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That's the Spirit! Humour & Heart in Live Performance

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That's the Spirit! Humour and Heart in Live Performance

with Al Simmons, Tomáš Kubínek and Peter Paul Van Camp

Tuesday, July 30 – Thursday, August 1, 2019, 10am – 3:30pm each day
Fee: $439 + GST
Deposit: $109.75 + GST

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Scholarships and bursaries are available to all of Island Mountain Arts’ Programs.
More info here. Thanks to support from Creative BC, there are a limited number of full scholarships available. Just indicate on the form that you would like to be considered for a full scholarship.

The Workshop:

This 3-day performance workshop is for actors, dancers, musicians, poets and others, both aspiring and professional.

Al, Peter Paul and Tomáš will lead participants through hilarious and unconventional approaches to greater freedom, spontaneity, and presence in their live performance work.

Theatre games, explorations in physicality, and improvisation techniques, will bring participants to new approaches in their openness and creativity through humour and playfulness, with a focus on bringing greater humanity and vitality to what they share with an audience.

Graceful movement with ostrich plumes, power-dynamics of primate behaviour, spaghetti-legged silly-walks, and practical tricks for transcending self-sabotage will all be explored.

Some of the other topics covered may include:

How to Focus a Room, Charm 101, Correct Bullhorn-Technique, Sysiphussian Problem-Solving, Failing with Grace, Theatrical Disguise Techniques, and (bonus lesson) - Practical Jokes that every Aspiring-Loogan should know...

Attendees will experience greater openness and creativity through their own humour, playfulness and spontaneity and learn to communicate fearlessly and from the heart.

(Participants should wear comfortable clothes that they wouldn’t mind rolling around on the floor in).



Al Simmons has been called “A one man cast of thousands”, “A lightning bolt of lunacy” and “The Thomas Edison of entertainers.” He was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and now calls the tiny town of Anola, Manitoba home. During his 50 year career he has delighted audiences from Hong Kong to Alaska and from Las Vegas to the Bahamas.

He is a creative genius whose charm and humanity have won over a legion of fans at theaters and festivals around the world. His highly original performances of profound wackiness and array of off-the-wall inventions take the arts of Music and Comedy to unparalleled heights of hilarity.

He has performed with 11 symphony orchestras, at International Children’s Festivals in 4 countries and at World’s Fairs on 3 continents. Al has won a Juno Award, he’s a Member of the Order of Manitoba, and the recipient of the Winnipeg Symphony’s Golden Baton for Artistic Achievement. He was a gold medal winner at the 2005 World Championship Zuccini Race, and a restaurant in his hometown named a hotdog after him.

He has recorded three hilarious CDs, written a book and created a DVD movie that includes 6 of his zany music videos.

Tomáš Kubínek's internationally acclaimed solo performances play to packed theatres around the world. After a sold-out run on Broadway, The New York Times lauded his work as "Absolutely expert!" He was born in Prague and at the age of three was smuggled out of the country by his parents to escape the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. After two months in a refugee camp in Austria, the Kubínek family was granted asylum in Canada and it was there, in St. Catharines, Ontario, that Tomáš, age 5, witnessed his first circus. He became passionately interested in clowns, circus, theatre and magic and his perplexed yet well-adjusted parents took him to see every show that passed through town. At age 9 he presented his first performance before a circle of elderly magicians. By age 13 he had an agent. He performed in coffee-houses between folk-music acts and while still in his teens, he made his circus debut with a Brazilian clown duo as the rear half of a two-person horse. There was no turning back...


If Peter Paul Van Camp, the congenial spoken word Rhymester, can make one claim, it is this. He will not only steal your heart, but return it, cleaned and pressed. For nearly five decades, he has graced the coffeehouses, the college campuses, the Folk Clubs as well as the major and regional Folk Festivals of Canada, from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland. Oh, and all of those house concerts! He remains one of the last half-dozen fully bespectacled Declaimists on the circuit, and his motto will always be....”My Best Effort Today, and Better Luck Next Time.”

Special Events included with Tuition:

  • Monday, July 29, 7pm: Student Welcome Reception, IMA Gallery (2323 Pooley Street) – Meet your instructor and pick up your student information packages.

  • Tuesday, July 30, 5:30pm: Student BBQ, School, free for students

  • Wednesday, July 31, 8pm: Instructor Concert – Sunset Theatre, $20, free for students

IMA students also receive free admission to Barkerville Historic Town and many discounts to local businesses.

Consider sticking around after your workshop! The ArtsWells Festival Of All Things Art runs from Friday, August 2 – Monday, August 5, 2019 and features over 100 musical acts on 10 stages throughout Wells and Barkerville. See for details.