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McGill 101: Finding your niche in McGill’s creative community

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One of the best parts of university is that it allows you to find your niche. No matter how specific your interests are, there is probably already a club at McGill devoted to it; however, the sheer amount of variety can be overwhelming, so here are several clubs focused specifically on creative pursuits to get you started.

Effusion A Cappella: The age-old tradition of performing music without instruments is on display with Effusion A Cappella, arguably McGill’s most well known a cappella group. They use inventive vocal arrangements to offer a new spin on a variety of classic and popular songs in every genre, performing at student functions and competitions throughout the year. Other McGill A Cappella groups include Soulstice, Chromatones, and Tonal Ecstasy.

Players’ Theatre: Boasting McGill’s only black box theatre, Players’ is a collective run entirely by students. Whether your interests lie in acting or in behind-the-scenes production, it offers positions for beginners and experts alike. Players’ performs four full-length shows during their regular season (October-February), as well as the McGill Drama Festival in April—a series of one act plays written and directed by McGill students.

SynesthASIA: If you’re interested in fashion, look no further. SynesthASIA is a group that performs a yearly fashion show with the purpose of fundraising for sustainable development and poverty alleviation in Asia. The club offers an outlet for interests as varied as modeling, art, dance, event planning, and fashion.

McGill Student Street Dancers: If you love to dance, but dislike the rigidity that comes with its more traditional forms, McGill Student Street Dancers might be right for you. They give beginners an outlet to sharpen their skills through practice and training, and more experienced members to perform and compete.

McGill Spoken Word Associated Youth (McSWAY): Besides having possibly the best acronym of any McGill club, McSWAY is a place for spoken word poets to meet like-minded artists and perform their material. If you feel like you have a creative passion burning inside of you, or you’re just interested in learning more about poetry, this club gives you the chance to connect with other poets and further hone your craft.

Alegria Contemporary Ballet Company: This is McGill’s first and only contemporary ballet company. It is built on the foundation of pairing traditional ballet technique with innovative and more contemporary dance styles. The group performs various showcases throughout the year, and offers drop-in classes for varying dance styles. The membership fee of $50 ensures the group has space to rehearse during the year and to book spaces in which their high-concept performances are held.

McGill Undergraduate Photography Society (MUPS): This club offers a wide variety of services and resources for students in the area of photography. Founded in 1978, it is one of McGill’s oldest clubs, and it provides its members access to equipment, dark rooms, workshops and contests, and discounts on film and paper. MUPS also offers a colour film processing service, as well as various trips and tours throughout the city of Montreal and beyond. There are two types of membership: The base $10 and the $50/semester dark room membership which increases the amount and level of services offered.

McGill Improv: Founded in 1987, this is the only Improv club on campus. An alumni-supported group, they perform improv theatre at McGill as well as various other locations within Montreal. They also hold workshops every Saturday in the University Centre between 1-3 p.m., welcoming people of all levels of improv experience and interest.

McGill Students Design Cooperative: D.Co is a student group that works to provide students with instruction and resources in the area of graphic design. Using a collaborative and hands-on approach, their education program helps equip students with the tools they need to enter the graphic design field. Whether you want to build a website, create a poster, or develop a brand guide, D.Co provides support and guidance for students wanting to pursue a graphic design interest.

This article is a part of our McGill 101 issue, which aims to ease your transition and answer questions you have about McGill and Montreal.

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