The organizers and board of the Vancouver Improv Festival respectfully acknowledge that the land on which the festival takes place is the traditional and unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. The members of our team are settlers on this land and come from places now called Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary. Through the lens of our work, we are committed to dismantling settler colonialism, a mindset that fails to respect Indigenous society, governance and jurisdiction. We believe that the spirit of improvisation is one of collaboration and joy, and we do this work with the hope that it will strengthen our collective communities through laughter and connection.


The Vancouver Improv Festival (formerly the Vancouver International Improv Festival) is one of North America’s longest running improv festivals. The festival aims to celebrate spontaneity and collaboration through the art form of improvisation. Since 1999, it has showcased over 1300 international and local performers for thousands of Vancouver theatre and comedy fans. The festival started in the late nineties as an impulse-based arts festival, focusing on the spontaneous excitement of music, physical theatre and comedy. As the years passed, and the festival grew, improv comedy became the main focus. Audiences grew as the festival soon became a destination for both local and international improv companies. The festival has hosted artists from all over the world; from Berlin, Helsinki, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York, Toronto and Reunion Island. A unique feature of the festival are ensemble-based shows, where individual improvisers collaborate with a director to create never-before-seen performances.


The mission of the Vancouver Improv Festival is to produce high-quality improvisational performances that raise the profile of the talented improvisers of British Columbia, while hosting international improvisers to the benefit of the local community, and to entertain a growing audience. We welcome your feedback or questions. info @ vancouverimprovfest.com



Ese Atawo is a Nigerian-born, Toronto-raised, Vancouver-resident improviser. She started her comedy career at Second City learning improv and she’s still doing it… to her surprise. Ese Atawo is also a teacher at Blind Tiger Comedy and enjoys seeing the next wave of improvisers do their thing. 


Curt Da Silva is a Vancouver-based improviser and math-fan. He is the creator and director of the all-Asian stage-combat improv comedy group Fistful of Kicks. He has performed all around North America, but most notably in Portland, Oregon and Austin, Texas. He has a degree in Math + Computer Science, if you’re into that sort of thing. Catch him performing on stages all around Vancouver.


Jordy Matheson is a theatre artist and improviser working primarily in Vancouver on Unceded Coast Salish territories. He is a graduate of the Douglas College acting program, and has a BA in Theatre Studies from UBC. As an actor he primarily works in improv and live comedy, performing with Tightrope Theatre, QueerProv, Little Mountain Improv and others. He has had plays developed through Pull Festival and Arts Club’s LEAP program. He is co-deviser and director of We Deserve to Work with the Community Living Society and Canadian Institute for Inclusion and Citizenship. 


Brigitte is an improviser and writer from Vancouver, British Columbia. She serves as a cast member of Fistful of Kicks and has toured with them internationally, performing at Stumptown Festival in Portland and The International Improvised Play Festival in Austin. She received her BAH in English from Queen’s University and is a staff writer for the satire news website the Beaverton.


Amy is an improvisor and educator living in Vancouver, on the traditional, unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səl ̓ ilw̓ ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Amy started improvising with Edmonton’s Rapid Fire Theatre in 2002 and served as the company’s Artistic Director for six years. Amy now spends her time leading improv workshops with Blind Tiger Comedy, performing weekly with Little Mountain Improv and Tightrope Theatre, and touring with her duo Rå Power with Joleen Ballendine.



Greta is a fundraising and development professional, and has worked with various nonprofit and grassroots organizations such as the BCCLA and Megaphone magazine. In her spare time, she is a standup and improv comedian. She is an immigrant from the city of Guangzhou in Mainland China, and has been calling the Coast Salish Territories home since 2013. Greta is passionate about social justice, good Chinese food, and takes great pleasure in spending time with her cat, Luna Beyonce Lin.


Kristina Matisic is a public relations consultant who has worked in media for over two decades. First as a news reporter and anchor; then as an award-winning TV host and producer; and now as a public relations expert and social media consultant with extensive experience on all sides of the PR equation. A graduate from USC’s School of Journalism, Kristina got her start at Global News in Vancouver, working as an overnight news anchor. After six years in news, she went on to co-create, co-host, and co-produce shows like The Shopping Bags and Anna and Kristina’s Grocery Bag for the W Network, the latter which was seen in over 65 countries. When not helping clients as a consultant, Kristina is an improviser and an actor, appearing in locally-shot commercials, TV shows and movies. An avid animal lover, she is also a spokesperson for the BC SPCA.


Originally from Calgary, Lara now calls Vancouver home. In her work life Lara is a lawyer and in her personal life she enjoys the many outdoor activities that Vancouver has to offer. As a past attendee of the Vancouver Improv Festival, Lara is happy to be part of the festival this year as a member of the board.


Simon is a Director and the Treasurer of the Vancouver Improv Fest. He has been on the board since 2018 and is involved in all things numbers-related. He is a banker by day, and sports fan & comedy enthusiast by night. Born and raised in Vancouver, Simon loves to spend time outside. He can be found riding his bike or golfing in the summer and skiing or playing hockey in the winter. Whenever possible, Simon loves jumping on a plane and traveling the world trying to cross as many countries off his list. He and his wife live in sunny East Vancouver.


Tracy Defoe is a Vancouver improv mom who proudly claims to have seen ten years of high school improv. She joined the Vancouver Improv Festival board with experience as past president of the board of directors of a youth theatre company. In her professional life, Tracy is a Canadian adult education consultant and researcher specializing in workplace learning. She is a writer and coach, and a community developer. Tracy identifies as a white settler, and her pronouns are she and her.


Our Board leads the Vancouver Improv Festival Society, meeting five times a year, and supports the Organizing Team as needed. We are interested in connecting with folks passionate about improv and non profit governance, as well as community partners. If you’re interested in getting involved, please contact Board President, Kristina Matisic – kristina @ vancouverimprovfest.com.

Vancouver Improv Festival is committed to creating and maintaining a safe environment, where creativity can flourish.
Read our Anti-Harassment Policy, here.