Canadian Excellence Starts Somewhere
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
Make sure to check this page for more opportunities in the coming months.
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).
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 5@50 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.
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.)