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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of  Music
August 20, 2017
Canadian Excellence


Faculty of Music

International music conference comes to Canada for the first time; chooses Waterloo region as host site

May 11/16

Starting this week, Waterloo will welcome hundreds of improvising musicians, students, and academics into the region for the 9th annual International Society for Improvised Music conference (ISIM). Wilfrid Laurier University’s Faculty of Music will act as the main host site for the event, with some events also taking place in Guelph and Toronto. While most of the previous conferences have been held in the United States (with the exception of the 2015 conference, which took place in Switzerland), this will mark the first time the conference has ever been held in Canada.

Numus Artistic Director, Kathryn Ladano, performed and spoke at ISIM’s 7th annual conference in New York City in 2014. During that visit, Ladano was given the opportunity to perform with members of ISIM’s board of directors and she proposed the idea of bringing the conference to Canada, specifically to her home community of Kitchener-Waterloo. Her efforts proved successful, with Ladano arranging for most of the events to take place at Wilfrid Laurier University, where she teaches improvisation in the faculty of music.

“This is a really big opportunity for both Wilfrid Laurier University and the Region of Waterloo”, says Ladano. “We will have some of the top improvising musicians and academics from around the world all together in our own back yard, and it’s a great way to shine an international spotlight on the creative music and musicians that thrive in Waterloo region”.

The ISIM conference will also include a public performance of ISIM board member, Douglas Ewart’s piece “Crepuscule” in Guelph. Ewart has been residing in Guelph as Improviser in Residence with the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation. “The piece brings together diverse people and communities from all walks of life in a massive and organized improvisation,” says Ewart. “I want us to remember that life is rewarding and worth living—even with its current obstacles and challenges." The performance of Crepuscule will take place on Saturday, May 14th from 2-5pm at the Guelph Arboretum.

For more information please contact:

Kathryn Ladano, Artistic Director, NUMUS: (519) 208-2512,,

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