author: jennifer fuller | contributor
The organization’s tour gathers alumni from the past 40 years.
The Canadian Improv Games [CIG] is a nationally based improv tournament for high school students. This year is their 40th anniversary, and to celebrate they are having the Great Alumni Roundup Tour. The goal of this tour is to reconnect and reunite CIG alumni as well as remind them of the love and community that the CIG offers.
“We are encouraging alumni to come and participate,” says tour organizer Spencer Dunn. “Maybe that means they come and have a drink and a laugh, and remember why they loved the games in the first place. Or maybe that means they come and actually shake off the dust and give it a try again.” Two talented improvisers, Spencer Dunn and Michelle Hart, will travel across the country, stopping along the way to teach workshops and help with reunion shows. The Canadian Improv Games is an amazing community, fuelled by volunteers and the love of improv, positivity, and teamwork.
For Dunn, the games were a place that “introduced me to my best friends, and told a dorky teenager that he could be as dorky as he wanted…[because] high school especially does a pretty good job of telling dorks to be anything but themselves.”
The Canadian Improv Games is truly a magical tournament that creates a safe and inclusive space for all teenagers to play, be goofy, and creative. Here, they are free of judgment, which is a rare occurrence in the judgmental, peer-pressure filled environment of high school. No matter how you wish to participate, the Round Up Tour wants you to come and remember the magic that the CIG has created for the last 40 years.
Reuniting past players with these feelings can be a great benefit to both themselves and the Canadian Improv Games as a whole. According to Dunn, “if we can get even half of those [alumni players] back into improv, think about how extraordinary that would be for us as an organization.”
With active alumni, they would have more volunteers, donors, audience members, and possibly mentors and coaches. The CIG has been a large part of Canadian high schools and their drama departments, but Dunn hopes to see “every school with a drama department have some version of an improv team…[and] for [the CIG] to be at the forefront of Canadian theatre, more than we already are.”
Without the promotion of the CIG and the Great Alumni Roundup Tour, this dream might not become a reality.
So, if you have ever been a part of the Canadian Improv Games during the past 40 years or are curious about improv in general, don’t miss their show on Friday, Jan. 20 at the Artful Dodger Café at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $10 and $5 for students. The proceeds go to back into the Canadian Improv Games. This organization is important in the lives of teenagers who feel like they are excluded or dorky. It allows them to be able to express themselves creatively in a community free from judgment.
As Dunn says, “We are in a time when compassion and empathy need to be at the forefront of society, and I think the Canadian Improv Games is leading that change.”