416 Toronto Creative Improvisers Festival

The plans are starting to roll out for 2016. The Tranzac has been booked for November 2 to 5, 2016. See the Program page for details as they become available. We are planning to present Mia Zabelka, from Austria, and Soyut Boyut from Istanbul, as well as many local musicians. We are posting some videos from 2015 on the youtTube page.

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We created an indiegogo crowdfunding site for the festival last year. It was moderately successful, given the time frame. Please help to make the festival a success again this year. When it is set up again, you will be able to click on the logo link to the left and make a contribution to the continuing health of improvisational music in Toronto.


I wake this morning my chakras all aligned, and grateful to have experienced last night at 416. Eagerly anticipating tonight and the two orchestras which will no doubt take me again to a higher level of soul existence. If you have not ever experienced 416 you may wish to head on down to the Tranzac tonight for 10. Come be awemazed.”
— 2012, 416 Festival participant

The 416 Toronto Creative Improvisers Festival is a yearly showcase for the vibrant Toronto improvised music scene.  The 416 area code’s finest improvising musicians, and sometimes visitors from farther afield, play in a wide variety of styles in 3 or 4 sets over each of the festival’s 4 nights.  Their improvisations take the form of completely free-form spontaneous compositions, created entirely “in the moment, at the moment of performance, by the performers”.  At other times, a drawing, graphic, object, original musical chart or just the audience ‘vibe’, are used to inspire the music.

The 416 is a celebration of music-making on a tightrope.

Samples from the 2012 Festival on Soundcloud.

 Preview of the 2014 Festival on Soundcloud.