I just got back from photographing the 4-day Applied Improv Network conference in the Laurentians near Mont Tremblant in the Blueberry Lake resorts. This is the second of three posts highlighting the amazing things I saw during the conference. See the first post about Quest of the Dragon King here, the second post about Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra here.
It’s been over a week now but I’m still feeding off the positive vibes and energy from the conference. I came to the Applied Improv Network conference not knowing anything about applied improv and was suddenly immersed in it for 4 days. I can hear the first question already: Alex, what the hell is applied improv? I’m happy to say I can answer this after having photographed 30+ workshops during the conference. The idea of applied improv is to bring the tools and philosophy of improv off the stage and into other environments (such as corporate businesses, academia, or therapy) and ultimately using these improv techniques to develop spontaneity, cooperation or communication for whichever purpose, whether it be for increased performance and efficiency, team building or human development.
As you might expect, the conference was full of energy and hilarity. After a morning of photographing people singing, screaming, laughing, hugging, someone told me: "You probably feel like you've just walked into a weird sect right?" Where do I sign up and do we get free refills on the punch? I had a blast and met tons of interesting and talented people. I'd be so excited to photograph the AIN Conference in Oxford 2016. WINK. WINK.
I had been familiar with improv as a performance and was used to photograph improvisers, having photographed a bunch of Montreal improvisers over the last year (Mongrel, Easy Action, Meags Fitzgerald, and all members of Montreal Improv's house teams in my Faces of Improv project). Funnily enough, none of that improv photography led me to this assignment. It just happens that a few friends of mine from the 100in1day Montreal community took charge in proposing Montreal as the host city for the 2015 Applied Improv Network conference and organized the whole thing. HUGE shoutout to the lovely team.
And I also have to mention this. I love food and love great food even more. We had Andrew P. Cuisine Inspirée (& Mélissa!) and La Brigade cook for us all weekend. My goal in life right now is to be the photographer at all the events where they're catering.
I'm really grateful to have been a small part of this lively conference! And nothing beats seeing comments like the following ones left by the conference attendees:
Thanks for reading! Talk to you soon :)