Big City Improv Festival, Toronto, Oct 14-22 2016

Festival Venues


Adrianne Gagnon
Executive Director

Adrianne Gagnon lives to be happy and wants to help others do the same. 12 years ago she took her first improv class and has never quite looked at life the same since. She has travelled North America performing and teaching with her three-woman improv troupe, We’re From Here. In 2011 Adrianne created The Big City Improv Festival, which has been going strong for 7 years and is Canada’s largest improv festival to date. She is incredibly proud of the BCIF and works with an amazing team to bring this world class festival to the streets of Toronto.

Recently, Adrianne moved east to the lovely city of Halifax where she is helping to cultivate and grow the local improv scene. Her company, Mission Critical Comedy, is dedicated to spreading the Yes, whoever needs it!! She is excited to be back in Toronto for this year's festival and performing in the duo Kitty and the Bee!!

Becky Johnson
Artistic Director

Becky Johnson is a twenty five year veteran of the Canadian comedy scene. She is an alumna of the Toronto Second City Mainstage, has created and toured her own scripted an improvised shows internationally and has appeared in iconic Canadian plays including the European premiere of Daniel MacIvor’s A Beautiful View and the world premiere of Sheila Heti’s All Our Happy Days Are Stupid. Becky is one half of celebrated improv duos IRON COBRA (with Graham Wagner) and The Sufferettes (with Kayla Lorette). With these projects, she has toured to Atlanta, Edmonton, Vancouver, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Minneapolis, Berlin, Vienna, Graz, London, Paris, Zurich and Ljubljana, to name a selected bunch. Becky has been nominated for seven Canadian Comedy Awards and has won two. On screen, she can be found in Space Riders: Division Earth (CTV Extend/Hulu), The Amazing Gayl Pile (CBC/LaRue Entertainment), Odd Squad (PBS/Sinking Ship), The Beaverton (Comedy Network/Pier 21 Films), Baroness Von Sketch Show (Frantic Films/IFC), Workin’ Moms (CBC) and animated series Gary and His Demons (Blue Ant/Look Mom).

Natasha Boomer
Volunteer Coordinator

This is Natasha Boomer. Doing improv since 1997, here there and everywhere. Doing Volunteer Co since 2013, here there and everywhere. I never do anything I don't like. Rule to live by. So I do.

Sam Roulston
Social Media Manager

Sam is a British actor, writer and improviser based in Toronto. Recently you may have seen him perform as part of: Common Folk, The Butterfly Defect, SYNC, The Beaverton Digital or The End (Toronto Fringe 2016). Sam is also an instructor at The Second City Training Centre.

Sam is very excited to be back as part of the BCIF team this year! Twitter: @SamWRoulston IG: samroulston

Gary Rideout
Owner, Comedy Bar

Biography coming soon.

Amie Everett
Web Developer

Amie has been a member of lots of improv teams including Betty, Surprise Romance Elixir, and Calvinball. She’s studied at lots of improv schools including ITC, Bad Dog, Second City, and the Annoyance Theatre in Chicago. She’s performed at lots of improv festivals including the Del Close Marathon, the Detroit Improv Festival, and our very own BCIF!

Nowadays she doesn’t perform much but loves to watch lots of new improvisers discovering this crazy weird art form for the first time. And do websites and stuff.

Code of Conduct

The Big City Improv Festival (BCIF) is committed to providing a safe environment, free from harassment or discrimination for all performers, volunteers, employees and audience members.

While BCIF does not have a resident venue, we follow the shared values, anti-harassment and nondiscrimination policies as the spaces the festival uses for programming: Bad Dog Theatre, Comedy Bar, The Second City and Social Capital Theatre. These policies can be found displayed at each venue and on their respective websites.

BCIF maintains a zero tolerance policy surrounding harassment and discrimination. We do not allow hate speech of any kind whether it’s directed at performers, volunteers, employees or audience members. Anyone verbalizing comments that are homophobic, misogynistic, racist, xenophobic or prejudiced will be asked to leave.

If you experience or witness harassment or discrimination please fill out the anonymous Reporting Form. Reports will be dealt with on a case by case basis.