Sobriety being celebrated at Vancouver comedy club

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This is BC: Sobriety celebrated at Vancouver comedy club
A Vancouver man who has struggled with sobriety has come up with a unique way to help others. He has launched an alcohol-free comedy club for those recovering from addiction and the sober curious. Jay Durant has the story on This is BC – Mar 21, 2024

In a room where recovery meetings are held once a week, the idea to launch a much different type of comedy club was born.

“I wanted to create a space where those people could come and enjoy themselves without having to imbibe,” said Conor Levesque, founder of By The Hour Comedy.

Stocked with alcohol-free refreshments, the Well Studios venue is set for another showcase night at Vancouver’s City Centre Motor Hotel.

Levesque’s dreams of a career in entertainment were derailed at a young age because of drinking. Now three-and-a-half years sober, he is making a comeback.

“It really started to affect my relationships, my job, my housing,” Levesque said. “The beauty thing about sobriety is that those things still exist and you can take them back.”

This pop-up night spot, which has become a permanent weekly feature, is offering an alternative for people in recovery and the sober curious.

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“The nighttime is the hardest time for people often. It’s just somewhere to go to have fun where alcohol isn’t involved or drugs aren’t involved,” said Jon Hilderman, who’s helping Levesque with By The Hour Comedy.

And it’s a unique experience for veteran comedians, some of whom are on their own path of sobriety.

“I’ve been in standup for 25 years, but I’ve never heard of, or seen, a place dedicated to sober comedy,” professional comedian Damonde Tschritter said.

It’s been 10 years since Levesque has been on a stage. This is a huge step that he hopes inspires others, as he plans to take By The hour Comedy to even more audiences.

“We can open up events in Calgary or Victoria. We want to grow it outside of Vancouver,” Levesque said. “Vancouver has a huge recovery community and we have to be spearheading this movement and bringing it to other communities as well.”


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