Calgary's One Lions are among the many acts performing at this year's Vancouver International Improv Festival
Calgary's One Lions are among the many acts performing at this year's Vancouver International Improv Festival

From the Vancouver TheatreSports League to Instant Theatre Company, and The Fictionals, Vancouver’s improv scene is booming. No better indication of the popularity of the theatrical genre is the fact the Vancouver International Improv Festival (VIIF) is now into its seventeenth year.

Taking place October 4 to 8 at venues around Granville Island, the 17th annual Vancouver International Improv Festival will feature over 30 interactive performances and workshops over its five days.

“There is something for everyone at the 2016 Vancouver International Improv Festival,” says Alistair Cook, the festival’s director. “We have our 2014 festival favourites Golden from Austin Texas returning to perform a genius improvised silent film and Limboland from New York will perform a one man improvised musical. No matter what your favourite style of comedy or theatre, you will have a great time.”

In addition, the festival will also welcome headliners Sexy Baby from New York, and Kristen and Amie Show from Philadelphia. Vancouver favourites including Vancouver TheatreSports League, The Fictionals, and Sunday Service will also be showcased.

Festival-goers will recognize actors from The X-Files, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and CBC’s new sitcom, Kim’s Convenience, onstage at the festival’s two Granville Island venues, the Revue Stage and Performance Works. Shows run 7:30pm and 9:30pm every evening, with each evening spotlighting twelve different acts.

This year’s festival will also feature two unique groups created specially for VIIF 2016. The international ensemble will feature improvisers from around the world, and a Vancouver ensemble will team-up some of our city’s finest improv performers.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for these artists to try new forms of improv, and for audiences to see these performers work together,” said Amy Shostak, director of the Vancouver ensemble. “These shows will challenge the performers, and the end result as going to be as entertaining as it is surprising.”

The festival will also host a series of improv workshops with instructors from Montreal, New York, Austin, and Vancouver.

“From Hollywood to the boardroom, we’re seeing improv being used in many creative ways,” says Montreal’s Vinny François, who will be teaching at the festival. “Improvisers are also successful actors, business owners, writers and engineers. Improv skills can be applied to many parts of life.”

One of North America’s longest running improv festivals, the Vancouver International Improv Festival has showcased hundreds of international and local performers, in front of thousands of comedy fans, since it began in 1999.

Visit for more information and the complete festival line-up.