Apr 01, 2019

Hosted by Andrew Phung (Kim’s Convenience), a six-part docuseries following the 2019 Canadian Improv Games journey will premiere on the CBC Gem streaming service later this year

April 1, 2019 - Canada’s public broadcaster is partnering with the Canadian Improv Games to showcase talented youth from across the country, starting today with the Games’ annual National Tournament and Festival in Ottawa from April 1 to 4. Celebrating 42 years since the first tournament, the four-day event invites high school improv teams to Ottawa’s National Arts Centre where they will go head-to-head against teams from across Canada. This year, CBC will be onsite to capture the action, which will be released as a six-part docuseries on the free CBC Gem streaming service later this year, hosted by veteran improv performer and Canadian Screen Award-winning actor Andrew Phung (Kim’s Convenience).

“Over the past four decades, the Canadian Improv Games have fostered confidence, communication and teamwork among Canadian youth across the country - not to mention comedy chops! CBC is excited to work alongside this unique and important organization to further promote education and creativity through comedy,” said Catherine Tait, President & CEO, CBC/Radio-Canada. “The improv community creates an inclusive, positive growing space for young Canadians and we look forward to sharing the students’ experiences and passion with the rest of the country.”

“We are so excited to partner with CBC to highlight our National Festival finalists this April,” said Cheryl Maciver, General Manager, Canadian Improv Games. “Each year, bright and talented young adults like these contribute to our organization’s rich history of exploration, creativity and empowerment. Working together with CBC to shine a light on our players will only create more opportunities for them in the future, and for this we are very grateful.”

The CBC Gem docuseries will highlight the journey to the finals, including first-hand accounts from students from across the country about what the tournament means to them.

In addition to the competition, the Canadian Improv Games also offer students access to improv workshops, training sessions and performance opportunities in 14 Canadian cities, with more than 100,000 participants involved since its inception in 1977. The organization has produced notable alumni such as Alanis Morissette, Mark Little, Nathan Fielder, Sandra Oh, Seth Rogen and Tatiana Maslany

All four nights of the tournament will be live-streamed beginning at 7:15 p.m. ET. The Canadian Improv Games will produce the live stream for April 1-3, while students from Algonquin College TV will produce the live-stream of the finals on April 4. To access the live coverage, visit improv.ca/livestream


About CBC/Radio-Canada:
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster. Through our mandate to inform, enlighten and entertain, we play a central role in strengthening Canadian culture. As Canada’s trusted news source, we offer a uniquely Canadian perspective on news, current affairs and world affairs. Our distinctively homegrown entertainment programming draws audiences from across the country. Deeply rooted in communities, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We also deliver content in Spanish, Arabic and Chinese, as well as both official languages, through Radio Canada International (RCI). We are leading the transformation to meet the needs of Canadians in a digital world.

About Canadian Improv Games:
More than just a high school theatre program, Canadian Improv Games is a national community that spans generations and includes over 100,000 alumni members, many of whom continue to enrich Canada’s cultural landscape today. 

Founded in Ottawa in 1977, Canadian Improv Games is home to our country’s largest and most geographically dispersed youth theatre festival as well as 14 regional programs that operate in partnership with over 250 schools across Canada.  These programs help students build confidence, strengthen their critical-thinking skills, enhance their overall mental health, learn respect for others, improve their listening skills and develop life-long friendships with other participating students from across Canada.

For more information, please contact:
Teaghan Hawke, CBC