Videos and Project Snapshots

For all the latest on the research and proejcts, please see

For the IICSI research video collection, please see:

Below are some featured Regina project videos and older project snapshots:

Liquid Art

Research video:

Improv Toolkit Trailer

Sample video from the 2017 Regina IICSI Conference

George Lipsitz Keynote

Isabella Stefanescu (with Klaus Engel and Anne-Marie Donovan, performances by Helen Pridmore)

Older Research Snapshots:


Improvisation and Mobility: Regina IICSI Conference and Festival, 2017

Archive of the conference website:

Improv Symposium: Saying Yes / Exploring Creative Growth, 2015
(Irwin, artist Kenn McCloud, local artists, University of Regina Theatre Department).

Summary: A research symposium asking how can we shift public understanding of improvisation as a means to “maximize the moment;” to realize its potential to create innovative art and address social challenges. Included a panel of improvising artists and researchers: Kathleen Irwin, Kenn McCloud, Johanna Bundon, Jayden Pfeifer, Chancz Perry Sutherland, Dan Macdonald, Marnie McMillan, Dawn Bird & Anne MacDonald
Research Questions
Completed by May 2014. Outcome: Symposium, video documentation

 Older Research Projects:

Improvisation Methodologies in Creative Technologies 2013

A research project investigating improvisation in Creative Technologies in Saskatchewan Funded by the University of Regina President’s SSHRC Fund. Complete, although Improvising with iPads continues
Includes a number of smaller projects involving researchers, such as a profile of the IMP Labs (see below)

IMP Labs Documentation 2015
(Caines, Marsh, student researchers)- documentation of improvisation work in the IMP labs, to be disseminated in Critical Studies in Improvisation journal as an interview in the special issue on hip-hop.

Improvising with iPads 2014-2016

(Caines, Gerhard, Minevich, new community partner Wascana Rehabilitation Centre, and the Regina Public Library, student researchers)
Community workshops- continued research, video editing of existing documentation, grants, ethics documents, meetings, planning
Completed by 2015. Outcomes: Journal article, concerts, workshops

Participants in the Improvising with iPads project (2014) Photo Credit: Eagleclaw Thom

Indigenous People’s Health Research Centre documentation and planning

(Episkenew, student researchers).

Research is being planned to document the improvisation elements in IPHRC’s current work in after school arts and health programs. This will include a graduate student brown bag lunch to discuss the project and build a plan, and student hours supporting photographs, video and written documentation 2013-2015 projects. Partially complete.
Completed by December 2015. Outcomes: Journal articles, video documentation, published interviews, project documentation

Site visit- IICSI Director and Community Engagement Officer

(Irwin, Gerhard, Epiksenew, Petty, Caines)
Visit to the University of Regina campus by IICSI Director, Ajay Heble and IICSI Community Outreach Officer Elizabeth Jackson including meetings with researchers and University of Regina Leadership including VP(Research) David Malloy and Dean of Fine Arts Sheila Petty. Scheduled talk by Ajay Heble at the University of Regina Fine Arts Presentation Series. Planned networking events, showcase of iPad research project results, and visit to the IPHRC and IMP labs, Creative City Centre, and Wascana Rehabilitation Centre.
Complete by April 10, 2014. Outcomes: Public talk, networking event, meetings with researchers and partners.

Improvisation, Intermediality and Human/Digital Interaction

(Caines with Campbell, Loess and Arroyas)
This project was supported by the University of Regina Research Trust Fund. It focused on analyzing improvisation in the field of new media art, with particular focus on Canadian works. The main output was a panel at the Rethinking Intermediality conference in Romania in October 2013 where research was presented on new media art by SK artists Rachelle Viader Knowles and Judy Anderson, and a new smartphone app “The Improscaper” for improvising with digital image and audio was launched.Completed November 2013: Outcomes: Panel at international conference, practice-based research leading to a new smartphone app, published journal article by Caines, Viader Knowles and Anderson:
"QR Codes and Traditional Beadwork: Augmented Communities Improvising Together"

The University of Regina iPad Orchestra (Caines, Gerhard, Minevich, Pridmore)

Research Questions/Summary:
This project aims to explore the potential for engaging with the Apple iPad as a teaching and learning device in the area of music composition and performance. Whilst there have been a range of orchestras utilizing new mobile technologies as performance tools including the renowned laptop orchestra at the University of Regina (Regina Electroacoustic Performance Orchestra, 2008-2009), there have been few explorations with the new opportunities offered by the iPad/large screen touchscreen tablet, and there have not been any extensive studies on the teaching applications of using the iPad touchscreen tablet in the university classroom. This ongoing research engaged students in the classroom in active improvisation and learning with the iPad, and creates practice-based research outcomes including concerts, videos, and the development of new musical apps.
Completed: Ongoing
Outcomes: Concerts, video documentation, conference papers, journal articles

Improvising with iPads: A Partnered Inquiry into Technology-based Music Therapy, Improvisation and Cultural Expression in Health Settings

(Caines with Amanda Schenstead and Rick Kotowich -Regina Qu’apelle Health Region- Wascana Rehabilitation Centre)

Research Questions/Summary:

• Can improvising with the Apple iPad device offer long term clients in a health setting new therapeutic, creative and cultural opportunities?
• Are there any therapeutic benefits of working with the iPad to make music and multimedia arts?
• Can this form of improvised arts aid in community building in institutional settings?
• What is the therapeutic value of using iPads as improvisational instruments?
• How is the “self” (identity) being represented through electronic means?
• What is the experience of the therapist as a supportive figure within this context?

Liquid Art

(Caines and partners Creative City Centre and Sâkêwêwak Artist Collective)

Photo Credit Larissa Kitchemonia

Liquid Art is a community-engaged, practice-based research project investigating the social impact of improvisation in live painting and mixed media. This project works with visual arts as a liquid, live form, able to sustain a creative city. It explores painting, drawing and mixed media art as liquid forms that can be created live with audiences, and used to sustain and enrich communities. In particular it explores live painting, drawing and mixed media art as a format that allows learning in the visual arts to flow from established artists to emerging artists, to young artists, to the communities of Canada and back again. It examines the social impact of live art on communities in Saskatchewan through supporting live art workshops, events and exhibitions. This initiative is a project by the Regina Improvisation Studies Centre, The Creative City Centre and its Hague Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan, working with renowned Indigenous artist collective Sâkêwêwak and the communities they are embedded in, and two local high schools: Scott Collegiate and Thom Collegiate. Improvising musicians from Holophon Audio Arts and the communities could also join us for live art events.

Isomorphisms for Improvisation

Isomorphic keyboards have the potential to enable musical novices to more redly participate in improvisational activities because the music-theoretic relationships between notes and constructs are encoded within the keyboard layout. Musix Pro (for the iPad and iPhone) and the Rainboard (a physical controller instrument), both developed in Regina, SK, allow experimentation and interaction with a wide variety of isomorphic layouts in rectangular and hexagonal tesselations. We would like to study how musical experts and novices improvise on isomorphic keyboards and develop new ways for musical novices to quickly learn and engage with music. Timeline: January 2015- September 2015. Outcomes: Dissemination of research findings (Conference and Journal papers) Development and adaptation of new interfaces for the digital tools.

Home Cooking, Cooking Home


Description of Project: This practice-based project will create: 1) a video installation of 10 cooking lessons made by 10 women who are far from home; 2) a significant performance event – through a staged meal on a hand crafted wooden table in a gallery space for an audience of 10 guests. Served to “power brokers” in the community, the event comprises 10 courses, on10 unique ceramic place settings made by local artists, reflecting 10 homelands and 10 food-related stories or issues. What underlies this research is how the equation of women + food + distance equals the sum of how humanity sustains and performs itself in place and over time. Home Cooking focuses on the experience of immigrant women in Regina, who through labour and love and provide nourishment for their families. In this project, home cooking is both a life-sustaining process and a creative practice that bridges current circumstances and memories of home. As a creative practice, it allows women to share favourite recipes and hands-on cooking lessons to explain how they make and "make do" without certain ingredients, thereby creating new, hybrid recipes that illustrate the challenges and the opportunities of their new home. A public symposium on food-related issues at the University will form the capstone for the creative events at the University in Winter 2015. Objectives: This project valourizes food, in particular the role of women in providing sustenance and sustaining culture. It also celebrates those who join in the event through sharing food and conversation. Both the locus of investigation and the aesthetic focus is food – and the politics and practices that surround it in the 21st century. Its aims are manifold: 1) to creatively address issues around the daily business of putting dinner on the table; 2) by creating a video installation, performance event and public symposium we aim to create a significant, performative occasion, where recipes, dinner and stories are shared; 3) by tapping into the significant food-related research underway at the U of R, we aim to include key researchers “at the table” to talk about sustainability, access and food quality on local and global scales (Drs. M. Stewart; M. Spooner; D. Hepting; F. Dupre; A. Desmerais; J. Piwowar, etc.); 4) through this the project, we aim to actualize an economy of exchange and to that end, we will invite a corporate entities to donate the ingredients in exchange for a place at the table of ideas. The invited guests attending the performance and members of the public attending the public forum will be encouraged to donate to the local food bank; 5) we aim to partner with members of the local arts/cultural community (Common Weal Community Arts Inc., Immigrant Women of Saskatchewan, Street Culture Kidz Project) to share experience and expertise; 6) the final aim is to create a cluster of networked, international events staged on both real and virtual platforms. Method of Approach: This project’s working hypothesis is that through “homecooking” (the transference of recipes from one woman to another), an intergenerational conveyance of culture occurs that transcends time and place. As such, “women’s work,” the regular setting and arrangement of meals on the table, exceeds the merely functional. It proposes that the intersection of women and food is a primary, radical, gendered, and fundamentally engaged performative practice operating on both local and global levels, and it investigates the quotidian and localized ritual of putting food on the table as a sensory and aesthetic performance, a memory play that crosses spatial / temporal boundaries, and a political act. The methodology underpinning this research is practice-based and emergent. It begins with a hypothesis and tests it with individual women who volunteer their time and culinary skills. Understanding that this information will be made public, participants contribute a brief written description of a recipe that resonates on a personal and cultural level. This is submitted along with a shopping list. When the ingredients are sourced, a time and place is arranged to video the cooking of the recipe, the camera focusing solely on the individual’s hands in the process. The video and audio recording of the spoken text is edited down to three minutes segments. In this manner, 10 videos are collected - the first stage in an event that will culminate in a gallery installation, a performance, a public symposium. The second stage results in a collaborative, international web-based project. Given the exploratory nature of this methodology, chance and contingency will largely determine outcomes. We will know that we have successfully completed the work, if the result is an affective, informative, collaborative, interdisciplinary art/performance event that operates on multiple levels and leads to public discourse and positive action around issues related to food distribution and sustainability on both local and global levels. Design of Research: At the centre of this creative process are a number of key questions: 1.How does placement (or displacement) transform patterns and modes of food consumption?; 2. Can the most basic of issues, the procurement and dispersal of nourishing, adequate and appropriate food be addressed through collaborative creative action on the local level?; 3. Can this activity produce good art, good food and affect sustainable solutions?; 4. How are food choices, taste preferences transformed over distance and time and how does food work to resist or inform reductive stereotypes?; 5. How do concerns about food on a local level turn our attention to global scale issues?; 6. When we create art about food, whom do we include at our table? Timelines: January 2015- December 2015 Outcomes: Practice-Based Research (Installation/Performance Event), symposium, conference presentations.