National Festival and Tournament
March 27th-March 30th, 2024
National Arts Centre, Ottawa, ONtario

Looking to buy tickets to the shows? You should ONLY purchase your tickets through the National Arts Centre’s official Website! You can find those tickets here!

The Canadian Improv Games National Festival is an immersive educational experience that fosters creativity and camaraderie. Through improvisational theater, students develop valuable life skills, forge lasting connections, and grow in a supportive, inclusive community. The Festival offers 4 days of specialized workshops and learning opportunities from experienced improvisers and instructors from across Canada, as well as four nights of performances from the best teams in the country! Festival registration for non-Ottawa based teams is February 26th, 2024. Ottawa-based teams may register for the festival up until March 24th, 2024.

 

Read more in our Nationals 2024 Info Package.

Want to volunteer at the National Festival? The Canadian Improv Games National Festival is run by volunteers from all across the country! Fill out the application below to be considered for the most fun week of volunteering you’ve ever had!

  • Four days of improv workshops with our experienced National Trainers, including both fundamentals and advanced training 
  • Four nighttime shows in the beautiful National Arts Centre,  with three semi-finals and a spectacular final performance of the top 5 teams. 
  • A hotel stay in Les Suites Ottawa with teams from across the country, with access to personal kitchen suites. 
  • Daily morning warm-ups, hosted by our experienced trainers, offering opportunities to warm up and socialize
  • Our Alumni performance, where our volunteers and alum will showcase our CIG events
  • Workshops, brainstorming events, and socials for teachers and coaches at our teachers’ conference, including workshops on how to teach improv in the classroom and how to create lesson plans
  • Demonstrations on long-form and short-form improv from our experienced alumni and performers. 
  • The chance to make a friend from every province!
  • Opportunities to explore Ottawa, with a hotel based just steps away from the Rideau Canal, Parliament Hill, ByWard Market, The National Gallery of Canada, and The Canadian Museum of History!
  • Awesome dance parties – what’s a National Festival without a showstopping disco?
  • And so much more!
 
Sample Itinerary and Events
 
Example Event Descriptions
Forums, showcases, and more!
 Alumni Showcase: Alumni from across the country will highlight their skills in the CIG National Alumni Showcase. Audience members are encouraged to take notes and to apply some of what they’ve seen in this showcase throughout the week. 
Toast and Jam: Your morning wake-up call! Toast n Jam is a chance to play, warm up, meet, and improvise with like-minded people from across the country. Toast n Jam is an hour of improv games hosted by our incredible staff. Forget coffee – Toast n Jam is the best way to start your day!
Short-form Demo: The short form demo is an opportunity for coaches, teachers, and students to see Short Form Improv in action. Senior trainers and national staff will perform various short-form scenes with the participation of students. Coaches and teachers are encouraged to take notes as all of these scenes are applicable to the classroom and beyond.

Long-form Demo:  What does improv look like outside of four minutes? The answer is at the Long-form Demo. This is a staff showcase event where improvisers from coast to coast will get on stage and showcase a long-form set. Come see improvisers from a variety of improv troupes from across Canada play on stage. 
Wrap Party: We’ve worked hard and played hard all week, time to shake it off and get down at our annual Closing Night Dance Party! Come dance & hang out with all your amazing new friends as we say goodbye to another wonderful year of Improv. There will be a quiet zone for students who want a more chill experience.

 

Example Workshop Descriptions (based on past years)

Make Good Choices!: Okay, so you’ve got your first offers in place. Your scene is looking good – and then what? What can you do to keep your scene rolling? This workshop will help!

Commit to THIS moment: It’s in the oath- but what does it mean to commit to a moment? In this workshop you’ll get out of your head and onto the stage!

Movement and Physicality: Improv doesn’t have to be verbal. Sometimes physical improv can pick up where words leave off. This advanced workshop will explore incredibly physical improv and how to use it in the CIG context.

Silence and Sincerity: Let’s all just slow down and listen. How can we show sincerity in our scenes without talking? Take this workshop to find out how!

Dynamic Characters: Characters aren’t just how they talk- they’re also how they MOVE! This workshop will infuse some physicality into your unique characters!

ADVANCED: Improv Toolbox: What are some unconventional tools an improviser can use? What is a swarm edit? What about non-verbal sequences? This workshop will explore advanced improv tools.
ADVANCED: Dreamscaping: Learn how to insert absurdist physicality into your scenes. I guess it was just a dream… and you were there… and you were there, and you were there…

ADVANCED: Long-form: If learning how to improvise outside the parameters of a four minute scene is something you’ve always wanted – this workshop is for you!

The Canadian Improv Games also offers a Teachers Conference that runs in conjunction with the National Festival & Tournament. The Conference is open to all teachers across Canada whether they bring a student team to participate in the National Festival & Tournament or not!

This exciting and hands-on conference will give drama and english language arts teachers lots of games, activities and strategies for improving student’s speaking and listening skills as well as help get teachers comfortable introducing improvisational theatre into their professional practice.  Teachers can expect to work with veteran improvisors, coaches and theatrical performers to learn how to bring improv into their classroom.   Improvisational theatre is a great cross-curricular teaching methodology in all subjects that engages students and activates their learning in meaningful ways.

Our Conference includes tickets to nights of performance, improv demonstrations from our senior performers, and workshops on topics such as barriers in teaching improv and how to build an improv lesson plan. 

The Teacher’s Conference will be held from March 27-30th in Ottawa, ON, in conjunction with the National Festival. Teachers can attend the Conference with or without a student team. If you are registering a student team for the National Festival, the Teacher’s Conference is included in the registration fees. If you are attending without a student team, the cost of the National Festival is $75 for one day, $150 for two days and $200 for the full week!

The Conference will be hosted in Les Suites, Ottawa. Accommodations are arranged through the hotel manager Steven Carnaffan at Steven.Carnaffan@innvesthotels.com. With the Canadian Improv Games rate, an individual room costs $209/night.

Nationals Pricing Tiers

Day Pass – $75/student

Two workshops, each two hours in length, with an experienced CIG trainer

One ticket to one evening show at the National Arts Centre

Two Day Pass – $150/student

Four workshops, each two hours in length, with an experienced CIG trainer

Tickets to two shows at the National Arts Centre

Festival Pass – $200/student

Six workshops, each two hours in length, with an experienced CIG trainer

Tickets to all National Tournament shows at the National Arts Centre

More details coming soon!

 

Les Suites Hotel

The Les Suites Hotel Ottawa is located at 130 Besserer Street, Ottawa. Located just steps from the historic ByWard Market and Parliament Hill. Each room is equipped with a full kitchen and sizable living room. As the official hotel partner of the National Festival, CIG offers a special rate with Les Suites hotel.

How to Book

Rooms at Les Suites can be booked through the hotel. Once you register, we will put you in contact with the hotel and you can book your rooms. The hotel will automatically book your school’s rooms on the same floor as the rest of the Festival. In the event that your team becomes your regional winner, you will be reimbursed for your hotel room costs.

 

Pricing

One Bedroom Suite
$209.00/night (1 – 4 occupancy)
 
Two Bedroom Suite: Queen/Queen
$309/night (1 – 6 occupancy) 
 
Two Bedroom Family Suite: Queen/Double/Double
$329.00/night (1 – 6 occupancy)

Performing Team Schedule – Nationals 2024

Wednesday March 27:

Ottawa Team 1

Gulf Island Secondary School (Van Isle Tournament, Saltspring Island, BC)

Harry Ainlay High School (Alberta Tournament, Edmonton, Alberta)

Online Wildcard Team

Ottawa Team 2

Thursday March 28

R.E. Mountain Secondary School (Lower Mainland Tournament, Langley Township, British Columbia)

Luther High School (Distance Tournament, Regina, Saskatchewan)

Eastside Secondary School (Kingston Tournament, Belleville, Ontario)

Mayfield Major Mavericks (Toronto Tournament, Caledon, Ontario)

Chatham Kent Secondary School (Tri-City Tournament, Chatham-Kent, Ontario)

Ottawa Team 3

Friday March 29

Holy Heart of Mary (Newfoundland Tournament, St. John’s, NFLD)

Beaconsfield High School (Quebec Tournament, Beaconsfield, QC)

Halifax West High School (Nova Scotia Tournament, Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Vincent Massey Secondary High School (Manitoba Tournament, Winnipeg, MB)

Chatham Kent Secondary School (Tri-City Tournament, Chatham-Kent, Ontario)

Saturday March 30

Top 5 Teams

Every year the CIG supports the winning team from each region by paying for two of their hotel rooms at the National Festival in Ottawa. Help cover those costs for the team in your region by becoming an official National Festival sponsor. You can read more at our Committing to the Moment sponsorship package.

 

Your sponsorship will be donated through the National Office and the recipient team will be notified that you supported their stay in Ottawa. Contact operations@improv.ca for more info.

If your team advances from their regional tournament, your registration fees will be waived and two of your hotel rooms will be paid for by the CIG. This information will be provided to you after your regional tournament. All teams are encouraged to register as a festival team ahead of time.