Comedian Ryan Lachance outside the Yuk Yuk’s comedy club in Vancouver, where a “Ramp for Ryan” benefit show is planned on Sunday, May 26. (File photo)

COMEDY

Comedian who uses wheelchair needs portable ramp to live his dream of touring

To eliminate accessibility issues, a ‘Ramp for Ryan’ comedy fundraiser to help White Rock’s Lachance

Vancouver-area comedians are rallying to raise money to help one of their own realize his dream of touring.

A benefit comedy show is planned for White Rock resident Ryan Lachance, whose uses a wheelchair due to his cerebral palsy.

The disorder hasn’t stopped him from making people laugh as a comedian on the local circuit.

Venue accessibility is a problem, however.

“More often than not I run into accessibility issues – I would say eight out of 10 times,” Lachance told the Now-Leader. “A lot of the local bars and clubs have comedy shows but I can’t always access the stage, both locally and outside Vancouver.”

• RELATED STORY: Sit-down standup Ryan Lachance: It’s just how he rolls with cerebral palsy, from 2015.

To help buy a portable ramp for Lachance, a “Ramp for Ryan” comedy fundraiser will be held on Sunday, May 26 at Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club in Vancouver.

That night, Lachance will headline a show that will also feature Simon King, Charlie Demers, Graham Clark, John Cullen, Alannah Brittany, Megan Milton and Darwin Barcellano. Tickets are $20 in advance, (via eventbrite.ca), $25 at the door.

The benefit show aims to help Lachance “get on all the stages he can across Canada,” according to the event post. “Due to accessibility issues, touring hasn’t been much of an option for Ryan, so we’re going to change that and raise enough funding to supply him with a compact portable ramp that he can use to access stages while on the road. How are we going to do that? WITH A FREAKING AMAZING COMEDY SHOW OF COURSE.”

For those who can’t make the show, a “donation only” option is available.

The goal is to raise around $3,000 for the ramp and also repairs to the van used to transport Lachance to his comedy gigs.

“I’m just trying to live my dream, and I’m finally getting the opportunity now that the government (allowed) me to get a portable lift,” Lachance explained. “The only thing I was missing was the portable ramp. Once I have everything, the world will be my stage.”

Since birth, Lachance has had to deal with his quadspastic cerebral palsy, which limits the use of all four of his limbs and also his speech.

CLICK HERE to visit Lachance’s website.

The Now-Leader profiled Lachance in April of 2015, after he performed at the Yuk Yuk’s club where the May 26 benefit show will be held. The self-described “sit-down standup” comedian tells edgy jokes, mostly about himself.

Lachance was born in Winnipeg but soon moved with his family to Leduc, Alberta. He lived there until age 15, when the family made the trip to Surrey to live closer to his grandmother, around the time his father died. To help him laugh a little in the face of grief, an uncle of his gave Lachance some CDs and DVDs featuring comedian Billy Connolly. He’d click on one of the discs every time he needed to cheer up. The jokes made him laugh, alright, and also gave him inspiration to perform comedy for a living.

During his springtime performance at Yuk Yuk’s four years ago, Lachance got big laughs with this bit: “One thing that pisses me off about being in a wheelchair is that when I get angry, I can never slam a door because people are always trying to help me by opening them for me. So what I do to release that anger is, I go on Youtube or Facebook and find the most adorable kitten video and dislike the s*** out of it! So if there’s 3,000 likes for a video and one dislike, that’s me when I’m angry.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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