Impromptu Playground sets the stage for the 2014 edition of Musical Underground! Thanks to Awesome Ottawa.


Sunday, July 27 noon to 4pm
O-Train path and Queensway underpass [see map]

Musical Underground Ottawa is joining forces with members of Impromptu Playground to create a pop-up temporary outdoor venue.

Musical Underground is a grassroots project that originated around the idea of “reverse busking”. Passer-by musicians stop by to play a tune and sing a song. This year, in addition to offering a chance to win the guitar at the end of the season, we’re offering a public stage!

In keeping with the tradition of busking, part of the spectacle is the disruption and transformation of everyday space.

Set the Stage will be a whacky contrast to the drab hard concrete; a the playful, colourful and soft place for the audience. It will be near impossible to miss!

Think pink!

Join Facebook event page.

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Sarah from Impromptu Playground presented at TEDxElginSt in March. Our Transitway Swings and Park(ing) Day make a special appearance!


Last month, yowLAB co-director Sarah Gelbard gave a talk about “Practice Space” at TEDxElginSt. It’s a little bit theory and a look at some urban intervention projects. Enjoy!

For more info on the projects, check out her online portfolio, Impromptu Playground, and Park_ingOttawa websites.

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2013-05-27 10.52.51We must have been busy playing – it seems there is some confusion out there that we were previously unaware of.

We’re thrilled you all had a ball in our Dynamic Maze last year. Unfortunately, Impromptu Playground is unable to participate in the upcoming 2014 Ottawa International Children’s Festival due to time limitations and other commitments. As such, we will not be there this year and will not be installing the dynamic maze.

We sincerely apologize for any confusion or disappointment and hope everyone enjoys their time at the festival. Stay tuned to the blog for upcoming Impromptu Playground projects.

In adult-directed settings, children are weak and vulnerable. In play, they are strong and powerful. The play world is the child’s practice world for being an adult.

Those kids playing shinny until dusk weren’t just wasting time. They were learning life lessons in problem-solving, negotiation and resilience. And they were better off without your help.

The kids don’t play any more
Margaret Wente

The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Nov. 16 2013, 8:00 AM EST


yowLAB spin-off group Impromptu Playground got a huge bump after our presentation at PechaKucha and connected with other creative people in the city. Looking forward to seeing who comes out this year.

Friday, September 20th
7 to 10pm

Featuring the people and projects that are moving forward Ottawa’s cultural transformation throughout this coming of age, Pecha Kucha Night Ottawa is one of fall’s must-attend events. For those interested in a behind the scenes glimpse into the minds working on Ottawa’s latest innovative efforts. Pecha Kucha is an event for creatives of all kinds to meet, show work and share ideas spontaneously and casually. The trademarked Pecha Kucha format is 20 images shown for 20 seconds each, giving each speaker 6 minutes and 40 seconds to showcase their creative projects and inspire the audience.

September 20 marks a special global event where over 100 Pecha Kuchas worldwide will be concurrently…

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Produced in collaboration with Artengine for We Make the City.

Waller Park (Daly Ave and Waller St, next to Arts Court)
Friday September 13 to Saturday September 14
noon to 9pm – Open for play
noon to 2pm – Play date with members of Impromptu Playground

The Dynamic Maze is a play structure designed to inspire imaginative spatial play. The brightly coloured towering reeds and giant inflatable balls transform Waller Park into a playful landscape—a playscape—for both children and adults. The installation transforms the experience of the space and releases the potential to construct and reconstruct place through play.

Join the Facebook event. We look forward to seeing you there!

See also our first Dynamic Maze created in May for the 2013 Ottawa International Children’s Festival.

Impromptu Playground is going to be “parking” in front of the Science and Technology Museum this weekend for the Ottawa Mini Maker Faire and hope you’ll stop by for a visit. Come chat about public installation art, play, architecture, urbanism, alternative and active transportation, etc.

We’d also love to catch you up on projects we’re working on for ElectricFields and Nuit Blanche.


August 31st & September 1st 2013
Located at the Canada Science and Technology Museum
1867 St Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, ON
10AM – 5PM


Check out the list of the other makers participating.