Meet the Queen’s extracurricular matchmaker

The list of available activities is endless. The Journal points you to the best Queen’s has to offer

Queen’s Musical Theatre, which put on Man of La Mancha in April, offers triple-threats the opportunity to take center stage.
Queen’s Musical Theatre, which put on Man of La Mancha in April, offers triple-threats the opportunity to take center stage.
Journal File Photo
For students yearning to live the life aquatic, opportunities are abundant for activities like scuba diving and sailing.
For students yearning to live the life aquatic, opportunities are abundant for activities like scuba diving and sailing.

If you’re a musical genius…

Release your inhibitions by getting involved in local performance groups such as Shout Sister! women’s choir or Samba Kingston’s Wuawuanco Todos. Shout Sister! is open to all women, regardless of whether they read music. The group is directed by Juno-award winning musician Georgette Fry and performs at events across the city. Wuawuanco Todos plays samba, funk and reggae throughout Kingston as well; auditions are generally held in September.

If you prefer to stay on campus, the music department has plenty of opportunities to get involved with choral, jazz, wind, vocal and samba ensembles and symphony orchestra. Auditions for most groups are held during frosh week and some can be counted as music credits. You can also audition to play in the pit orchestra for productions by Queen’s Music Theatre or the Queen’s Opera Company. The Caledonias, an acappella women’s choir, always has a hit end-of-year show at Common Ground coffee shop and performs around campus throughout the year. Alfie’s is introducing a new theme night this year and will be looking for jazz bands to play on Mondays.

If you’re a drama nerd…

Make sure to frequent Theological Hall’s basement for audition and crew announcements. The drama department puts on a major show each term, with opportunities for students to get involved as actors or crew members. Theatre groups include Barefoot Players, Chaos Theory Theatre Company, Blue Canoe Productions, Queen’s Musical Theatre, the newly-formed Vagabond Theatre, Gnu Ground and Vogt. Many student theatre groups offer intern positions for first-year students.

For improv students, there’s the Queen’s Improv Team, which competes at the annual McGill Improv Summit, and Queen’s Players. If you’re a triple threat, you may want to get involved with Queen’s Student Opera Company or Queen’s Musical Theatre.

If you’re a fearless performer…

Why not test your crowd-pleasing skills by playing or performing at an open mic night? Kingston has opportunites almost every night for you to practice your skills: Tuesdays at BarNone, Wednesdays at The Mansion and The Rose & Crown, Thursdays at Monte’s and Fridays at Sly Fox Tavern. If you prefer to sing along to popular music, Time To Laugh Comedy Club and MyBar have karaoke nights on Wednesdays and Thursdays, respectively. On campus, Clark Hall Pub, which was renovated last year, has a huge stage and opportunities for student groups to play. If you’re more the backstage-type...

Queen’s Musical Theatre and the Queen’s Student Opera Company hire students to work on the Production Team, doing things like sound tech and assitant stage managing. It’s a great way to gain some valuable managerial experience and get to know the inner-workings of the theatre.

If you’re a know-it-all…

Show off your knowledge at trivia night every Thursday at the Grad Club. Downtown, Minotaur has games night on Thursdays and Sundays. Choose from a variety of board and strategy games and compete with locals.

If you like being active…

There are plenty of intramurals at Queen’s, but sign-ups happen in early September, so keep your eyes peeled for Athletics Night. For those interested in lesser-known sports, why not try rock climbing with the Queen’s Climbing Club, where you get professional training and special access to the Boiler Room Gym? If you’re a dancer, Queen’s Dance Club has classes in almost every style of dance imaginable. Sign up early, as classes fill quickly. FLOW offers hip-hop lessons in popping, locking, breaking, freestyle and more. If you’re already a b-boy or street dancer, join the crew. There’s one major performance each term. You can also try your hips at belly dancing. No One’s Watching Studio in downtown Kingston offers classes for all levels.

If you prefer to exercise on your own or with friends, you can book rooms at the new Queen’s Centre to play squash, work out and more.

If you’ve always wanted to wield a sword, join the Queen’s Fencing Club or try Haidong Gumdo. Gumdo, which originated in Korea, is a type of martial art. The Haidong Gumdo Club practices recreationally but also offers opportunities for students to test for belts.

If you were a fish in your former life...

Shipwrecks abound in Kingston’s Lake Ontario. If you’re a certified scuba diver, sign up for dives with Northern Tech Diver. If you don’t have certification, why not apply? Northern Tech Diver also offers scuba courses that provide all necessary equipment and training. This January, scuba courses may also be offered at the Queen’s Centre depending on popularity and pending the completion of the Queen’s Centre.

If surfing’s more your style, the RMC Windsurf Club supplies gear, showering facilities and the best launch site in Kingston.

For those who wish to swim all year round, the new Queen’s Centre will have a beautiful Olympic-size pool. Public access will be granted at certain times during the week. Also check out the Queen’s swimming and synchronized swimming teams if you’re a serious aquaphile.

If you’re a politico…

Get involved in the campus associations of all the major Canadian political parties, including Queen’s Campus Conservatives, Queen’s Liberal Association, the New Democratic Party at Queen’s and the Queen’s Greens. Queen’s has a debating club that competes annually at the World Debating Championships, moderates public debates and assists the Inter-Collegiate Business Competition.

If you want a taste of local politics, apply to sit on a Kingston city committee or board, such as the Rural Affairs Advisory Committee, Taxi Commission, Kingston Environmental Advisory Forum and more. To be eligible, you must be over 18 years old, reside in the municipality, not be prohibited from voting and be a Canadian citizen.

For a fun weekend of drafting bills and partisan politics, sign up for the annual Queen’s Model Parliament. Open to students from all faculties, it is one of the most popular events at Queen’s. Sign-ups are early in the year, so stay tuned. If international governance is more your style, become a MUNer! Every year, Queen’s hosts its own Model United Nations Assembly but there are also trips to Harvard University, McGill University and the University of Toronto.

If the studio is your sanctuary…

The Kingston Glass Studio and Gallery offers glass-blowing and glass bead-making classes. The local Potters Guild runs classes for students interested in working with clay.

Be inspired by artwork at Kingston’s and Queen’s galleries such as Modern Fuel, Union Gallery and Agnes Etherington. If you have work you want to show, check out the Artel, a live-in studio space and arts collective downtown. First-time exhibitors, community-based activists and emerging musicians are invited to pitch their proposals to exhibit at the space.

For a different type of art experience, consider volunteering at H’art School of Smiles, a non-profit organization that works with adults with intellectual disabilities through art. There are personalized volunteer opportunities

If you’re a cinephile...

Enter in the annual Focus Film Festival. On every year in February, contestants are assigned a theme and a group of other film-makers and have one weekend to put together a short film. You can also attend the festival and vote for the people’s choice awards. At the end of January, check out the Reelout Film Festival, Canada’s second-largest queer film festival. See work from some of the most visionary filmmakers around the world.

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