Eleven students from Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School had the opportunity to travel to Ottawa earlier this month and represent Alberta in the Canadian Improv Games National Tournament with 13 other teams from across Canada who advanced to Nationals.
The team, who earned their spot nationally after winning provincials in February, not only competed, but participated in many workshops, toured Parliament, visited the National Gallery of Ottawa, and ate a lot of poutine, among other great activities.
Katie Calder, a Grade 12 student, and Rune Molander, a Grade 10 student, said the experience was one they will never forget.
“It was a great experience,” said Katie. “Being on stage at the National Arts Centre was really cool, and the audience was great too. Each team was really supportive of one another even though they didn’t know each other. It was a really great atmosphere to be part of.”
“I was really excited once we found out that we got to go to Ottawa,” he said. “I was looking forward to seeing how others performed and how it is done differently across Canada - there is a difference in humour, but everyone spoke the same language, just in a different dialect. The stage was beautiful and I loved performing on it, and seeing others perform as well.”
Tara Koett, Teacher at Lindsay Thurber, said she feels honoured to have the experience of going to the Canadian Improv Games with her team.
“I want to express my gratitude for Lindsay Thurber and to our Principal Chris Good who has allowed us to offer improv as a credited course,” she said. “We have so much support – there was a huge fundraising push from our improv parents, the school community, and the community at large to help us get to Ottawa and to help make the trip more accessible to students. For some students, this was their first trip on a plane, and for some it was their first time in Ottawa, so it was pretty special.”
In addition, Katie added that improv has been an important part of her high school career.
“It’s such a beautiful community,” she said. “It’s been amazing to spend time with my team and to learn from them. I’m so thankful for these opportunities that have been given to me as a result of improv.”
For Rune, he said the opportunity to participate in improv has had a lasting impact.
“Improv has the power to change people for the better, and make people better human beings,” he said. “It helps encourage growth - not only in performing skills but in one’s development as a person.”