2019 iTi Conference and Festival

October 14-20  |  Vancouver, BC, Canada

Welcome Message

We proudly invite you to the 2019 International Theatresports Institute’s Conference and Festival from October 14 to 20th, 2019 in spectacular Vancouver, Canada – frequently rated as one of the top three livable cities in the world.

The 2019 iTi Conference logo created in collaboration with indigenous artist Renae Tate. Click to learn more.

We are delighted with the our conference line-up.  Over the next two months we will be complementing our core programs with additional performances and workshop leaders. The conference and festival will provide participants with the opportunity to learn from others through discussions, workshops, and performances. There will be business focused workshops over 3 days for individuals who play a producer-type role in their organization.  The conference will include workshops, performances, panels, and roundtables. We will explore Keith Johnstone’s formats and improv philosophies. We will also see how formats have evolved in various regions.

Don’t miss this opportunity to be inspired by joining improvisers and arts administrators from all over the world to update yourself, to network, to enjoy learning opportunities and social events. Register to receive conference updates, and to be top of the list when it comes time for workshop selections. Please tell as many members of the international improv scene that this is going to an exceptional celebration of the international improv scene!

Vancouver is a beautiful city. I encourage you to extend your stay to explore our amazing region.

Looking forward to meeting you in Vancouver  in October 2019!

– Jay Ono, Executive & Artistic Director at Vancouver TheatreSports™ 


Check out Status Magazine’s feature piece about the conference.


About Vancouver TheatreSports™

Founded in 1980, Vancouver TheatreSports™ (VTS) has grown to become a well-respected international leader in the improv art form. Voted the ‘#1 Improv Comedy Company’ for the third year in a row at the prestigious ‘2018 Best of Vancouver Awards’, VTS entertains more than 65,000 people per year with 10 shows per week, 52 weeks per year at its own theatre, The Improv Centre. An intimate space located on Granville Island (see below), The Improv Centre is a fully-licensed facility with its own Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge, which overlooks False Creek Marina. Some of our alumni include the Who’s Who of the North American comedy world – Colin Mochrie, Ryan Stiles, Dean Haglund, Ellie Harvie , Nancy Robertson and Veena Sood.

In addition to our theatre division, VTS also owns and operates The Improv Comedy Institute – an improv school which offers classes from beginner through professional level for both adults and teens, conducts province-wide school tours, and operates Improv for Business – a corporate training division with a diverse portfolio of blue-chip clients.


Welcome to Beautiful Vancouver

Consistently ranked as one of the top three places to live in the world, Vancouver is a seaport city located on the south west coast of British Columbia, Canada. The third largest city in Canada, Vancouver and the GVRD (Greater Vancouver Regional District) boasts an ethnically and culturally diverse population in excess of three million. It is famed world-wide for its spectacular setting on the edge of the Pacific Ocean with a dramatic mountain backdrop and boasts more than 18 km (11 miles) of pristine beaches, most of which are accessible by The Seawall which meanders its way through the city from the foot of the Granville Street at the base of the Downtown area all the way out to Point Grey in the far west.

The city has a thriving cultural community and is known as ‘Hollywood North’ as it is second only to Los Angeles for the number of TV series and feature films shot here. It is also famed for its superb and innovative culinary scene – where East meets West in a unique culinary expression that features the bounty of local and seasonal ingredients. Life in Vancouver mixes urban sophistication with an environmental ethos and appreciation of the outdoors. It’s a city where you can attend the theatre or a concert, paddle board or kayak, snow ski and take a yoga class all on the same day – all year round, as Vancouver is located in a temperate rain forest. Unlike the rest of Canada, snow is a rarity here, and yes, we do have palm trees along with soaring cedar forests.

Vancouver has hosted many international conferences and events, including the 1954 British Empire and the Commonwealth Games, UN Habitat, Expo 86, the World Police and Fire Games in 1989 and 2009; and more recently, Vancouver welcomed the world to the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. In 2014, following thirty years in California, the annual TED conference made Vancouver its permanent home.

To learn more about Vancouver take a look at the video below and visit Tourism Vancouver’s website  


You can check out more Vancouver information videos on Tourism Vancouver’s You Tube Channel


Vancouver Climate in October

October is a beautiful month in Vancouver with plenty of autumn colour and moderate temperatures. Average daytime highs range between 12°C – 20°C (53°F – 68°F). We suggest you check the Environment Canada website closer to the Conference dates to get an accurate forecast for while you are here.


Granville Island – Conference Headquarters

Vancouver TheatreSports™, and our theatre The Improv Centre, are located on Granville Island – a peninsula in the heart of Vancouver across False Creek from Vancouver’s bustling downtown and Yaletown neighbourhoods. Granville Island sits on land that is managed by the Federal Government of Canada through its agency Canada Mortgage and Housing (CMHC). It is the second most-visited attraction in Canada – receiving 12 million visitors annually. Once an industrial manufacturing area, Granville Island has transformed into a hub of Vancouver’s arts, culture and culinary communities while maintaining its industrial heritage ambiance

The Island is home to 275 businesses and facilities including The Granville Island Public Market, The Kids’ Only Market, The Granville Island Hotel, artists’ studios, buskers, Arts Umbrella, several professional theatre companies, a marina, numerous restaurants, the Market food court and a house-boat residential community.

Granville Island is easily reached from downtown on the #50 False Creek bus, or by the Aquabus or False Creek Ferry that ply the waters of False Creek and link the Island to the downtown, Yaletown, Kitsilano, Olympic Village and Chinatown neighbourhoods. Granville Island website

We acknowledge with gratitude that the land on which we gather is the un-ceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəýəm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səĺílwətaʔ/ Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.



Hwy 99 = Granville Street. Anderson Street runs underneath the Granville Street Bridge.

About International TheatreSports Institute

ITI stands for: The International Theatresports™ Institute, but we are much more than just ‘Theatresports’. We are dedicated to supporting, developing, connecting and promoting the growing community of improvisers who work with Keith Johnstone’s improvisational techniques and formats. In 1998 the ITI was set up as the official worldwide management of the Production Rights to Keith Johnstone’s formats Theatresports™, Maestro Theatre™, and Gorilla Theatre™. Our membership numbers over 90 companies, schools and universities from 22 countries on 6 continents. The formats are performed in 17 different languages.



Keith Johnstone is a theatre director, teacher, author and playwright specializing in improvisational theatre.  He is a professor emeritus at the University of Calgary, past Associate Director of London’s Royal Court Theatre, and co-founder of the Theatre Machine & Loose Moose Theatre Company.

Keith began working at England’s Royal Court Theatre in London when George Devine and Tony Richardson commissioned a play from him in 1956.  At various times from 1956 – 1966, Keith was the chief play-reader, responsible for the educational work, directed the Royal court Theatre studio, wrote and directed plays, developed the writers group and became as Associate Director of the theatre.  With actors he began to explore how to make them more spontaneous, responsive and alive in their work.  On the assumption that rather than children being immature adults, adults were atrophied children, he began to question his own childhood experiences. Remembering his schooling left Keith believing that the education system was blunting creativity.  Keith wrote a list of rules of ‘Things teachers stopped me from doing’ then he encouraged his students to do the opposite.  His unorthodox technique was a success.  This experiment marks a starting point of Keith’s work in Spontaneous Improvisation.

Keith has co-founded two legendary improvisation companies. The Theatre Machine, in which Keith and a troupe of actors toured Europe performing improvisation exercises Keith was exploring or inventing on the spot (and often performing for audiences who knew little or no English), and the Loose Moose Theatre Company. Many of these early experiments are now classic improvisation games taught and played world-wide.

In the 1970’s Keith was offered a position at the University of Calgary in Alberta Canada.  While at the University, he continued developing his work. This gave birth to a small group known as the Secret Impro Theatre who played impro games at lunch time to gauge audience response to the work. This group became The Loose Moose Theatre Company formed in 1977. It was there that Theatresports™ was fully realized, and Keith’s other formats Gorilla Theatre™Maestro™ Impro, and The Life Game were born. 

Keith is a well known as a writer.  His plays have been produced in Canada,the United States, Brazil and various countries in Europe.

Contact us

Couldn’t find what you’re looking for? We’re here to help!
For general inquiries regarding the 2019 iTi Conference please contact

Subscribe now