Diversity & Inclusion

Blind Tiger Comedy is committed to reducing the barriers to participation in our comedy classes, and to making those classes as safe/brave as possible. The better we can create spaces where more folks are welcome, the more welcome those folks will feel, and the more those spaces will be welcoming.

Our work in these directions takes a few different forms, from proactively creating space in classes for folks, to building policies and practices that support fun, safer classes and shows, and hosting jams and training events that foster learning and growth for our community as a whole.

Through programs like our Welcome initiatives and inclusion events we have seen a noticeable change in the demographics of our comedy community, and we know there is a great deal of work remaining to contribute to Vancouver’s comedy stages better reflecting their communities.

We welcome your feedback on all our inclusion and safer spaces programming at classes@blindtigercomedy.ca. Thanks for your time and interest in Blind Tiger Comedy!

JUMP TO:

DIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIP
FINANCIAL AID SCHOLARSHIP
FREE CLASSES & JAM SHOWS
ANTI-HARASSMENT POLICY
COMEDY CLASS GUIDELINES
ANONYMOUS HARASSMENT FORM & THIRD PARTY CONTACT

Diversity in Improv Comedy

Diversity Scholarship

Blind Tiger Comedy (BTC) is dedicated to increasing the representation of people of different ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations and abilities into Blind Tiger Comedy’s classes, shows, and the Vancouver comedy community as a whole.

BTC’s Diversity Scholarship is available to people of colour, members of the LGBTQ2+ community, and people who identify as disabled and/or as people living with a disability. The details of this scholarship are subject to change as we learn and receive feedback about this programming.

Who | What | How

Blind Tiger Comedy is committed to make space in all classes available to scholarship students. Historically the majority of these spots are diversity scholarships with some (around 20%) being financial aid scholarships. Wherever possible, we seek to find ways to get scholarship applicants into classes.

The BTC Diversity Scholarship is not explicitly need-based, though we ask that applicants be mindful of their need when considering applying so that the scholarships may be given to those who might not otherwise be able to take classes at Blind Tiger Comedy. In the cases where students are able to pay a partial scholarship, the rest of that scholarship is passed on to another applicant in that class or another class.

BTC would like to acknowledge that some of the spaces they teach are lacking in terms of accessibility. We are actively seeking to address this but given the difficulty finding space in the city it’s also important to acknowledge we do not currently predict a quick solution to this challenge.

Applying

We have endeavoured to make the application process as light as possible, however there is no way around needing some information from applicants. Thus, to apply, we ask that you fill out this five-question application.

Applicants will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis, with the exception of those applying who have already received a scholarship. Preference will be given to new students, therefore students who have received a scholarship and are applying again (welcome back!) will be contacted closer to when the semester begins.

Applicants will be contacted by the General Manager and/or Assistant General Manager of Blind Tiger Comedy within three business days of their application (often quicker).

Full classes, re-applying, and busy times

In some instances, the class an applicant is looking for may be full. We will always seek to find you another spot in a similar class in that current semester. However, if no space is available, you will need to fill out the application form again when the next semester is announced.

While we would prefer to avoid ever needing to fill out even a short form to receive a scholarship, this has unfortunately become a necessary step to help keep things fair and transparent. If you have received a scholarship in a previous semester, you will need to fill out the application again each subsequent semester.

One last admin note: when a new semester has just been announced, it can sometimes take us a little longer than the three-business days timeline to reply to each applicant. The same is true for all students, not just scholarship applicants. As long as you have filled out the application, we will get to your request in the order it was received (and it won’t be too too long, either).

Above all: thank you for reading, applying, and sharing your energy with us at Blind Tiger Comedy!

Blind Tiger Comedy would like to acknowledge the work of other great theatres and communities have done developing programming like this, and specifically some of the language used in our programming, particularly HUGE Theater, Bad Dog Theatre, and Rapid Fire Theatre.

THE BLIND TIGER COMEDY FINANCIAL AID SCHOLARSHIP

Blind Tiger Comedy is committed to reducing barriers for anyone who wants to try comedy. The BTC Financial Aid Scholarship is available to students for whom cost is a barrier to participating in a comedy class.

Blind Tiger Comedy is committed to make space in all classes available to scholarship students. Historically the majority of these spots are diversity scholarships with some (around 20%) being financial aid scholarships. Wherever possible, we seek to find ways to get scholarship applicants into classes.

Who | What | How

We have endeavoured to make the application process as light as possible, however there is no way around needing some information from applicants. Thus, to apply, we ask that you fill out this five-question form.

We ask that applicants be mindful of their need when considering applying so that the scholarships may be given to those who might not otherwise be able to take classes at Blind Tiger Comedy. In the cases where students are able to pay a partial scholarship, the rest of that scholarship is passed on to another applicant in that class or another class.

We get that applying for financial aid can be stressful. We’ve tried to keep the application as short and unintrusive as possible. Every member of the Blind Tiger Comedy team has experienced significant financial need, and that’s why this scholarship is important to us.

Applicants will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis, with the exception of those applying who have already received a scholarship. Preference will be given to new students, therefore students who have received a scholarship and are applying again (welcome back!) will be contacted closer to when the semester begins.

Applicants will be contacted by the General Manager of Blind Tiger Comedy within three business days of their application (often quicker).

Full classes, re-applying, and busy times

In some instances, the class an applicant is looking for may be full. We will always seek to find you another spot in a similar class in that current semester. However, if no space is available, you will need to fill out the application form again when the next semester is announced.

While we would prefer to avoid ever needing to fill out even a short form to receive a scholarship, this has unfortunately become a necessary step to help keep things fair and transparent. If you have received a scholarship in a previous semester, you will need to fill out the application again each subsequent semester.

One last admin note: when a new semester has just been announced, it can sometimes take us a little longer than the three-business days timeline to reply to each applicant. The same is true for all students, not just scholarship applicants. As long as you have filled out the application, we will get to your request in the order it was received (and it won’t be too too long, either).

Above all: thank you for reading, applying, and sharing your energy with us at Blind Tiger Comedy!

FREE CLASSES & JAM SHOWS

Blind Tiger hosts free classes for the general public every semester. They’re great, they’re fun, and we advertise them in the free classes section of our classes page

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee programs other free classes and Jam Shows that are for particular communities who might be interested in identity-specific classes or events. 

An Example Night

The format is ever-evolving, but an example night (in this case, for LGBTQIA+ folks) who identify as looks like this:

6pm – Sparkling waters and timbits are served! Come chat with your fellow comedians.

6:15-7:15pm – The Free Improv Class for LGBTQIA+ Folks! – This one-hour improv class is open to all LGBTQIA+ folks. Beginners are very welcome, as are more seasoned improvisers! Members of the public are not invited to this part of the night.

7:30-8:30pm – The LGBTQIA+ Jam Show – this chill performance opportunity is for LGBTQIA+ improvisers of all levels to play hosted by the faculty member who led the night’s free class! The public is very welcome to watch!

-Come at 7:15pm to sign up for the Jam, just so we know you’re interested!

THE ANTI-HARASSMENT POLICY

The Blind Tiger Comedy Anti-Harassment Policy is central to our entire operation at Blind Tiger Comedy. All students are required to sign it, we review it every year, and it governs how we respond to issues that may arise in classes, shows or special events. It is important that everyone we work with reviews it and feels comfortable using the reporting procedures that are outlined in it.

Together with our Comedy Class Guidelines (below), this is the foundation of our approach to creating classes and shows that are as safe as possible.

THE COMEDY CLASS GUIDELINES

The Comedy Class Guidelines offer students and teachers a pragmatic outline of the values and practices you can expect at all our classes and shows. This document is also there for incoming students to understand a bit more what a class is like and whether classes at BTC are right for you! To quote the CCGs themselves: “if these guidelines feel too strong, Blind Tiger Comedy may not be the comedy training option for you.”

Together with our Anti-Harassment Policy (above), this is the foundation of our approach to creating classes and shows that are as safe as possible.

ANONYMOUS HARASSMENT FORM & THIRD PARTY CONTACT

If you are part of the Blind Tiger Comedy community, and would like to use our anonymous harassment form, click here. Note that the form does not disclose your name, but that anything written in the form will be read by Artistic Director Tom Hill, Consulting Director Caitlin Howden, and/or Sasha Mark, special projects manager and faculty at Blind Tiger Comedy.

If you are not comfortable sharing concerns with those folks, we have a third-party contact available to share concerns with. Her name is Beth Dart and she can be reached at bdart@catchthekeys.ca. Beth is paid to respond to these concerns but is not part of Blind Tiger Comedy in any other capacity and does not live in Vancouver.

OUR VENUES

We are grateful to be training, performing and making jokes on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the territories of the x?m??kw?y??m (Musqueam), Skwxwu?7mesh (Squamish), and S?l?i?lw?ta?/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

We are seeking to make our venue information more helpful to folks looking to understand if the spaces we work in are accessible to them. We welcome your feedback on any of the listings below to classes@blindtigercomedy.ca.

More detail on each venue:

China Cloud Studios
Carousel Studios
Green Thumb Theatre
Russian Hall
Ukrainian Community Society of Ivan Franko (Richmond)
Inspire Arts Academy (Surrey)

China Cloud Studios

China Cloud Studios is our flagship venue, where all our shows and many of our classes take place. We are only one of the groups that access China Cloud. You might also meet DJs, musicians heading in for a recording, painters, wood turners, or other creative miscreants.

Address & Map – 524 Main Street, Vancouver BC google map

Wayfinding – China Cloud Studios is on the east side of Main Street, between Pender and Keefer. Look for the black door with the cloud on it. The street numbers are above the door. For a detailed (and fun) introduction to finding the space, see our Instagram series introducing China Cloud.

Transit Numerous bus routes pass through the area, including the 3, 8, 19 and 20. It is a 15-20 minute walk to the millenium line SkyTrain, Main Street Science World stop.

Parking Limited street parking is available the residential areas southeast of China Cloud.

The physical space

China Cloud Theatre has limited accessibility due to a steep staircase at the entrance and tight doorways and bathrooms.

Main space:

  • The stairs leading up to the venue consists of 31 steps, half way up up the steps is a small landing. 
  • Within the performance space there is a step up to the stage (24cm) and a step down to the wings of the stage.
  • The venue’s bar is 107 cm tall

Bathrooms:

  • Door width: 79cm
  • Width: 156cm
  •  Actual bathroom clearance: 108cm
  • Length: 188cm
  • Door opens inwards
  • All bathrooms within the venue are single-occupant, gender-neutral.

Carousel Studios is a beautiful set of three studios situated on Granville Island. Carousel Theatre is a theatre that creates and produces children’s theatre productions and runs classes for children. When we are there, it is more often other adults around – fellow renters doing things like dance class, theatre rehearsals, or producing full performances in the main space.

Address & Map – 1411 Cartwright Street, Granville Island, Vancouver BC google map – note that googling the address will lead to the back door of the venue. Using the link here will lead you to the front door.

Wayfinding – The entrance to Carousel Studios is directly across the street from the Children’s Market, just east of Granville Island Brewing. Enter from the Cartwright Street side of the building, near the large set of floor to ceiling windows. You may need to wait outside (covered) for your teacher to let you in and lead you to the studio you are working in.  For a detailed (and fun) introduction to finding the space, see our Instagram series introducing Carousel.

Transit Accessing Granville Island via transit can be a little quirky. The 24 bus runs near the entrance of the island, and any bus (the 9, the 99, the 16, many more) will run within a 15-minute walk). The island can also be accessed dramatically from the water via ferry. There are two companies running ferries, False Creek Ferries and Aquabus.

Parking Parking is free all over the island at night. During the day, pay parking is available around the island. Give extra time during the day on weekends, the island is a popular place for wandering tourists!

The physical space

  • The front entrances is flush to the ground with a manual door. The theatre has two wheelchair accessible rehearsal rooms, Studio A & C.
  • Studio B is located up one flight of stairs. There are 19 steps to access Studio B. Studio B also has an adjoining waiting room area, for people needing a quiet and calmer space.
  • Carousel has two bathrooms located on the ground floor designed for folks using wheelchairs.
  • All bathrooms within the venue are single-occupant, gender-neutral.

Green Thumb Theatre Studios

Green Thumb Theatre is a lovely children’s theatre company situated in southeast Vancouver (Renfrew-Collingwood area). We rent their two studios and they are two of the nicest spaces we regularly hold classes in. Amongst other things, we love how accessible they are. 

Address & Map – 5560 McKinnon Street, Vancouver BC google map

Wayfinding – Green Thumb has two buildings that are off the same parking lot. You are looking for the Studios building – 5560 McKinnon Street. The two buildings are a pale green, they look like big cabins!

Transit The Millienium Line Skytrain drops you an 11-minute walk from the venue (from Joyce-Collingwood Station). The main bus to the area from downtown Vancouver is the 19, but other buses along 41st, Boundary, or along Renfrew can also get you pleasantly close.

Parking There is plenty of free street parking directly outside the venue.

The physical space

  • The venue is accessible to access from the street level with no steps up.
  • The venue is located on ground level and has a accessible entrance and exits.
  • There are two single stall locking non-gendered bathrooms both are wheelchair accessible with railings.
  • A visual walkthrough is available for the space here.

Russian Hall

Russian Hall is a lovely two-hall space we use periodically for full sometimes, and sometimes to fill in an individual session if there is a scheduling challenge.

Address & Map – 600 Campbell Ave, Vancouver BC google map

Wayfinding – Russian Hall is right on Campbell Ave, it’s a huge glorious building and you can’t miss the front entrance. There are two spaces: the main hall upstairs on your right and the lower hall which is down the stairs to the left if you’ve entered through the front door.

Transit Numerous bus routes pass through the area, including the 3, 8, 19 and 20. It is a 15-20 minute walk to the millenium line SkyTrain, Main Street Science World stop.

Parking Limited street parking is available near the Hall.

The physical space

  • Wheel chair ramp is available from the street to access the venue. Additionally there is a set of 3 steps up to access the venue. 
  • A wheelchair lift is available to assist folks from the upstairs lobby to the downstairs hall.
  • A wheelchair accessible washroom is located beside the downstairs hall. 
  • Photos of the Upstairs Hall are available here
  • Photos of the Downstairs Hall are available here

Ukrainian Community Society of Ivan Franko (Richmond)

The Ukrainian Hall (as we call it, for short!) is a big ole Hall in Richmond. You’ll never learn about improv in a larger space! 

Address & Map – 5311 Francis Road, Richmond BC google map

Wayfinding – The Hall is between Railway and No. 2 Road on Francis. You can’t miss the Hall itself, it’s a big ole hall!

Transit Numerous bus routes pass through the area, including the 406, 401 and 402. For those coming from Vancouver, take the Canada Line to Richmond-Brighouse and transfer there to the 402 bus.

Parking There is plenty of free parking directly in front of the building.

The physical space

  • Venue is located on ground level with an accessible entrance to the venue
  • Bathrooms are gendered with stalls large enough for most wheelchairs, but with no railings.

Inspire Arts Academy (Surrey)

Inspire Arts Academy is a lovely children’s arts centre in Surrey. If you aren’t dazzled by the cutest children’s vibe in the hallways, the easy access to A&W will blow you away!

Address & Map – 5577 153A St, Surrey BC google map

Wayfinding – Inspire is right off of 56th Avenue so if you are driving there are many ways to get there. The space is on the far left hand side of the parking lot (if you are facing the front door of the strip mall) and can be accessed from the strip mall’s front door (if it is daytime hours) or via their own front door at all hours.

Transit – From Central Surrey the 345/375 bus will be the most useful.

Parking There is plenty of free parking directly in front of the space.

The physical space

  • Venue is accessible via a short ramp, the classrooms are on the ground floor.
  • There are both gendered, shared bathrooms and an accessible, non-gendered, single-occupant bathroom available.