Say goodbye to another local institution. Montreal Improv, a pillar of the city's comedy scene, is closing permanently due to the pandemic, its owners said. "It is with great sadness that we announce today that Montreal Improv will be permanently ceasing its operations," said the company in a July 16 Facebook post.

"Despite our best efforts to navigate the effects, restrictions and uncertainties resulting from the current COVID-19 health crisis, we were unable to develop a realistic plan to place the theatre on a viable economic footing for the future."  

Founded in 2008, the organization's gifted teachers brought the challenges, terrors, and freedoms of improvisational theatre to hundreds of students during weekly classes in French and English.

At night, its talented and brave performers put on shows several times a week.  

It also offered rehearsal space for shows, hosted private gigs and corporate events, and put on specialized workshops for people looking to boost their self-confidence and public speaking ability through stagecraft.  

On top of the financial stresses brought on by the closure of the theater's performance space during the coronavirus quarantine, the statement said, the organization couldn't find relief from certain contractual obligations and was forced to file for bankruptcy "even with the availability of several government programs."  

However, it will still be offering programming outdoors and online to those who were already enrolled over the next few months, said the statement.  

"This represents the last opportunity for them to take those classes," it reads. "We know it's not ideal, but it's the best we can do under the circumstances. All communication with the affected students regarding these classes will take place by e-mail."  

Montreal Improv struggled with the decision to close its doors but its owners are encouraged by the talent and creativity of its students.  

"We know that the community exists regardless of whether or not Montreal Improv exists as an entity and whether or not there is currently a physical location for all of us to meet," reads the statement.

"At some point in the future, the conditions will be right for a new organization to fill the void created by Montreal Improv's closure. We look forward to that day."  

"We must thank all of you from the bottom of our hearts for your commitment, passion and dedication to Montreal Improv. The theatre would not have existed without you. It would not have been like a second home to so many. We hope you can take pride and find comfort in the memories of what we created together," it concludes.

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