2015 Montreal


Here is the overall structure of the 2015 conference in Montreal (click here to download a PDF version).


And here is the detailed program of the 2015 conference in Montreal (click here to download a PDF version).

For the sessions description, you can have a look at this draft document.


Monday 20 September to Wednesday 23 September

Are you a Fringe-dweller? Many opportunities to extend your stay in Montreal with both AIN Days and independent workshops.

Here is the overall schedule. Click on the tabs below for all the details.

  • Monday, September 21st (Montreal): Independent workshop “Interactional Dynamics of Power, Status, Rank and Esteem” with Barbara Tint and Simo Routarinne
  • Tuesday, September 22nd (Montreal): AIN Days “Applied Improvisation in Business Schools and Universities – Where are we going and where are we now?”
  • Wednesday, September 23rd (Montreal): AIN Days  “Trainers Who Apply Improvisation – How can we support the professional development of AIN members?”
  • Monday, September 28th (Blueberry Lake): AIN DAys “AIN Summit”

AIN Days

Improvisers are so creative when they get together.  We’ve noticed that the AIN conference is always bursting at the seams with exciting ideas.  That makes for tremendous energy, while posing the question of how to carry it through into sustainable action. So this year, we are adding 3 AIN Days, each one day long, before and after the conference.  The first two are in the city of Montreal, the third (The Summit) will mean an extra night’s stay for free at Blueberry Lake. You are invited to participate in each of these days at no cost.  AIN will even provide splendid refreshments.  Just make plans to extend your visit and let us know if you want to come to one or all – send us an e-mail at appliedimprovnetwork@gmail.com. The first event, on Tuesday 22 September, is  ‘Applied Improvisation in Business Schools and Universities – Where are we going and where are we now?’.  The second day, on Wednesday 23 September, is ‘Trainers Who Apply Improvisation – How can we support the professional development of AIN members?’, which is a day for trainers to share experience and techniques, perhaps agreeing a ‘standard’ for AIN to accredit and promote trainers who use AI. Finally, after the conference, we can stay an extra night at Blueberry Lake and stay in the same venue for our third AIN Summit, in which we create policy and develop projects for AIN as an organisation.  There will be a bus back to Montreal so that you can catch an evening flight home if needed. All the events will be lively, participative and productive.


Applied Improvisation in Business Schools and Universities –
Where are we going and where are we now?
Tuesday September 22nd
10 am – 5 pm
Location: Espace La Fontaine, 3933, avenue du parc La Fontaine, Montréal (Qc) H2L 0C7
Facilitators: Simo Routarinne and Barbara Tint

Come join a group of wild and brilliant applied improvisers to explore how AI has been and can be used in settings of higher education.  AIN members have used Applied Improvisation in various academic contexts such as:
  • Medical Schools
  • Psychological Training Programs
  • Conflict Resolution Programs
  • Law Schools
  • Leadership Institutions
  • Business Schools
  • Schools of Education

This day will explore a variety of questions that can serve to advance the integration of Applied Improvisation into a wide range of higher education contexts. We have noticed the move from educational institutions using AI for warm ups and teambuilding activities to using it for deeper, more content related integration of theory and practice.

This has prompted some questions:
  • What have you noticed about the trend of AI in academic contexts?
  • What has been done already in the application of AI in academic contexts?
  • How would we like to increase the use of AI?
  • How are we gaining access to business schools and university settings?
  • How do we create increased legitimacy in academic and university contexts?
  • What has worked in the integration of AI and what has not?

As in good AI style, the day will be facilitated in an interactive, organic and super cleverly sort of planned approach. Modeling clay, interpretive movement, post it notes or other spontaneously combustible approaches to learning may be used. A handstand clinic will be offered. Do we want to try to integrate into current institutions or should we strive for a new paradigm for education entirely? A day of hard facts and wild imaginings.  We’ll learn where we’re at and create a vision for what might be. If your AI practice takes you into Business Schools and Universities, join us for a day of sharing and exploration. This day is free for members of AIN.  There is a limit to the numbers who can attend, so please apply for your place by email to appliedimprovnetwork@gmail.com, with a short note telling us a bit about your current AI practice with business schools and universities.

Trainers Who Apply Improvisation –
How can we support the professional development of AIN members?
Wednesday September 23rd
10 am – 5 pm
Location: Espace La Fontaine, 3933, avenue du parc La Fontaine, Montréal (Qc) H2L 0C7
Facilitator: Sue Walden

On Wednesday, September 23, an international group of experienced Applied Improvisers will gather to explore and discover:

  • the in-common skills we all use and teach
  • observable behaviors that would demonstrate these skills
  • a menu of concrete and specific suggestions of how an individual could use this information to increase their ability to confidently and effectively facilitate any content

Our goal: create a process for AINers to plot a personal development path for themselves, perhaps on the way to some form of accreditation. If you have 8+ years of facilitating experiential learning programs, plus at least 2 years of using applied improv, and if these facilitations have comprised more than 50% of your paid work, then you are welcome to join us. This day is free for members of AIN.  There is a limit to the numbers who can attend, so please apply for your place by sending an e-mail directly at sue@improvworks.org with a short note telling us a bit about your current AI training practice. Sue will then send you some things to think about in preparation for September 23rd.

AIN Summit
Monday September 28th
9 am – 4 pm
At our Blueberry Lake venue (extra free night)

Join us for the AIN Summit, a day where we will create policy and develop projects for AIN as an organisation. This day is free for members of AIN.  There is a limit to the numbers who can attend, so please apply for your place by email to appliedimprovnetwork@gmail.com. By registering to the AIN Summit, you will get an extra night free at Blueberry Lake. A bus back will leave Blueberry Lake at 4 pm to bring you back to Montreal in time for your flight or for a last night in Montreal.

Independent workshops and trainings

We are encouraging attendees to offer their own independent workshops and trainings as part of the Fringe. These workshops and trainings are not organized by AIN but are offered independently by outside parties (likely conference attendees) as a way of supplementing the conference experience.  If you would like to offer a workshop or a training, please contact us at ainconference@gmail.com and we will gladly provide you with a list of venues.

Monday, September 21st
10 am – 5 pm
Location: to be determined (Montreal)
120$ USD

“Interactional Dynamics of Power, Status, Rank and Esteem”
Workshop by Barbara Tint (United States) and Simo Routarinne (Finland)

Everyone experiences the dynamics of power and status in our daily lives. However, we are often unaware of the underlying forces at play. In this workshop, expert facilitators Simo Routarinne and Barbara Tint introduce a new framework for understanding power dynamics in interpersonal and intergroup relations. The framework is based on four elements that operate simultaneously, persistently and often unconsciously in our social and professional interactions. Using experiential methods, participants will work together to learn about these processes, and will be coached on how to navigate them more effectively. This workshop is designed to provide participants with the opportunity to explore the application of these concepts to a wide range of social and organizational arenas.

Join Barb and Simo for this special Fringe workshop.

For more details and to register: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/interactional-dynamics-of-power-status-rank-and-esteem-tickets-18313771985



Learning Journeys

Thursday 24 September: Pre-conference Learning Journeys in Montreal.

  • Intro to applied improviser for facilitators and trainers with Patrick Short and Alan Montague (full)
  • Intro to applied improviser for stage improvisers with Daniel Knutson-Bradac and John Windmueller
  • The Quest: Where Will Your Day Take You? Explore and Experience Montreal in This All-Day Improvisational Journey with Joey Novick and Jeanne Lambin
  • Join the circus: an exploration of Montreal’s circus landmarks (La Tohu, Cirque du Soleil and National School of Circus)
  • Festival and laughs: discover Montreal’s festival district and play with Canada’s first and longest-running improv comedy league in Canada

Your choice of Learning Journeys

From exploring Montreal with an improvisation mindset, to exploring Montreal’s famous circus institutions, to playing games with Canada’s first and longest-running improv comedy league in Canada, the Learning Journeys will surely help you jumpstart your way into the conference and discover why Montreal is such a beautiful and creative city.

Again this year, we are offering our popular “Intro to Applied Improv” learning journey, but this time, it comes in 2 “flavors” to better fit your needs and your background: Intro to Applied Improv for facilitators and trainers and Intro to Applied Improv for stage improvisers.

Here are the 2015 Learning Journeys options:

1. Introduction to applied improvisation for facilitators and trainers (FULL)

with Patrick Short and Alan Montague
Espace Lafontaine, 3933 Avenue du Parc LaFontaine

You work with (or want to work with) groups, organizations and individuals, and you want to add a ton of new activities, techniques and concepts to your toolkit? Are you new to the world of applied improvisation?  Whether your focus is business, education, social/medical services or personal growth, this is the learning journey for you! Throughout the day, you will be introduced to the world of improvisation and applied improvisation from a facilitator perspective, giving you a mix of theories and exercises that you can use in your work.

You’ll learn and play interactive exercises and games, compare notes with other people applying improv around the world, and identify your goals for the conference while creating your own road map for the next three days and picking up some useful tips and tricks. This full-day session will be a delightful blend of information and playtime.


Patrick Short has performed with Comeimages (1)dySportz® since 1987, had his very first Applied Improvisation engagement with Apple in 1989 and has served as GM of CSz Portland since 1993. After receiving the MFA degree in Directing in 1986, Patrick moved into hi-tech marketing and then sales, assisting clients with their acquisition of manufacturing and distribution systems; this career allowed him the opportunity to learn how companies work – and sometimes don’t work. He’s designed and led custom workshops for over 400 organizations has co-authored two books on Applied Improv. He also writes music, plays keyboards and has a cat that can spin up to 20 times on the kitchen floor.

9ec7dcbe33e219eda4c3c0531aa641af_400x400Alan Montague has been in the Learning world since 1997 and in AIN since 2004. He makes his money doing anything in the Learning World that people will pay him to do. Alan received his Certified Professional in Learning & Performance (CPLP) designation in 2011 from ASTD (Now ATD) and as well as being Treasurer for AIN is President-elect for his local ATD Chapter in San Francisco. In May of this year, Alan presented an Introduction to Applied Improvisation at the ATD International Conference and Expo in Orlando that over 7000 people attended. (The conference, not his session.) Alan was lucky enough to have lived for 12 years in Chicago and studied at pretty much every improv school there, before heading to the Bay Area and studying at BATS. He is now looking to launch an improv troupe in Napa if he can find enough people who can lay off the local merchandise long enough.

2. Introduction to applied improvisation for everyone

with Daniel Knutson-Bradac and John Windmueller
Espace Lafontaine, 3933 Avenue du Parc la Fontaine

Are you familiar with some of the basic ideas of improvisation and are looking to add facilitation and skills development to what you do? Are you new to the world of applied improvisation? If so, then this is the learning journey for you! We will help you take the principles, lessons, and exercises from theatre improv and find ways to apply them in diverse corporate and community settings. We’ll explore how improv is used for corporate training, organizational development, group facilitation, and community building and we’ll dive deep into the nuts and bolts of how the work gets done.

This learning journey will be experiential –we’ll often be up on our feet, practicing and playing with what’s being discussed. It will be interactive –this is a shared discussion with and among participants, not just a lecture at you. And it will be fun –a ridiculous amount of it (because fun makes for great learning, and fun is fun). You’ll leave the learning journey with all the tools, tips, and tricks you need to build and expand your own applied improv practice.


unnamed (1)Daniel Knutson-Bradac is a long time improv performer, director and teacher. He founded OlyImprov, got to study with Keith Johnstone, has taught improvisation for the City Arts and Parks department for 15 years and has an applied improv practice called the yesAnd Conspiracy. During the daytime he’s  the Chief Information Officer for Washington State’s Department of Social and Health Services, a huge organization constantly in need of the lessons of yesAnd.



John Windmueller is the Director of Washington Improv Theater’s WIT@Work applied improv program (witdc.org/work), with clients that range from small startups that you haven’t heard of (yet) to Deloitte, Marriott, NPR, the World Bank, and the NSA (yes, that NSA). John has twenty years of experience designing, delivering, and overseeing professional training and graduate education focused on communication and collaboration, and he holds a Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. In addition to his applied improv work, John performs, teaches, and directs with both the Washington Improv Theater and the Baltimore Improv Group. He is one of the founders and organizers of the District Improv Festival and has performed and led workshops at festivals across the US.

3. The Quest: Where Will Your Day Take You? Explore and Experience Montreal in This All-Day Improvisational Journey

with Joey Novick and Jeanne Lambin
Montreal Improv Theater, 3697 Boul St-Laurent (18 minutes walk involved to get to the venue)

Described by participants as, “completely transformational,” The Quest is an improvisational “structure” developed by the legendary improv “guru” Del Close.  Presented by Joey Novick at the AIN conference in Austin last year, we are happy to bring you the concept this year as a full day learning journey!

What would happen if you could visit a city with an improvisational mindset? Where would saying ‘yes, and…’, being present, listening and letting go lead you? Be prepared to explore and experience Montreal in this one-of-a-kind improvisational journey and insight-laden adventure. The learning journey is designed in three parts. First, an introduction to the story of The Quest and its structure, warm-up games and the distribution of symbols that will guide the journey. Second, an exploration of Montreal as a solo adventure or in pairs: participants will venture into Montreal with the improvisational mindset that is normally reserved for the stage, the classroom or the training room. Lastly, coming back together as a group, we will have a debrief and storytelling session to share experiences and insights discovered during the process. We will discuss the possible applications of The Quest (leadership, urban development, etc.) and provide information about participating in the 2016 World-Wide Quest Day.



Joey Novick
has been a political comedian, camp counselor, improv actor, editorial director, attorney, busboy, student of Del Close, professional speaker, child actor, improv workshop director, and an elected official in New Jersey. But not necessarily in that order.

Jeanne LaLAMBIN_HEADSHOT_V2 (1) - copiembin is a storyteller, improviser, writer, and award-winning educator. In 2014, she established Lamb Ink, a small, Hong Kong based company which teaches individuals and organizations improvisation, presentation skills and storytelling. A native of Chicago, Ms. Lambin studied at iO with the legendary Del Close. She is proud to consider the improv capital of the world home. She has performed, presented and conducted workshops in the US, Europe and Asia. Ms. Lambin’s workshops have been described as “amazing,” “powerful,” and “great fun.” This makes her happy because she believes improv and storytelling are all of those things.

4. Join the circus: an exploration of Montreal’s circus landmarks (la Tohu, Cirque du Soleil and National School of Circus)

Cité des arts du Cirque (transport by bus to get there, walking involved during the day)

A city of colour and passion, it is only natural that Montreal be home to some of the world’s most audacious and innovative circuses. For the past 25 years, Montreal has set itself apart for the creativity and daring of its circus artists. In this learning journey, you will be immersed in a world of colour, commitment and dazzling creativity as we visit the three major circus institutions that make up the Cité des arts du cirque. First, we will visit La Tohu, now one of the world’s largest gathering places for circus arts training, creation, production and performance and also known for its environmentally responsible and social values. After lunch at a nearby co-op restaurant, we will go on a private tour of Cirque du Soleil, the world’s most famous circus, to learn more about their creative processes. To end this behind the scene journey, we will play around with the training installations at the National Circus School. While learning about the passion, history and future of these three cultural institutions, you’ll see and discuss the role and the potential that improvisation brings to this multidisciplinary art form. Perhaps you too will feel the wild call to join the circus? Let the show begin!

5. Festival and laughs: discover Montreal’s festival district and play with Canada’s first and longest-running improv comedy league in Canada

Place des festivals and Theatre Ste-Catherine (transport by bus to get there, walking involved during the day)

Montreal is home to more festivals that you can imagine, and more improvisation leagues than you can count with your hands and toes AND those of your friends! Join us on this interactive learning journey to find out why. We’ll start out with a guided tour of the Quartier des spectacles, a hub of creativity, history and celebration within a square kilometer, home to the International Jazz Festival, Just for Laughs festival and many more. You will be able to learn about the major events that have shaped the urban fabric and spirit of this vibrant district, from the Red Light era to its recent transformation into a vast outdoor performance space. After lunch, you will have the chance to experience the style and approach of the Ligue Nationale d’improvisation (LNI), the first and longest-running improv comedy league in Canada. Founded in Montreal in 1977 and based on our national obsession of hockey (players improvise in a hockey rink decor, wear hockey jerseys, etc.)  the LNI unique format is played in more than 30 countries in 7 different languages. In a custom workshop facilitated by the LNI artistic direction and star improviser François-Étienne Paré, you will experience what makes this format so unique and experience some of its most famous games. Discussions will let you explore how the concept of playful competition and structured games can be applied in organisations and communities.


Thursday 24 September evening:

The full conference officially opens. Arrive to hot drinks and a warm welcome around the fireplace.

Friday 25 September to Sunday 27 September:

3 days of inspiring conference sessions, Open Space, networking and entertainment. See draft document of sessions.

Four program tracks:

– Improvisation for a Better World : with the intention of building and engaging community, growing capacity for humanitarian aid, environmental movements and social justice, empowering social entrepreneurs;

– Improvisation for Organization : with the intention of developing a culture of collaboration and playfulness that nurtures innovation and performance;

– Improvisation for Personal Development : with the intention of healing, uncovering and nurturing your potential, magnifying creativity and spirituality;

– Improvisation in Academia : with the intention of proving our methods work, integrating improvisation in schools, colleges, universities for radically more effective, fun learning.

Sunday 27 September (evening):

The conference officially ends around 5pm.

Evening Activities

Fringe – Monday to Wednesday

For those participating in the AIN Days or arriving earlier in Montreal, let’s get together and enjoy Montreal. All of these activities are optional.

  • Monday afternoon: bagel and mountain walking tour. Meeting point: 1 pm at Mont-Royal metro station (at the entrance, ground level).
  • Monday evening: travel in time and visit the Old Montreal. Self-organized activity!
  • Tuesday night: dinner and improvisation night at Les Bobards. Meeting point: 6 pm at Espace Lafontaine (3933 avenue du Parc-Lafontaine).
  • Wednesday night: poutine and celebrations at Les Pas Sages. Meeting up point: 6 pm at Espace Lafontaine.

Friday night AIN all star improv show

We are excited to bring you once again the AIN All-Star improv show. The show will take place in a beautiful church converted into a performance venue. Montreal’s incredible fantasy long form group, The Quest of the Dragon King, will open the show for us.

Want to be part of the show? Still time to sign up by filling the form here. The cast will be announced by Andy Crouch and Asaf Ronen on Thursday night.

Saturday night gala and dance dinner

Put on your dancing shoes and get ready to dance under the stars. On Saturday night, gondolas will take us on top of the beautiful Mont-Tremblant mountain for an exquisite night of dining and dancing with music by Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra.

AIN Summit

Monday 28 September

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