed with putting comedy shows in places there are no comedy shows. Stashed away in my ADHD hoarding drawers are calendars filled with a decade of coffeeshop meetings to pitch my lofty dream shows to my ideal dream spaces. (A cursed bridezilla tasked to plan eternal comedy weddings). April 1st 2022 is my Mount Everest summit of curating comedy. I have the absolute privilege of organizing the first ever comedy stage for the BIG Winter Classic Music Festival in downtown Calgary (part of the larger Chinook Blast festival programming).
My obsession with putting comedy in music festivals began in the summer of 2015 when I saw an all-star line up of comedians perform at the Pemberton Music festival. There’s an urban legend among comedians that music crowds aren’t into comedy but the 2015 Pemberton show absolutely shattered that myth- and I’ve made my career piggybacking comedy on to music ever since. The key to it all? Programming! Music crowds need someone who understands both music and comedy, someone who can pick out genres and themes in both artforms and pair the fans appropriately. I have the unique vantage point of being a comedy scene-queen, an accomplished promoter, a published concert reviewer and the proud owner of a record collection that should have been a down payment. I can promise: if you like BIG Winter Classic Bands, you will like BIG Winter Classic Comedy.
This is our first year doing comedy at BIG (we had a mad scramble to move the dates and venues thanks to our old pal covid). Even with the date shuffle the line-up f***ing slaps and I can’t wait to share it with you. Its my dream to grow the comedy portion of the festival to make it a night that people look forward to all year– just as much as fans look forward to the festival itself. But we need you ~Palgary~ to start your festival-ing a little early on Friday April 1st as our timeslot is 5:30 at Inner City Brewing. 5:30 you say?? Is that the best time to sit down, watch comedy and order dinner to get a base layer in before turning up all night watching Starcrawler? IT IS THE BEST TIME TO SIT DOWN, WATCH COMEDY & ORDER DINNER TO GET A BASE LAYER IN BEFORE WATCHING STARCRAWLER. Aaaaaaand if I happen to knock the comedy line up out of the park and you see the most unique, refreshing & cool comedy show of your life… please report back to BIG Winter Classic by spending the rest of the festival shouting repeatedly in to the scene ether that you would like to see us do it again next year!
There will be day passes and tickets at the door too- Show Starts 5:30 at Inner City Brewing & goes til 7:15 so drop by even if you work late (who works late on Friday? Leave work at 3pm, tell them Victoria said you could, when they say “who’s Victoria?” let them know she’s a comedian who’s obsessed with doing comedy shows at music stuff).
PEEP WHO’S ON THE SHOW:
Spencer Streichart– Spencer Streichert is a Métis Comedian/Actor from Calgary, AB. His dark, self-deprecating storytelling has appealed to audiences coast to coast, and has translated well world-wide onto his self-released albums Winning by Default (2016) & Loser by Choice (2019). In 2018 Spencer was nominated for a Canadian Comedy Award, and has since appeared on Inside Jokes 640 am in Toronto, written for The Comedy Tribune, was named one of the Breakout stars in 2020 by the Calgary Herald, and produces a popular local comedy show at The Tea House every Thursday
Karla Marx– Karla Marx, the First Comrade of Your Heart, puts the Mao in LMAO! She’s no decadent capitalist queen – she’s a Glamour Comrade: a hardcore Socialist revolutionary … of love. With a sharp tongue and even sharper nails, she will always leave you wanting more, more, MOAR. Catch Karla Marx, Calgary’s Draglesque superstar proves there’s nothing she can’t do with a rare yet powerful stand-up comedy set.
Siobhan Cooney– Tearing it up in the stand-up comedy world as well as every other skill she tries her hand at, Siobhan is a polymath force to be reckoned with. Siobhan is the Co-Founder and Festival Director of the Quarantine International Film Festival, and a Co-Founder of Prairie Kitten Productions – a production company based out of Calgary, focusing on bringing opportunity to women in film in Alberta, as well as the founder and executive producer for her own independent film company, Virescent Cinema, which focuses on environmentally friendly film production.
Chris Gordon– With 2.3 Million views on YouTube, Chris’ style of comedy has been described as “very unusual (as usual) and very funny… it’s what really sets him apart from the pack”. He is seen as clean, current, hip, inventive, and edgy, which gives him an improvisational feel and a strong connection with the crowd. Offering fresh perspectives woven seamlessly with absurd observations, Chris always delivers a dynamic interactive experience that is hilarious and unforgettable.
Charles Haycock– A fiercely unique comedian, Charles Haycock offers up a quirky playful style that makes the crowd WANT to listen. Charles has appeared on TV tapings for the 2018 Winnipeg Comedy Festival and the 2017 Halifax Comedy Festival. He has appeared at Nextfest 2015 and the 2015 Global Visions Film Festival. (He also happens to be a world class yo-yo performer).
Resnauv– When comedy comedy was being pitched to BIG Winter Classic Festival Director Adrian Urlacher, he shared a vision of BIG Winter Classic Music Festival having top musical talent and magical, memorable, disruptive art moments. I got him a singing raccoon that takes audience suggestions and turns them in to incredible improvised songs. Live from Twitch, taking audience suggestions right form our Calgary crowd, its the one and only virtual comedy superstar: Resnauv