UBC coll 2018 UBC Colloquium 2018

Sounding Promise in the Present Tense: Improvising Through Troubled Times

Friday, Saturday And Sunday—June 22-24, 2018, 10am – 4pm
UBC Robson Campus Room C420
Free and Open To The Public
Associated Concerts until June 29, 2018 (see listings below)

At this year’s colloquium, Sounding Promise in the Present Tense: Improvising Through Troubled Times, presented in collaboration with the Vancouver International Jazz Festival and Coastal Jazz, presentations and performances will address questions around what it means to improvise in a challenging and uncertain present. What roles can the improvising arts play to address cultural and social turbulence? How might improvisation both settle on and unsettle our senses of what matters now? How does improvising confront our enmeshments in a heavily mediated and diverse world? What sorts of connections and resistances does improvisation enact? How might improvisation involve practices of disruption and of reconciliation? Of protest and of healing? Of undoing, of re-mixing, of co-creation? What senses of promise can improvisations sound in a time of unease and displacement?




10:00-10:45am         Roundtable 1

Socially-Engaged & Community-Driven Improv . . . in Practice!

This session brings together speakers using improvisation to respond to community needs or challenges. These projects include a strengths-based approach to addressing youth suicide and social isolation. The roundtable will discuss the challenges and strengths of this approach to research and community support. Projects discussed during the Roundtable will be explored further in the afternoon workshops!

Dustin Brass, First Nations University of Canada (Saskatchewan)

Erin Goodpipe, First Nations University of Canada (Saskatchewan)

Allison Pooley, Asante Centre (BC)

Michelle Stewart, University of Regina (Saskatchewan)

10:45-11:00:am   On the Legacy of Jo-Ann Episkenew

Dustin Brass and Erin Goodpipe

11:00-11:30am Roundtable 2

Nothing About Us Without Us: Peer-Mentoring and Improvisation using “Playing to our Strengths: A Community Improv Toolkit

This session will bring together speakers that are adapting and evaluating a community improvisation toolkit to be used in a peer-mentoring program for individuals with a complex disability. Drawing on their own lived experiences as well as health research they have undertaken, the speakers will share how improvisation helps to deliver information about the disability in a positive and strengths-based environment. They will also talk about the critical need for individuals with disabilities to be placed at the center when developing and delivering resources in our communities.

Myles Himmelreich, Asante Centre (BC)

Krystal Glowatski, Simon Fraser University (BC)

Katrina Griffin, Asante Centre (BC)

11:30am-12:15pm    Artist Keynote

Earth Revolution

Ta’Kaiya Blaney

1:00 -2:00pm     Artist Presentation

Born of the Wild Rose Country

Blue Moon Marquee

2:00-2:30pm   Networking Break

2:30-4:30pm  Improvisation Workshops 

This session will bring together two different community-based improvisation projects. Each project is socially-engaged and developed specific tools or resources for use in a community setting. For each session there will be a demonstration of games followed by a discussion about the activities.

2:30pm   Acting Out! But in a Good Way

Dustin Brass, First Nations University of Canada (Saskatchewan)

Erin Goodpipe, First Nations University of Canada (Saskatchewan)

3:30pm    Connecting, Creating, Calming: A Family Toolkit

Mia Bell, University of Regina (Saskatchewan)

Robyn Pitawanakwat, University of Regina (Saskatchewan)

Michelle Stewart, University of Regina (Saskatchewan)

4:15pm  Closing Remarks



10:00 am  Artist Talk

Improvising Community

Joe Sorbara with Peggy Lee and Bill Clark

11:00-12:00    Artist Talk

Can’t Lit Live! (live podcast recording)     

Dina del Bucchia and Jen Sookfong Lee

1:00-2:00pm   Artist Keynote

Stretch Woven

Scott Amendola

2:00    – 4:00 pm    Critical Karaoke

Critics, artists and listeners offer in-the-moment discussions of selected recordings that take exactly the timing of the tracks. Music discussed will include recordings by Mary Margaret O’Hara, Kamasi Washington, John Coltrane, Tanya Tagaq, Dálava, Childish Gambino, Nels Cline and others


10:00 – 11:00 am  Artist Talk

Music, Improvisation, and the Embodied Mind

Dylan van der Schyff

Exploring the phenomenon of musical improvisation through the lenses of embodied cognitive science and theoretical biology

11:00-12:00pm    Poetry Reading and Discussion

Walking the City

Gillian Jerome

University of British Columbia

1pm-2pm    Artist Keynote

Improvising from the get go

Nels Cline

2:00-3:00pm       Artist Talk

Poetry and the Armenian Genocide

Aram Bajakian and Alan Semerdjian

3:00pm    Artist Talk

Letters I Haven’t Written

Gwyneth Herbert


Nels Cline & Scott Amendola
June 23, 9:30 pm, Ironworks

June 23, midnight, Ironworks

Gwyneth Herbert
June 24, 6:45 pm, Robson Stage (free)

Peggy Lee’s Echo Painting
June 25, 9:30 pm, Ironworks

Aram Bajakian & Julia Ulehla
June 27, 11:00 pm, China Cloud

Mary Margaret O’Hara
June 27, 7:30 pm, Performance Works

Davis/Bajakian/van der Schyff
June 29, 5:00 pm, Ironworks (free)