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Justin Quaintance

Campus improv club more than just a chicken

By Nikayla Goddard, October 11 2016 —

For the University of Calgary Improv Club, “why the chicken?” is a commonly asked question regarding  the club’s logo.

“The history is from when the club started up,” Improv Club co-president Rielle Massey-Leclerc said. “The [original] logo was a rubber chicken, with the idea being that a rubber chicken is the ultimate symbol of comedy.”


Justin Quaintance

Club members say one of the most important things to know about the Improv Club — besides the mystery behind the logo — is that the club isn’t exclusive to drama and arts majors. Massey-Leclerc said this is one of the largest misconceptions surrounding the club. A zoology major herself, she said many other members have joined not because they were into drama, but because they wanted to improve their improvisation and public speaking skills.

“The club is just a bunch of students with active imaginations and [a] passion for telling stories, hanging out and being completely random,” Massey-Leclerc said.

The club currently has around 20 members. They offer weekly workshops to students who want to practise improv and host bimonthly shows where members put their performance skills to the test.

The club’s first show this semester was on Sept. 23. Despite some lighting issues that arose during the performance, Massey-Leclerc said the performers had a great time.

“I think I speak for all the improvisers on that show when I say it was awesome to get back into it and be able to share those stories with the audience,” she said.

The Improv Club also participates in the annual Best of the West Improv Festival in February, where clubs from across western Canada come to Calgary to workshop and perform shows with the U of C team.

Massey-Leclerc says the club offers a unique environment for individuals to learn applicable skills, meet dynamic people and express themselves through a creative outlet.

“It’s just a really fun time and anything can happen,” Massey-Leclerc said. “It doesn’t matter what major you’re from or what flavour of weird you subscribe to — we all find a common ground in improv.”

For students interested in improv, the club hosts workshops on Tuesdays and Fridays from 2:00–4:00 p.m. in Craigie Hall E 004.

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