Vintage Funk

August 20, 2014 by Nevin Thompson

What’s the only retail store in Victoria with its own karaoke stage? If you guessed Vintage Funk, you would be right! They even offer singing lessons for anyone who walks in off the street.

We all know about the trendiness of LoJo, and the cool collection of comic book shops and specialty toy stores that cluster up the block around the Broad Street intersection.

And now, with the solid success of Vintage Funk over the past few years, the eclecticism and pure delightfulness of shopping on Johnson Street has cemented a beachhead on the east side of Douglas Street.

While calling itself a “thrift store” and selling everything from funky clothing and rock T-shirts to vintage phones, furniture and art, Vintage Funk also serves as a creative space for our community.

Says one devoted repeat customer:

This is one of those places where you wish you had hours and hours to spend because it would take a day just to peruse everything that’s here. It is chock-a-block full of crazy, awesome, unusual stuff. She had some beautiful kilts, a huge vinyl collection, a fantastic collection of converse all-stars, some really cool vintage toys and a couple of neat record players. 


The store is owned by Ozzy fan Susan L’Heureux, who has developed a reputation in the Tectoria community for her kindness and generosity. Vintage Funk is also staffed by volunteers, and many of them live with some kind of health challenge.

A passion for karaoke

While customers to Vintage can step up on stage, grab a mic and belt out their favourite tunes any time they want, L’Heureux also runs a karaoke show at the Esquimalt Legion on Wednesday nights from 8 to midnight, with everyone welcome.

L’Heureux took up singing about a decade ago after getting a lung virus that she says almost killed her. To strengthen her lungs she took up singing.

L’Heureux teaches karaoke to folks living with special needs, and has competed in the late-great Sopranos’ Vancouver Island karaoke championships. She won first place.

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