Scene and Heard: Single awkward female Debra DiGiovanni is on the comedy rise

Popular comedian Debra DiGiovanni is hitting the road hard next year with a 21-date tour that takes the Toronto native from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island over the course of a four-week period.

DiGiovanni will travel to Victoria (Feb. 8, McPherson Playhouse) and Nanaimo (Feb. 9, Port Theatre) as part of her Late Bloomer Tour, which kicks off Jan. 8 in St. John’s, N.L The title is a reference to DiGiovanni’s recent ascent in the comedy ranks, following years of regular appearances on programs such as MuchMusic’s Video On Trial series.

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Now based in Los Angeles, the Gemini Award winner is a panellist on the Comedy Network’s Match Game and recurring guest on CBC Radio’s The Debaters.

A three-time Canadian Comedy Award winner and Just For Laughs veteran, DiGiovanni aired her first American special, Single Awkward Female, on the Showtime network last year.

Tickets for her Victoria appearance are $35.50 (plus service charges) at the Royal McPherson box office, by phone at 250-386-6121 or 1-888-717-6121 or online at Tickets for her Nanaimo appearance are $35.50 (plus service charges) at the Port Theatre box office, by phone at 250-754-8550 or online at

For more information, go to

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Those with a keen interest in seeing bands before they break big will definitely want to attend one or both of the Vancouver Island dates featuring Hollerado, the Zolas and Pup next month.

Juno Award nominees Hollerado (hitmakers behind Juliette and Pick Me Up) are headlining Nov. 15 at the Waverly Hotel in Cumberland and Nov. 16 at Sugar in Victoria, but both the Zolas and Pup could vie for supremacy each night.

Vancouver’s the Zolas are well-loved by Victoria audiences, but the latter act is cresting, having released its self-titled debut Oct. 8. Pup recorded the album with producer Dave Schiffman, who worked previously with the Bronx — a fitting indication of Pup’s feral energy.

Tickets for the triple-bill at Sugar on Nov. 16 are $18 at Lyle’s Place, Ditch Records and For more information, visit

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WiL is currently doing what he does best — touring Western Canada — in support of his new live album, Live at the Ironwood.

The Qualicum-based Quebec native (born Wil Mimnaugh) issued the album Oct. 8 on Victoria’s Cordova Bay Records imprint, home to local favourites Acres of Lions and David Gogo.

Live At The Ironwood is Mimnaugh’s first album for Cordova Bay Records, which is expected to release a new WiL recording, his fifth, in 2014. In the meantime, he is performing a trio of Vancouver Island dates beginning with an Oct. 26 stop in Victoria at Lucky Bar.

He will also perform Nov. 1 at Nanaimo’s Corner Bistro and Nov. 2 at Cumberland’s Waverly Hotel.

For more information, go to

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Victoria native Colin Arthur Wiebe is coming home to headline an Oct. 25 fundraiser at the Gateway Baptist Church.

Wiebe, a longtime Vancouver resident, is known both for his solo work and his contributions to the solo project of Guess Who guitarist Randy Bachman. Wiebe sang the parts of Burton Cummings in Bachman’s band for 17 years.

He is currently in the Philippines doing charity work, but will return Friday for the concert in aid of women and children in need, organizers said.

Other performers at the benefit concert include the Overman Family, Wes Morrison, Sue Madsen and Alice Tyrell

Tickets are $20 at the door.

Gateway Baptist Church is located at 898 Royal Oak Ave. For more information, phone 250-658-5121 or go to

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Toronto rockers Flash Lightnin’ are back with a new a song, One Pill, which is steadily being added to rock radio stations across Western Canada.

The group, which is a vehicle for Victoria native Darren Glover, toned down its ZZ Top influence on One Pill, but the song is still thick with sonics. Flash Lightnin’ worked on the project with producer Gavin Brown, known for his production on records by Billy Talent and Metric, among others.

The song will be included on the band’s upcoming album, which is as-yet untitled. It will be the first full-length from Glover and his group, whose debut EP, Destello, hit stores in 2008.

To hear One Pill, go to



An event featuring some of the foremost sacred chant performers is being held Wednesday to the University of Victoria’s Farquhar Auditorium. The duo of Deva Premal and Miten are headlining MantraFest, which is being billed as an evening of music, mantra and meditation with Zen-minded music.

Among the devotional musical ensembles performing are bansuri player Manose and keyboard player Maneesh de Moor, and the GuruGanesha Band. Showtime is 7 p.m.

Tickets are available at or the University Centre box office. They range in price from $30 advance/$40 at the door to $108 advance/$125 at the door. For more information, phone 250-920-4037.

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Barney Bentall is heading to back to Vancouver Island next month for what has become an annual tradition for the popular singer-songwriter: the Grand Cariboo Opry.

Bentall’s annual fundraising event, held in cities across Western Canada over the past seven years, is scheduled to make three Island stops. The Vancouver singer-songwriter and his starry co-horts — including Dustin Bentall, Kendel Carson, Ridley Bent, 54-40’s Neil Osborne and Adam Dobres, to name a few — will be performing Nov. 15 at Saanichton’s Friendship Community Church (7820 Central Saanich Rd.), Nov. 16 at Victoria’s First Metropolitan Church (932 Balmoral Rd.), and Nov. 17. at Sooke’s Edward Milne Community Theatre (6218 Sooke Rd.).

For ticket information, visit

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The brains behind Song and Surf, the winter festival from the producers of summertime hit the Tall Tree Music Festival, fired an early-warning shot this week with regards to its upcoming edition.

Song and Surf is scheduled for Feb. 7 to 9 at three locations in Port Renfrew, and will expand from two days to three this year. The roster will also include an extra Sunset Showcase, the festival’s so-named acoustic afternoon concert.

Better still, Song and Surf will now go down on the Family Day long weekend. Organizers will be making regular updates to their blog,

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