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You Need to Know or You Might Miss Out!

August 16, 2017

The Georgia Straight Fringe-for-All is Back

Catch all of these shows and more at the Georgia Straight Fringe-For-All!

Just a few of the shows that may be part of the Georgia Straight Fringe-For-All! From left to right, top to bottom: Szeretlek: A Hungarian Love Story; Gruesome Playground Injuries; Katherine Ferns is in Stitches; Figmentally; A Soldier’s War; Beaver Dreams; Bouncers; Tightrope Talking; Hip.Bang! presents Fin.

Your favourite fast and furious two-hour preview event, the Georgia Straight Fringe-For-All is back—on a whole new day and time! Presented by the Georgia Straight, this year’s Fringe-for-All will be on the night before the Festival on Wednesday September 6 at 8:00pm. It will give you enough time (to recover)—and decide which of the 100 Fringe shows you want to see.

That’s right—there are 100 shows this year! Hedge your bets by joining us on September 6 to sample the 2017 lineup. We’ll be showcasing 40 of our Fringe artists who have 2 minutes each to prove why you should see their show. So you’ll get a little bit of everything—all at once! The rapid fire show will be hosted by none other than the hilarious Travis Bernhardt and Chris Ross who are also putting on a show during the Festival (Chris & Travis)! Come by, connect with other Fringers, meet Fringe artists, and pick your shows—all in one night. No one said you couldn’t do 40 things at the same time!

The event will start at 8:00pm at Performance Works. Tickets are available for $10 online or at the door. Get your tickets now and take a chance on 40 of 100 shows at the Fringe!

Free Live Music Every Night of the Fringe!

Ready for a new year at the Big Rock Brewery Fringe Bar? Yes? Well then do we have good news for you. The social hub has gotten bigger this year with expanded hours and more amazing artists! The best part about it? There’s no cover! So head down to Ocean Art Works and drop by the Fringe Bar for the best music at the hottest venue on Granville Island. Here’s the run down.

Polaris Prize Nominee Rae Spoon will be performing at the Fringe Bar on Saturday September 16!

Polaris Prize Nominee Rae Spoon will be performing at the Fringe Bar on Saturday September 16!

On Sept. 16, the Fringe is bringing songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, author, and Polaris Prize Nominee Rae Spoon to the stage. They’ve been described by The Toronto Star as a “melodic pop” artist with “synths and electronic percussion alongside guitars and Spoon’s evergreen vocals,” which means, yes, you should definitely attend.

Queer as Funk’s self described “hot horns and killer vocals” will energize the first Friday of the Festival. You may have seen them packing the streets at the Pride Parade earlier this August and they’ll be packing the stage at the Fringe Bar on Sept. 8!

Drop by the Fringe Bar on Saturday September 9 and see The Matinée!

Drop by the Fringe Bar on Saturday September 9 and see The Matinée!

The Matinée‘s “infectious rhythm and catchy lyrics” (Canadian Beats Media) will get you moving. The band of four friends has been on the road together for more than a decade but will grace our stage to share their Canadian roots rock with all of us at the Fringe on Sept. 9.

Known for singing backup for Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Ashley Shadow has “simple, beautiful arrangement[s] and [a] strong vibrato” (Stereogum). Her debut album is both haunting and powerful, and you can hear it in full force on Sept. 13.

Enjoyed the sneak peek? The full lineup of this 11-day music festival at the Fringe can be found right here. You can catch it all from 6:00pm till late, Monday to Friday and from 1:00pm till late on Saturdays and Sundays during the Festival. People must be 19 years of age or older to purchase alcohol at the Fringe Bar, but all ages are welcome. See you all there!

Buy a Raffle Ticket and Eat Free for 50 Days

Win fresh groceries from Fresh Prep delivered right to your doorstep with a raffle ticket in the Fringe Early Bird Draw!

The Vancouver Fringe Festival is giving away three great prizes in our first ever Early Bird Raffle! You could win a two-night stay at the Granville Island Hotel, have fresh groceries delivered to your doorstep with Fresh Prep, and get free, almost unlimited shows at the Fringe with a Vancouver Fringe Festival Kick Ass Pass (we don’t even sell this Pass, so it’s super exclusive)! To prove just how amazing are prizes are, take a closer look at one of our awesome Early Bird Prizes—from Fresh Prep!

We know that during the Festival, Fringers are busy enough with Fringey shows and Fringey music to worry about making dinner every night. That’s why Fresh Prep is so perfect! There’s no prep, no planning, and no stress so you can prep, plan, and stress about trying to fit 100 shows into 11 days at the Fringe instead! You can have Lemon Pepper Chicken on Monday, Garlic and Chili Soy Shrimp on Tuesday, and Summer Bolognese on Wednesday—little effort required. They have a diverse selection too, with options for vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free diets too!

Here’s the kicker. You have to buy a Fringe Raffle ticket first. But that part’s easy! All you have to do is go to our website and purchase a ticket—or two or three! Tickets are one for $10 or three for $20. Buy it before September 17 and you’ll be entered into our Early Bird Draw to win a hotel stay, fresh food, and free shows! AND you’ll also be entered into our Final Raffle draw to win a trip to Costa Rica, a stay in Whistler, and a Float House subscription!

We’re holding the Early Bird Draw on September 7 at 8:30pm at Opening Night at the Big Rock Brewery Fringe Bar at 1531 Johnston Street! The final draw will be on September 17 at 9:30pm on Awards Night at Performance Works at 1218 Cartwright Street. You do not have to be present to win—we will contact you if your ticket is drawn!


Tickets may be only sold and purchased in British Columbia.
Ticket purchasers must be 19 years of age or older. If a winning ticket bears a minor’s name, the prize will be lawfully delivered on behalf of the minor parent, legal guardian, or trustee.
Prizes have no equivalent cash value.

Making the Fringe More Diverse: Talking to Current and Former Fringe Artists

We want to hear from artists who have participated in the Fringe before. Left: Kiss Around Pass Around (photo by Clayton Wong). Right: Mrs. Singh & Me (photo by Paul Duchart).

We want to hear from artists who have participated in the Fringe before. Left: Kiss Around Pass Around (photo by Clayton Wong). Right: Mrs. Singh & Me (photo by Paul Duchart).

In the last Fringe newsletter we introduced you to ShapeShift Arts and the work they’ve been doing to make the Fringe more diverse and inclusive. ShapeShift has been working with the Fringe’s board and staff and will be holding focus groups on August 28, September 1, and September 2 for theatre artists from diverse backgrounds who have never participated in the Fringe before. (Click here for more on those focus groups and to sign up.)

But if you’re an artist who has participated in the Fringe before (or this year), ShapeShift wants to hear about your experiences too! On September 12, from 11:00am to 1:00pm, join us in Studio 1398. This Forum will be an opportunity to explore what it is/was like for you as an artist/producer involved with the Festival. What’s working? What’s been challenging? And how can we better support our artists moving forward?

To sign up, or if you have any questions, contact ShapeShift Arts at contactshapeshiftarts[at]gmail[dot]com with the subject line “Fringe Artists Forum.”

Reminder: Volunteers and Billet Hosts Still Needed!

Our Volunteer Team Leaders would be so happy to have you join them!

Our Volunteer Team Leaders would be so happy to have you join them!

The Vancouver Fringe Festival is still looking for Billet Hosts! With less than a month to go before the Festival, we’re reaching out to our dependable Fringe Family to help our artists find safe and secure places to stay while they’re performing at the Fringe. In return, Billet Hosts receive a Volunteer Rush Pass, which allows free admission into any show that isn’t sold out, or 10 Exchange Vouchers, which are good for any regular Fringe performance in the 2017 Festival (along with our undying love and gratitude).

If Billet Hosting is not for you, we are also still recruiting volunteers! Last week, we reached 400 volunteers but we still have another 100 to go! Volunteers help us set up venues, answer artists’ and audience members’ questions, serve drinks at the Big Rock Brewery Fringe Bar, sell tickets, and much more! Remember, the Fringe couldn’t exist without volunteers like you—join the Fringe Family today!

Get Lucky at the Fringe! Tickets Now on Sale

August 3, 2017

Get ready for the 2017 Vancouver Fringe Festival Line Up! Photo by My City Photos.

Just some of the shows that are part of the 2017 Fringe. From left to right, top to bottom: HabitatsChris & TravisBushel and PeckStupid Cupid; Gold, Guns & Greed; 7 Ways to Die, a love story; An Arrangement of Shoes; Let Me Freeze Your Head; and Distractingly Sexy.

Tickets Now on Sale!

Yes, you heard us right, tickets are on sale! Now, you can go to our website and buy tickets to the 2017 Vancouver Fringe Festival for just $14. Or buy tickets for a half-price show and get it for—that’s right—half price!

For the dedicated Fringe fans—we know you’re out there—buy a Frequent Fringer Card and buy four, 10, or 30 performances at a discounted price! But Frequent Fringers are limited, so buy them before we sell out!

Don’t forget, everyone needs a Membership to attend shows at the Festival. You can purchase one in advance online or at the venues.

So what are you waiting for? Get your tickets today!

Looking back at the AGM and Program Guide Launch Party

If you missed the Program Guide Launch Party on July 27 we’re here to fill you in.

A first look at the Program Guide! Photo by Bruce McPherson.

A first look at the Program Guide! Photo by Bruce McPherson.

Before the party started, we held our AGM, and here it is in five seconds:

The Big Rock Brewerey Fringe Bar will now open at 1:00pm on weekends and at 6:00pm on weekdays thanks to a grant from Creative BC.

Youth, education, and diversity will also receive support thanks to the Vancouver Fringe’s largest ever corporate grant from TD Bank Group. And the Fringe will be undergoing a Diversity Audit by ShapeShift Arts!

The Vancouver Fringe Festival also welcomed two new members, Aaron Pinto and Katia Tynan to the Vancouver Fringe Festival Board. You might recognize Aaron as the impeccably dressed Venue Captain from the 2016 Fringe. But did you know that he is also a Spirit of the Fringe Award winner? And Katia Tynan? She’s been with us since 2011! First as a Volunteer Team Leader in 2011, then as the Volunteer Coordinator in 2012 and 2013, and then again in Dispatch in 2014 and 2015! Welcome back to the Fringe Family Aaron and Katia!

After the AGM, the Fringe dove straight into the Program Guide Launch Party! (Queue the excitement.) Big Rock Urban Eatery and Brewery provided the venue, beer, and pizza. Krystle Dos Santos provided live music. And the rest was provided by David, Jimmy, and the Fringe Family! Add in the surprise guest performance by The Birdmann and it was quite the part-ay! At the end of the night, the Fringe wrapped up with the famous Program Guide Scavenger Hunt which had guests searching for the “Bear Naked baby” and the “Intellectual Fruit”—see if you can find them! In the end, there was a three-way tie between Jelena, Katia, and Riaan who all went home with prizes from Big Rock and the Vancouver Fringe Festival!

You can get your own copy of the Program Guide at Blenz Coffee locations and other Fringe friendly businesses. Or you can download your own copy of the Program Guide! For more photos from the Program Guide Launch Party visit our Facebook page! Thank you to everyone who came out!

Get to Know the 2017 Program Guide

After weeks of waiting, the Vancouver Fringe Festival finally unveiled the 2017 Program Guide—slowly over Instagram and then all at once at the Party! This year’s tagline is “Get Lucky at the Fringe” with a gambling inspired theme meant to encourage you to take a chance on shows at the Festival.

April Caverhill with the original art and the Program Guide!

April Caverhill with the original art and the Program Guide!

And the beautiful “Get Lucky” cover art? We have Ontario born and Victoria settled April Caverhill to thank for that! April runs her own illustration business, Pigs Have Wings, all while finishing up an illustrated travel journal, creating art for coffee coasters as a protest against the Kinder Morgan pipeline, and getting involved with some of the arts festivals in Victoria!

“Although I’m an illustrator, what I really am is a storyteller who’s too shy to get up and speak in front of a roomful of people,” April says, explaining why she paints. “Painting pictures allows me to speak though my art.”

She designed the cover over the course of several weeks despite colour choices, changes, text glitches, and late nights. The cover you now know as “Get Lucky at the Fringe” emerged from a simple pencil drawing! She hopes—and so do we—“that people are so overwhelmed with enthusiasm when they see the poster art that they’re inspired to purchase copious numbers of tickets.”

In future, you can find April working with more artist residencies in remote and fascinating places with creative and interesting people. Visit her website to learn more or pick up your own hardcopy of the Program Guide at a Blenz Coffee location and other Fringe friendly businesses near you. Thank you April!

Making the Fringe More Diverse

The cast of hoof at the 2015 Vancouver Fringe Festival. Photo by Clayton Wong.

The diverse cast of hoof at the 2015 Vancouver Fringe Festival. Photo by Clayton Wong.

The Fringe strives to be an open environment. Shows are selected by lottery or on a first come, first served basis, content is uncensored, and the history of the Fringe is to welcome people who aren’t part of the theatre establishment. But that doesn’t mean that the Fringe is as inclusive or diverse as it strives be. But why?

The Fringe has partnered with ShapeShift Arts to conduct a diversity audit as a first step towards addressing diversity in the Fringe.

The team at ShapeShift Arts has been collaborating since 2013 and officially launched in 2016. “Through ShapeShift Arts we create and produce interdisciplinary art, workshops, and offer consulting services,” lee williams boudakian, ShapeShift’s Creator explains. “The name ShapeShift comes from a love of science fiction and a recognition that future-building includes acts of science fiction and suspension of disbelief in the now. To us, ShapeShifters are creators and changemakers who confront the many parts of self and community that must be faced in order to create/enact/accomplish radical change.”

The team for the audit includes lee williams boudakian, Anoushka Ratnarajah and Gavin Kade Somers. They’ve been busy interviewing Fringe staff and board members as part of the audit process and will be leading focus groups and an artists’ forum with performing artists to identify barriers for participation and collect feedback about the needs/desires of artists for future participation.

Gavin Kade Somers speaking for Shapeshift Arts at the Fringe AGM! Photo by Bruce McPherson.

Gavin Kade Somers speaking for Shapeshift Arts at the Fringe AGM! Photo by Bruce McPherson.

Are you, or do you know someone who has never been a Fringe artist who would like to participate in a focus group? Focus groups will take place on August 28, September 1, and September 2. Click here to read more about participating and to sign up. 

There will also be an Artists Forum during this year’s Fringe. The Forum is for artists/producers who have participated in the Fringe Festival. This includes artists/producers from past years and artists/producers in this year’s Festival. We’ll be sharing more information on how to participate in an upcoming Fringe newsletter, so stay tuned!

All this work will lead to strategic planning sessions to identify next steps and visions for how to implement change.

We’re also happy to announce that TD Bank Group has partnered with the Fringe on the Diversity and Inclusion Program! TD has a long history of supporting art, diversity, and mentorship. This partnership made sense as both organizations have a common goal: to activate the cultural harmony within the Metro Vancouver community. TD’s contribution will help us sustain the Diversity Program for the next two years!

As the Fringe works towards greater inclusivity and diversity we aim to be a leader in the arts sector. lee from ShapeShift probably put it best. When asked what ShapeShift Arts’ goal was in working with the Fringe, they said, “our goals in this work are many, but one is to create a model for doing this work that is applicable for many arts organizations seeking to centre equity and justice in the arts.”