The Improv Centre is a comedy club that runs shows and classes on Granville Island. It hosts theatresports-style performances and other events.
As of early 2023, the venue runs shows on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and most Sundays.
To learn about what’s showing see The Improv Centre‘s website or our article about What’s Showing at The Improv Centre. To learn about the venue in general, including its shows, continue reading.
Vancouver’s Improv Centre Comedy Club
The Improv Centre is a highly-acclaimed Vancouver-based improv comedy company. Throughout the year they run a variety of shows and classes, from family-friendly comedy to adults-only to seasonal classics.
Founded in 1980, Vancouver TheatreSports first resided in the Back Alley Theatre. Throughout the years it has consistently drawn large crowds and now has its own theatre, The Improv Centre on Granville Island.
The Improv Centre has won multiple International Improv Comedy Awards as well as starred in several television specials. They run a dozen or so shows a week, 52 weeks a year. In good years they entertain more than 60,000 people annually.
Improv Centre Location
Located at 1502 Duranleau Street, The Improv Centre is on Granville Island by False Creek in downtown Vancouver. The theatre is near the entrance to Granville Island not far from the Kids’ Market and Granville Island Brewing.
Note: Pay parking is in effect throughout Granville Island between 11 am and 6 pm. That’s okay though as most shows at The Improv Centre take place in the evening, so when parking is free.
For tickets and full details about the venue, see The Improv Centre‘s website.
What’s Showing at The Improv Centre?
The Improv Centre usually offers live theatre most evenings of the week and features holiday-themed shows at Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween, Christmas and other special seasonal occasions.
2023 Lineup at The Improv Centre
The Improv Centre was closed for quite some time during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it officially reopened in 2022 and is open again this year. The following are shows scheduled as of March 2023:
Special Feature Shows
- International Women’s Night – a celebration of International Women’s Day takes place at The Improv Centre on March 8th in 2023. The 90-minute show starts at 7:30 pm and tickets cost as low as $22 each.
- Ladies Against Humanity – local female-identifying performers put on a show inspired by Cards Against Humanity. The special starts at 7:30 pm on March 15th this year. General admission is about $23.50.
- Oil in the Alley & TheatreSports – a two-part special on Saturday, March 18th. The show begins at 9:30 pm and continues for about 90 minutes. The first half features two teams of comedians competing for laughs, while the second half is a unique music act by Oil in the Alley. Tickets cost as low as $25.
- Date Night – a 90-minute show celebrating dating, relationships and more on the last two Wednesdays of March at 7:30 pm. Tickets appear to start at $27.
Regular On-Going Shows
- Friday Jr. – a fast-paced show that takes place on Thursdays with accessible pricing and Happy Hour drinks. The shows start at 7:30 pm and run for 90 minutes.
- Stand Up at The Improv – stand-up comedy by both Canadian and international headliners on one Sunday each month at 7:30 pm. Tickets start at about $22.75.
- House Teams Showcase – a 90-minute show featuring various fast-paced styles of live improv. It takes place on select Sunday evenings at 7:30 pm. Admission starts at about $8.50 per person.
- TheatreSports – two teams of improv specialists compete in entertaining matches on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Shows begin at 7:30 pm and run for 90 minutes each. Tickets start at about $25 each.
For tickets and full details about the venue, see The Improv Centre‘s website.
Other Typical Shows
There are usually no shows on Mondays, and shows on Tuesdays are only during peak seasons. Feature shows usually run for a limited time and have a seasonal theme (like for Christmas or Valentine’s Day). When there is no feature show then there is usually an extra performance of Classic TheatreSports instead.
For more information about the venue, see The Improv Centre‘s website.
Shows at The Improv Centre are usually very affordable.
As of early 2023, tickets for The Improv Centre shows range from about $8 to $25 per person. The cheapest tickets are for shows with accessible pricing, whereas the most expensive shows are typically for shows with a seasonal theme.
For more information about the venue visit The Improv Centre‘s website.
What Is Improv?
Improv, or improvisational theatre, is a form of live theatre that is unscripted and unplanned. Most often improv is done in the comedy genre.
In a typical improv show a team (or teams) of actors do short skits. They are given scenes to play out (sometimes with input provided randomly by the crowd) and the actors have to perform on the spot. It’s typically very funny and not infrequently involves singing and audience participation.
On different days and times of the year the shows have different themes. There are Christmas-themed shows in December, nights with dating and romance themes around Valentine’s Day, and skits about mothers and mothers-in-law around Mother’s Day.
Things to Know About the Shows
Below is some useful information to help you make the most out of your experience at The Improv Centre on Granville Island.
- You can purchase tickets can for performances either online or at the venue.
- When arriving for a show, The Improv Centre recommends going early, around 30 minutes before show time. Don’t arrive late or you won’t be allowed in (at least not until the intermission).
- Shows that are 90 minutes in length have an intermission. During that time latecomers can generally get in. Performances with a duration of an hour or less, however, do not have intermissions.
- The same as with cinemas and other live theatre venues, attendees must turn off their phones during performances. Also, neither photos nor video recordings are permitted. You can, however, take photos before and after each show as well as during the intermission.
- Food and beverages are available for purchase and can be consumed in the theatre during the show. Outside food and drinks, however, are not permitted.
- As some of the content is more for mature audiences, viewer discretion is recommended. Check the age rating of each show before booking tickets for the whole family.
- The Improv Centre is wheelchair accessible. As accessible seating is limited, however, guests are advised to contact the Box Office at least a full day before a show and the booking of tickets.
To learn more about the venue click The Improv Centre.
The Improv Comedy Institute
In addition to their theatre shows, The Improv Centre also runs improv classes through their Improv Comedy Institute. There are classes for every acting skill level from beginner to advanced.
In 2023 there are Drop-In Workshops every Saturday from 3:30 to 5:30 pm. The workshops are for anyone wanting to learn the basics of improvisation. There are also Community Jam sessions on the last Saturday of every month, which is when anyone can get on stage for free.
The Improv Centre runs improv classes and workshops for businesses as well. They also do improv for events and produce over 150 custom shows for corporations and other organizations every year.
For more details about the venue and its shows see The Improv Centre website.
For an idea of what to expect at special holiday season-themed performances, see our article about Valentine’s Shows at The Improv Centre.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver Improv Centre Shows
- Lower Mainland Festivals & Events
- Vancouver Shows & Entertainment Calendar
- Vancouver Theatres and Theatre Companies
- Granville Island