Meet the Funny Folks of Vancouver’s Little Mountain Gallery

Anyone who’s been inside this Riley Park hole-in-the-wall remembers the experience.

March 27, 2019

By Nathan Caddell / Photo: Adam Blasberg

You probably wouldn’t glance twice if you walked by the little hole in the wall just off Main and 26th, but anyone who’s been inside Little Mountain Gallery remembers the experience. That certainly goes for the numerous stand-ups, improvisers and students who ply their trade and hone their craft at this offbeat comedy venue.

To them, the space (which consists of a bar, two washrooms, a small stage and room for about 60 chairs) has become something of a second home.

Pictured left to right:

“I just recently got nervous. I had some loved ones come see me perform, and I’m not from here originally so I was nervous, and it’s fun to feel nervous. It was exciting; the show went great. But there were stakes because it was like, ‘Oh, I’m only going to see these people once a year.’”—Ross Dauk, host of stand-up comedy show Jokes Please!

“We did a show on my birthday called Blockbuster World, which was a whole high-concept narrative of us telling a story of what it would be like if our friend were the heiress to the Blockbuster empire: she created this virtual reality where people could go in and experience their favourite TV shows, movies and video games.”—Carla Mah, half of sketch duo Carmelahhh and member of Nasty Women Comedy

“The more I came here, I just wanted to be here more. And when I started doing stand-up, I would always want to do shows here. So when it came time for me to produce a show, this was the place it had to be.”—Matty Vu, stand-up and co-host of Bloodfeud: Stand-Up vs. Improv

“The worst part about teaching is probably realizing that I’m basically just showing everyone how to take my job. I’m constantly giving away secrets and ultimately ruining my future by encouraging a new generation to come and be better than me, and younger than me, and tighter and skinnier and fresher.”—Caitlin Howden, co-director of comedy school Blind Tiger and improviser with the Sunday Service

“We used to perform at a doughnut shop for our improv, and we decided that it was just more fun having it at a place where people knew there was supposed to be comedy there instead of walking in and being like, ‘Why is this happening?’ They didn’t hate it, but they’d go, ‘Uh, why?’”—Graeme Achurch, co-producer of sketch show Soda Fountain

“You’re onstage in the scene but you’re also thinking about what’s coming next, and if the scene has been going on for too long, and then if you’re doing a duo show here, you’re also running the whole venue. So you’re hosting the night, you’re onstage the whole time, and then you’re printing off the liquor license and everything.”—Allie Entwistle, half of comedy duo Brunch and member of Nasty Women Comedy

“I think Vancouver gets a bad rap for being a place where it’s hard to meet people. So it was nice knowing that I could come to a place that felt like a community. And that community has just grown larger and larger.”—Christine Bortolin, member of Little Mountain Improv

“It’s nice to be onstage and be able to play characters that may identify one way or another, and it’s nice to have  freedom to do that. Often when we’re with other groups, we just kind of get forced into hetero relationships, or if it’s a gay relationship, it’s kind of named that, and it’s different. So it’s nice to do scenes where it’s not that.”—Jill Lockley, producer of Uncle Janes, an LGBTQ+ show

“People definitely get used to playing with other people, just being with them for a long period of time, but the improv community is probably the most positive and open community I’ve ever been a part of. They will actively welcome newcomers; they’ll actively welcome anyone.”—Gary Lim, student at Blind Tiger Comedy


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