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    Buy tickets Stéphanie Morin-RobertAfter her recent American, Canadian, and European tour, one-eyed multiple...

Celebrating the World of Fringe

June 7, 2017

Celebrate World Fringe Day!

World Fringe Day is coming July 11 and the Vancouver Fringe Festival will join Fringe Festivals across the globe to celebrate, but we need your help!

We’re looking for short video submissions, from you, about the Fringe! Your video can simply be shot on a smart phone and emailed to us at [email protected]. We’ll share these videos all day on July 11, and then again leading up to and during the 2017 Vancouver Fringe Festival!

Click here for more about filming and submitting your video!

2017 marks 70 years since the birth of the Fringe concept. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe began in 1947 when eight groups arrived in Edinburgh hoping to perform at the newly formed Edinburgh International Festival—but they were refused. Rather than being discouraged from performing, they went ahead and performed on the “fringe” of the Festival anyway.

The spark that was ignited in Edinburgh has circled the globe and there are now more than 200 Fringes worldwide. The Fringe model has been emulated from Australia to France, Canada to Prague, South Africa to Brighton, China to Brazil, and everywhere in-between. The Fringe movement has grown enabling people all over the world to make cultural connections that transcend national boundaries.

“70 years is young in the art world,” Vancouver Fringe Executive Director David Jordan explains. “We are still at the beginning of a movement. Sometimes I take for granted how radical what we’re doing is. ‘Fringe’ has become synonymous with authenticity and independent art and we want to keep it that way to ensure that Fringe Festivals are accessible platforms for all artists and audiences. We hope that Vancouver Fringe audiences and artists will join us on World Fringe Day to tell the world what Fringe means to them.”

Share a memorable Fringe moment, tell us why the Fringe is important to you, or simply wish the world a Happy World Fringe Day in a short video! Find video submission details here and learn more about World Fringe Day here!

Welcome New Fringe Sponsors!

Welcome to the Fringe new sponsors! Fringe folk are going to love you! Photos by Emilio Merritt (top) and Mike Vlasman (bottom).

Welcome to the Fringe new sponsors! Fringe folk are going to love you! Photos by Emilio Merritt (top) and Mike Vlasman (bottom).

Sponsors play an important role at the Fringe, providing perks for volunteers, prizes for our Raffle, and making the Festival run smoothly! Many Fringe sponsor partners are returning, but we wanted to introduce you to the new sponsors joining the Fringe in 2017.

La Taqueria is adding tacos to our (new) Opening Night festivities, while  Sons of Vancouver Distillery will be preparing fancy cocktails to kick off the Festival.

Speaking of beverages, Urban Distilleries’ Spirit Bear Gin and XFour Vodka will now be available at the Big Rock Brewery Fringe Bar. And for those of you looking for a non-alcoholic beverage or an interesting mixer, try RISE Kombucha. For late night snacks at the Fringe Bar, Hardbite will satisfy your cravings.

Hardbite will also donate chips to the Volunteer Centre (as if seeing shows for free wasn’t incentive enough to volunteer) and the 2017 Volunteer Appreciation Party will double as a pizza party thanks to Boston Pizza!

The 2017 Raffle will be extra exciting with prizes supplied by Float House, Fresh Prep, the Granville Island Hotel, Nita Lake Lodge, and Hilton Whistler Resort & Spa.

Stay tuned for more on how our new and old sponsors will be supporting the 2017 Festival!

Fringe New Play Prize: Setting Bones

The 2017 Fringe New Play Prize winning show, Setting Bones, will be at the Festival in September.

The 2017 Fringe New Play Prize winning show, Setting Bones, will be at the Festival in September.

The Fringe New Play Prize, a partnership between the Fringe and Playwrights Theatre Centre that provides dramaturgical support and a Mainstage spot on the Fringe for an emerging playwright was selected back in December, 2016. Since then, the work-in-progress, (Untitled) Boxes, has undergone many transformations, including a new title: Setting Bones.

Show creators lee williams boudakian, Kamee Abrahamian, and Anoushka Ratnarajah have been devising and writing, delving more deeply into themes of cultural memory loss and recovery, intergenerational storytelling, and queer diaspora. During one of their intensive sessions, the new title emerged as if it had been waiting for them. The creation process continues to unearth discoveries of character, plot, image and sound, all weaving together to tell the stories that wait to be told.

Anoushka, Kamee, and lee will be sharing more about the development of their show in Fringe newsletters leading up to the Festival. Stay tuned for more!

Balancing Theatre, Work, and Life

From left to right, top to bottom, Donna Soares, David Jordan, Peter Jorgensen, mia susan amir, each of whom will be discussing work/life balance at the annual Making a Scene conference.

From left to right, top to bottom, Donna Soares, David Jordan, Peter Jorgensen, mia susan amir, each of whom will be discussing work/life balance at the annual Making a Scene conference.

Since 2000, the annual Making A Scene conference has been essential to strengthening the local theatre industry. Through presentations, working sessions, and plenty of opportunity for social gathering, the day-long conference offers attendees the chance to delve into discussions with colleagues, friends, and new acquaintances, all of whom are passionate about theatre. This year, Making A Scene falls on Tuesday, June 20.

Our Executive Director, David Jordan, will moderate a panel at this year’s conference on work/life balance. Setting Boundaries: An Artists’ and Administrators’ guide to Health and Wellness will feature one of Vancouver’s preeminent directors of musical theatre, Peter Jorgensen, rising star Donna Soares, and mia susan amir, who is currently the Playwrights Theatre Centre mentor for the Fringe New Play Prize! David is excited to get them sharing their war wounds as well as their strategies for the battle for balance in the arts.

Find out about the other sessions at the conference. And there’s still time to register!

What Could the Fringe Do with $10,000?

A whole lot of amazing, that’s what!

The Great Canadian Giving Challenge is back! This national contest will benefit any registered Canadian charity, and guess what? The Fringe is a charity!

Every $1 donated to a registered charity on CanadaHelps.org or GivingChallenge.ca, automatically enters the charity to win a $10,000 donation, provided by the GIV3 Foundation.

Make a donation to the Vancouver Fringe through Canada Helps in the month of June and your donation will enter us to win $10K! Donations as low as $3 count—and even if we don’t win, you’ll be investing in “Theatre for Everyone,” which is pretty awesome all on its own. Donate now!

Canadian Excellence Starts Somewhere

May 25, 2017

History Lessons from The Canada Show

Imagine the FLQ Crisis, but as a hockey game between the Leafs and the Habs. How would Leonard Cohen sing about obscure Canadian inventions? What was the fur trade like, from the beaver’s perspective? All this and more is part of The Canada Show and you have three chances to check it out! On May 31 through June 2, see Monster Theatre’s biggest hit, The Canada Show at the Revue Stage on Granville Island. And this time, there’s a whole new cast!

Three comedic historians, played by (left to right) Alex Gullason, Frankie Cottrell, and Carly Pokoradi, fight to tell the different versions of Canadian history in The Canada Show.

Three comedic historians, played by (left to right) Alex Gullason, Frankie Cottrell, and Carly Pokoradi, fight to tell the different versions of Canadian history in The Canada Show.

Since its Fringe run way back in 2001, the show has evolved. Not only is there more history to squeeze into this one hour show, but it’s grown beyond the English-French conflict it was originally based on.

The Canada Show stars three singing historians who are each fighting to tell their own version of Canada’s history. Carly Pokoradi is the francophone character, always focusing on the ways in which French Canadians have been mistreated, Alex Gullason is fighting for representation of women throughout our past, and Frankie Cottrell is the Aboriginal representative struggling to get the story of Canada’s First People told as well as trying to keep the whole show together. Fringe favourite, Ryan Gladstone directs The Canada Show, which he co-wrote with Bruck Horack, and starred in in its earlier incarnation.

Catch up on you Canadian history as you laugh out loud at this Fringe hit! Get your tickets online now, or take your chances at the door. Tickets go on sale at the venue starting at 7:15 for the 8:00pm performances. See you there!

Fringe Circuit Begins!

Every year there’s a special group of Fringe artists who travel from Fringe Festival to Fringe Festival across North America. There are Fringe Festivals in most cities, and many belong to the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals (CAFF)—even if they’re in the USA. This year it’s not just artists that are touring the circuit. Long-time Vancouver Fringe volunteer Linda Gilbert is taking a “gap year” and touring as a volunteer! She’s at the Orlando Fringe right now, and she’ll be helping out at the Montreal, Portland Maine, Calgary, Indianapolis, and Vancouver Fringes too! And if she can, she’ll try to squeeze in the Winnipeg, Victoria, and Guelph Fringes as well.

You may recognize long-time volunteer Linda Gilbert, only this time, she's volunteering her way along the Fringe circuit, which has just begun in Orlando!

You may recognize long-time volunteer Linda Gilbert, only this time, she’s volunteering her way along the Fringe circuit, which has just begun in Orlando!

We asked Linda to tell us more about her trip and why she’s taking on the adventure. Here’s what she had to say:

I have always wondered what the life of a travelling Fringe performer was like. I realized I could get a taste of it by following the circuit as a Volunteer. I let this idea percolate for several years mentioning it to friends and family, but it was just a pipe dream—nice to think about but never happening. Over the last couple years I have met people who had come from other Fringes but nobody had done the tour. After our dark and dreary winter and wet spring “Linda’s Excellent Adventure” was born. On May 1, after another icky day feeling damp and cold I let my fingers do the walking and next thing I knew the dream was taking shape. I found a cheap flight to Orlando and signed up to volunteer. The organizers were able to point me in the direction of a nearby hotel and arranged for me to get the artist rate. From there I just kept contacting CAFF members and realized I could not do all the Fringes in one year, but I could do some! Montreal follows Orlando and with a family reunion coming up in Boston, the Portland Fringe seemed like a no brainer.

David Jordan, the Vancouver Fringe’s Executive Director, was a huge help as he sent out an email to his contacts at each festival and made me out like a great person to have around (editor’s note: You are Linda!). I left Vancouver on May 1 and travelled with Tara Travis, Chloe Ziner and Jessica Gabriel from Mind of a Snail, and Tom Jones from Woody Sed. Even shared a cab to the hotel with Tom.

I love the Fringe and have enjoyed being a volunteer for the past 12 or 13 years. The Fringe has opened up my mind to its creative side and shown me anything is possible. The staff, volunteers, and artists are real people who are warm, caring, and supportive. Everyone interacts with a love of theatre as their bond. I love talking to patrons about what they liked and why. It has given me insight to another perspective and even if I disagree, we have a dialogue which is constructive and respectful. I enjoy recommending shows and people thanking me for my suggestions after they have gone. I have seen shows out of my comfort zone that I have loved, and learned to appreciate several genres. I even enjoy a puppet show now and again. I enjoy meeting up with some of the international artists and am always amazed by them remembering my name and greeting me warmly. I am considering this my “gap” year, which I missed after university. It’s going to be a great summer!

We’ll be sharing photos from Linda’s trip on social media over the summer, so stay tuned for a glimpse into “Linda’s Excellent Adventure!” And if you’re looking for volunteer opportunities, stay tuned! We start recruiting volunteers for the Vancouver Fringe in June!

Work With Us!

The Vancouver Fringe's 1986 staff team. Want to be memorialized in Fringe history like these guys? Apply for a job today!

The Vancouver Fringe’s 1986 staff team. Want to be memorialized in Fringe history like these guys? Apply for a job today!

Every year the Fringe hires a team of amazing seasonal staff who contribute to making the Festival awesome! Are you a team player filled with Fringe love and useful skills? Check out the positions available and apply today!

We’re currently accepting applications for the following positions:
Volunteer Team Leader
Box Office Manager
Distribution Coordinator
Raffle Coordinator

Make sure to check this page for more opportunities in the coming months.

Jessie Award Nominations Announced!

It’s almost time for the annual Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards and Fringe alumni and Theatre Wire shows are well represented as part of this year’s nominations!

The Fighting Season, which premiered at the Vancouver Fringe Festival in 2015 and won the Cultchivating the Fringe Award and the Georgia Straight Critics’ Choice Award, has been nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role (Kyle Jespersen), Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role (Siona Gareau-Brennan), Outstanding Sound Design or Original Composition (Matthew MacDonald-Bain), and Outstanding Original Script (Sean Harris Oliver).

Many Fringe and Theatre Wire shows received nominations at this year's Jessie Awards. From top, The Fighting Season, Green Lake, and REDPATCH.

Many Fringe and Theatre Wire shows received nominations at this year’s Jessie Awards. From top, The Fighting Season, Green Lake, and REDPATCH.

Two shows from the 2016 Fringe got nods as well. The Nether was nominated for Outstanding Lighting Design (Jonathan Kim) and for Outstanding Sound Design or Original Composition (James Coomber). And Bella Sang With Us was nominated for Outstanding Direction (Sarah Rodgers) and for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Sarah May Redmond).

David C. Jones, who’s hosted special events at the Fringe and been involved in numerous Fringe shows, was nominated for the Vancouver NOW Representation and Inclusion Award for demonstrating leadership as a champion of diversity (intersections of queer, cultural diversity, differently abled) in his body of work as a director, producer, and writer.

Theatre Wire shows made a splash among this year’s Jessie Award Nominations too! Green Lake received six nominations, including Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role (Alexandra Lainfiesta), Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for both Kayla Deorksen and Donna Soares, Outstanding Set Design (Yvan Morisette), Outstanding Direction (Rachel Peake), and Outstanding Production of a Play. REDPATCH received five nominations, including Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role (Raes Calvert), Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Reneltta Arluk), Outstanding Costume Design (Christopher David Gauthier), Outstanding Direction (Sean Harris Oliver and Raes Calvert), and Outstanding Production of a Play.

The City and the City was nominated for Outstanding Lighting Design (Jonathan Kim) and under the Significant Artistic Achievement category, Kendra Fanconi, Daniel Martin, Dave Mott, and Jason Patrick Rothery got a nod for Significant Artistic Achievement for Outstanding Innovation in Staging Interactive Audio.

Meanwhile, Deb Williams was nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role for her role in [email protected] and Three Stories Up was nominated for the Georgia Straight Critics’ Choice Innovation Award.

And we’d be remiss not to mention that our Artist Services Coordinator, Jess Amy Shead was also nominated! Jess, along with Randi Edmundson, were nominated for their Outstanding Performance and Outstanding Design for the puppets in Freddie in the Neighbourhood in the Theatre for Young Audiences category!

Congratulations to all the nominees! The Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards will be held at the Commodore Ballroom on Monday, June 26 and you can buy tickets here.

Save the Date!

You may have marked your calendars to set some time aside for the 2017 Vancouver Fringe Festival, which is happening September 7-17, but there’s a couple other dates you need to set aside too!

The Georgia Straight Fringe-For-All preview is moving to the Wednesday before the Festival! Now you can preview the Festival before the Festival on Wednesday, September 6, 2017. Mark your calendar! Tickets for the Fringe-For-All and the Festival shows will go on sale in early August.

Opening Night will now move to… the opening night of the Festival! A misnomer for years, the Opening Night Party will now take place on the first day of the Festival, Thursday, September 7, and you’re invited! And since this is a new event, with a new Fringey feel, we’re looking for a new name! There’ll still be appetizers from our partners Dockside Restaurant, The Keg Steakhouse and Bar Granville Island, and (new this year) La Taqueria, as well as drinks from some brand new exciting sponsors, but it’ll be a more casual affair at the Big Rock Brewery Fringe Bar where you can mingle with fellow Fringe goers and artists and then go see a show (or two). Have an event name* in mind? Email Robyn at robyn[at]vancouverfringe.com and if your name is chosen, you’ll win a prize! How lucky!

(*Fringey McFringeface will not be accepted as an event title.)