Eleven students from Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School recently travelled to Ottawa to represent Alberta in the Canadian Improv Games national tournament.
The Red Deer high school’s team earned their spot at the national competition after winning provincials in February. Not only did the students compete in the tournament, they were also able to participate in workshops, tour Parliament and visit the National Gallery of Ottawa.
“It was a great experience,” said Katie Calder, a Grade 12 student who was part of the improv team.
“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.”
Calder noted that improv has been an important part of her time in high school.
“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.”
Rune Molander, another team member who is in Grade 10, said he was “really excited” after learning they were going to Ottawa.
“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,” said Molander.
“Improv has the power to change people for the better, and make people better human beings. … It helps encourage growth – not only in performing skills but in one’s development as a person.”
Tara Koett, a 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.”