Home Arts There’s nothing like good will hunting

There’s nothing like good will hunting

by The Concordian October 25, 2011
There’s nothing like good will hunting

“A sense of humour is not mandatory, but it should be,” reads the application to the Impossible Montreal Scavenger Hunt.
The new event gives teams 48 hours to explore the city while they race to win top honours by completing a series of tasks.
“I want to challenge a wide range of abilities,” said organizer François Vincent. “A diverse set of skills will definitely be needed.”
So far, he has created 50 tasks, and the list will continue to grow until the game starts on Nov. 4.
The tasks are broken up into three main categories: pictures, videos, and things to design or create. Each is worth a different amount of points and participants in Impossible Montreal are allowed to use their cunning, as much as any other asset.
“If you can make us laugh by finding a loophole, you’ll get the points,” explained Vincent.
He got the idea for Impossible Montreal when he found out about the popular University of Chicago scavenger hunt.
Chicago’s annual four day Scav Hunt began in 1987 and boasts being the largest of its kind in the world. It is self-described as “an intense blend of bliss and chaos.” Another popular hunt is Tricadecathlonomania, which started in Minnesota before spreading to other states.
What participants find on their lists varies depending on which hunt they’re in. The University of Chicago includes many vague tasks such as finding a closet monster or proving “the ineptitude of folksy winter metaphors with modern science.”
Minnesota’s Tricadecathlonomania has a slightly more straight-forward style, with a list that includes, “make a safer Safety Dance” or convince “a total stranger that they know you [points based on how old of a friend you can make them think you are].”
Vincent says that in Impossible Montreal, “there are going to be some silly items on this list – the players are not just solving cryptic codes.”
Tasks are varied, and range from building “a working bicycle using wire hangers, nails and 2x4s,” to making “a video re-enacting the climactic scene from Carrie and [putting] it on YouTube.”
Hunts can span a few hours to a few days and sleep is sometimes ignored by participants as a way of getting an edge over the competition.
Vincent says that during Impossible Montreal, teams will be able to get some sleep and still stay in the game. He wants participants to stay safe and healthy but added that, “obviously if you spend more time awake than asleep you will have an advantage over other teams.”
As one of the directors of Montreal Improv, Vincent regularly organizes groups and coordinates large events. His improv school currently offers six weekly classes as well as drop-in workshops. The training centre also coordinates and hosts the Montreal Improv Festival and serves as a performance space.
Impossible Montreal Scavenger Hunt participants can apply as pre-made teams of up to 12 people, or as individuals, who are grouped together by the organizers.
Each team’s progress and score will be posted on the Impossible Montreal website. The teams, meanwhile, will be updating YouTube and Tumblr accounts with proof of their latest quests.
The hunt will end with a party at Brutopia on Nov. 6 that Vincent says will be more than just reading scores and handing out prizes.
“We definitely want to put on a show – we run an improv theatre, so there will be a bit of theatricality on display. There’s going to be a show, a party and some competitiveness.”
The final party is open to everyone, whether they participated or not. Vincent says that it will be like “a theatre version of a sporting event.” And without competition from the Habs that night, it’s bound to be the best sporting event in the city.

The Impossible Montreal Scavenger Hunt is taking place Nov. 4-6 in and around Montreal. Registration closes on Oct. 29 at 5 p.m. Applications need to be submitted in person at the Montreal Improv Theatre, 3713 St-Laurent #202. Check out www.impossiblemontreal.com for more information on how to play.

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