Hair-Raising Memories & Fringe Ghosts Haunt the Halls

Line ups went down the street! What did you love about the 2017 Vancouver Fringe Festival? Photo by Bruce McPherson.

Line ups went down the street! What did you love about the 2017 Vancouver Fringe Festival? Photo by Bruce McPherson.

2017 Festival Highlights!

It’s been 49 days since we opened the 2017 Vancouver Fringe Festival to eager audiences—not that we’re counting—and by the looks of it we didn’t disappoint! Check out some of the highlights from the Festival:

This year we expanded the Big Rock Brewery Fringe Bar lineup to include 28 acts! Queer as Funk performed on Day Two of the Fringe and filled the Bar to max capacity, with a lineup extending out the door and down the sidewalk. It was a first in Fringe history! Also a first this year was the all ages Fringe Bar complete with child friendly magic shows by Travis Berhnardt and free performances from The Birdmann!

And of course, the Festival itself received rave reviews. Vancouver Fringe Alumni Brian Cochrane said, “I never see as many as I’d like, but I always come out the other end wanting to create, and for that I’m grateful.” One volunteer said, “Just meeting and talking to people from all different walks of life is what I enjoy the most. I appreciate the inclusiveness and acceptance of everyone. That we can all be ourselves at face value is important to me.”

Want to see more highlights of the Fringe? Head on over to our Facebook page where we’ve posted photos from the Festival! Or visit us on Twitter and Instagram to see what we’re up to now!

They’re Back from the Dead with a Halloween Fringe Cabaret!

Phantom Signals MC'ed our Fringe Cabaret in September. See them again on October 31! Photo by Jane Levene.

Phantom Signals MC’ed our Fringe Cabaret in September. See them again on October 31! Photo by Jane Levene.

We left something in Studio 1398 during the Vancouver Fringe Festival but we haven’t dared enter since—the incident. Reports say it’s haunted—restless spirits of Fringers passed, roaming the halls luring in passers-by with promises of clever social commentary and possible nudity. But who is bold enough to cross the threshold into their dark realm? Infernally funny hosts Phantom Signal may be able to tell you. Or your favourite acts from the Fringe: Shirley Gnome, Andy Cañete, and Megan Phillips. But they’ve all mysteriously disappeared. Only Fringe Alumni Jeff Leard can tell us what to expect from October 31’s Fringe Cabaret: Back from the Dead!

Vancouver Fringe: What is the Fringe Cabaret?

Jeff Leard: The Fringe Cabaret is an unfiltered show where performers across different disciplines from different backgrounds are encouraged to come and play, perform new material, and collaborate with fellow artists. What makes it different from other shows is the Fringe spirit that it adheres to, anything goes!

VF: What can we expect to see at the Fringe Cabaret on October 31?

JL: Audiences can expect to see improv, sketch, storytelling, music courtesy of Vancouver’s very own Shirley Gnome, and of course our hosts, Phantom Signal, will be performing a live comedy-horror radio broadcast throughout the show.

VF: Why are you excited about the Cabaret—especially since it is on Halloween?

JL: Why are we excited about the Cabaret? Because it’s the best! It’s amazing what happens when such a talented group of artists work together to make an evening like this happen. Everybody always puts in a ton of work to come up with some really great material. And Halloween will be especially fun because it’s pretty much a holiday made for weird artists, who are so often drawn towards the macabre about as much as they are toward crazy costumes and free candy.

VF: Do you have any spooky performance stories to share?

JL: The blackbox theatre in my university was said to be haunted by a student who had died while he was driving to school a number of years ago. I didn’t really ever think that much of it until all the lights went out during a rehearsal when there was no one else in the room. Most theatre people have a story or two about ghosts in their theatres—audiences might just get a few of their own if they come to the show!

Convinced? We know we are. Make sure to get your tickets on our website. We’ll see you there, Tuesday, October 31 at 8:00pm. We may be the last people you’ll ever see!

Make Made Merch a Reality!

Our Fringe Merchandise is soft, warm, and locally sourced. Just like us!

Our Fringe Merchandise is soft, warm, and locally sourced. Just like us!

The Fringe warmed your heart during the Festival but now we can warm the rest of your body. Because for the first time in Fringe history, we have Fringe branded merchandise that you can buy! That’s right. Thanks to our friends at Make Vancouver, we’re on baseball caps, t-shirts, and hoodies. So you can wear us from your head to your toes! And for a limited time, we’re giving you 20% off the full Fringe Fest Collection with our discount code FRINGE17. So pop over to the Make Vancouver website and fill up your cart with Fringe goodies.

And it’s all because of our generous sponsor Make Vancouver! They’ve been a fixture on Granville Island for over 25 years with custom t-shirts and one-of-a-kind products. But they’ve been a large part of the Fringe this year not only as a Fringe Merch supplier but also as a venue location for the Fringe show Embryonic! So thank you Make for supporting the Fringe and our artists!

Thanks to Our Sponsors!

Thank you to all of our sponsors! You are an important part of our Fringe Family. Photo by Philip Dovey.

Thank you to all of our sponsors! You are an important part of our Fringe Family. Photo by Philip Dovey.

The Fringe has come and gone but not without a lot of work from artists, staff, and volunteers, and not without a lot of support from donors and sponsors! But how do our sponsors make our goal of “Theatre for Everyone” a reality?

Our sponsors are with us even before the Festival starts, supporting us with marketing and publicity. Like the Georgia Straight, Roundhouse Radio, The Status Bureau, BeatRoute Magazineand, of course, all those Blenz Coffee locations that distribute Program Guides. These sponsors make sure you know what’s going on with the Fringe!

Even the ground the Festival operates on is thanks to our sponsors. CHMC Granville Island is not only the Vancouver Fringe Festival’s home base during the Festival (and all other 355 days of the year) but they are also the home of the Festival Hub, the Big Rock Brewery Fringe Bar, and 10 performance venues!

And the Big Rock Brewery Fringe Bar? It wouldn’t be possible without our Signature Partner Big Rock Brewery and support from Creative BC. On Opening Night we had delicious hors d’oeuvres from Dockside Restaurant, the Keg, and La Taqueria which was nicely complemented by cocktails from Sons of Vancouver. If you managed to get inside this crowded venue during the Festival you might have enjoyed some of our drinks from sponsors Road 13 Vineyards, XFour Vodka, Urban Distilleries, and Rise Kombucha, or some tasty treats from Hardbite Chips. The photographic evidence is all here—on our Facebook page (don’t forget to tag yourself)!

Buy a Raffle Ticket while you were there? You could have won a Costa Rica Quest for Two from G Adventures, a Whistler Package for Two from Hilton Whistler Resort and Spa and Nita Lake Lodge, or a Float House Subscription. Or maybe you were smart and bought early tickets in our Early Bird Draw for prizes from the Granville Island Hotel and Fresh Prep. Did you know all of these prizes were donated to the Fringe to raise funds for the Festival. Pretty great, isn’t it?

Don’t forget everything in between! With PrintPrint.ca and Thunderbolt Sign helping us with all of the signage, passes, and printed materials, and Cube It helping us with all of our storage needs, there were a lot of small businesses keeping our Festival going.

And a warm welcome to TD Bank Group who have partnered with us to promote diversity, mentorship, and cultural harmony within the Metro Vancouver community. In the coming years, their contribution will help us sustain the Diversity Program!

And then there were the Volunteers! They helped fuel our Festival but who helped fuel them? ShearComfort kept our Volunteer Program going all Festival long. And for fuel, we had Terra Breads, Cupcakes, and Kind Snacks keeping our over 500 Volunteers ready for action. For those that made it to the Volunteer Appreciation Party we had Boston Pizza and Earnest Ice Cream—yum!

So a big thank you to all of our Sponsors—important members of our Fringe Family—for supporting us and the Festival!

Her Name Was Mary performed at this year's Vancouver Fringe Festival! Have your own show next year with us. Photo by Michael Levy.

Her Name Was Mary performed at this year’s Vancouver Fringe Festival! Have your own show next year with us. Photo by Michael Levy.

How to Be a 2018 Fringe Artist!

The 2017 Vancouver Fringe Festival may have just finished but we’re already thinking about 2018. So get your pencils ready because we’re about to drop some important dates for your 2018 Fringe Festival applications.

Advance Theatre: New Works by Diverse Women. The Vancouver Fringe in partnership with Ruby Slippers Theatre and Playwrights Guild of Canada is looking for five new plays by diverse Canadian women playwrights. If accepted, your new play will be showcased with a dramatic reading during the Vancouver Fringe Festival in 2018. Submissions are due February 15, 2018 and details can be found here!

Mainstage Artists and Bring Your Own Venue / Site-Specific Artists: A specific date has not been set for our lottery applications, but we will let you know as soon as possible. Please subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to know!

Dramatic Works Series: We’ve allocated a series just for dramatic works so if you’re one for drama, this may be for you! Stay tuned for more info here.

We’ll update you when we have more details so look out on our website and in our newsletter!