Stand-up comic returns to Victoria for laugh fest

Blue Bridge Comedy Fest features Kristeen von Hagen, Brent Butt and more

Kristeen von Hagen will return to her hometown Victoria for the Blue Bridge Comedy Fest.

Kristeen von Hagen’s first venture into the stand-up comedy  world was at a

club in Victoria in the mid-90s.


“It was terrifying. Everyone knew it was my first time so they were super kind and polite … but your first attempt at stand-up is always questionable at best,” she says, now 15-plus years into her career as a comedienne.

“I remember doing this thing about driving and being distracted – looking over and seeing people brush their teeth and playing with the radio. I don’t know if they were even jokes.”

And while von Hagen’s been away from Victoria – where she was born and raised – since 1996, she says returning to perform is always unnerving.

“My parents will come to at least one show, and my aunts and uncles. A long time ago I was performing at a club and two girls I’d gone to high school with were in the audience. … I feel the pressure’s on a bit more in Victoria,” she says.

Next week (Aug. 15 to 19), von Hagen joins a terrific lineup of comedians, including Brent Butt (of Corner Gas fame), for the Blue Bridge Comedy Festival.

“This is kind of my dream scenario,” says festival organizer Dan Quinn. He contacted all the best comedians he knew, they all said yes, and the Blue Bridge Comedy Fest was born.

“It’s going to be an amazing weekend of entertainment, to get to see all these top acts at once. If you’re a fan of comedy, you’re able to get a full fix of acts you might never get to see otherwise… or for way more money,” Quinn says.

In addition to von Hagen and Butt, Blue Bridge will feature shows from Mark Maron, Nikki Payne, Johnny Bagpipes, Sean Proudlove, Damonde Tschritter, Peter White, Paul Myrehaug and Rob Pue.

Von Hagen says her lengthy resumé of experience on stage has helped ease her mind from those first few shows in Victoria, Vancouver and Toronto.

“I no longer have that fear that I’m going to die or it’s going to be a nightmare. I remember a time where I would be phoning in for spots and I would be upset if I didn’t get a spot and I was horrified if I did, because I knew I would have to go do it,” she says.

Stand-up comedy remains an “old boys’ club,” she says, though she doesn’t understand why that is.

“There’s still a lot of people, men and women, who see a woman get on stage and get put off,” she says. “And periodically you hear, ‘there’s no funny women.’ That doesn’t make sense. You’ve never had a funny aunt or wife? Your girlfriend has never made you laugh? That, to me, seems insane.”


For more information on Blue Bridge, visit



Just Posted

At the age of 95, local bowler shows no signs of slowing down

Olive Olmsted has bowled for more than 55 years

Colwood wins Victoria Flower Count for a five-peat

The 43rd annual Flower Count had over three billion blossoms counted in total

Royal Bay junior boys bring back lacrosse banner

The Ravens sent three teams to the provincial championships

Langford fundraiser for kidney disease is a success

Maureen Hobbs thinks B.C. Transplant says it best: “Live life. Pass it on.”

Preschool group helps release fish into Glen Lake

The number of fish released correlates to the number of fish caught per year

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Some surprises in new book about B.C. labour movement

“On the Line” charts history of the union movement back to the 1800s

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women this weekend

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

B.C. cyclist races to first win of the season in New Zealand

Casey Brown captures Enduro title by more than two minutes at Crankworx Rotorua

Notorious Russian troll farm also took swipes at Canadian targets

Targets included oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

Canada earns second Paralympic Games silver in 20 years

Held 1-0 lead in para hockey game from 12:06 of first to dying seconds of third and lost in overtime

LETTERS: Two views of oil pipeline protests

U.S. and other petroleum-rich countries aren’t cutting production

Canadian Paralympic team picked up record 28 medals

The 55 athletes strong had set a cautious goal of 17 medals for PyeongChang

Most Read