Welcome with open arms; Sinead Walsh reflects on the Vancouver Fringe Experience…

Experience the Vancouver Fringe through the eyes of Sinead, an Irish comedian who travelled across continents to grace our stages! As a first-timer at the Vancouver Fringe, Sinead found herself welcomed with open arms from the moment she arrived. The warmth and support extended by the festival staff set the tone for her entire experience, while the sense of community among fellow performers and audiences alike made her feel right at home!

From the get-go, it was obvious that the Vancouver Fringe staff were excited to have me – they gave me great information up-front and supported me the whole way through. and I felt immediately connected to others at the festival, and everything at the festival went beautifully together. People would go out of their way to say “hi” in a way that felt like they genuinely wanted to connect with me.  

The Vancouver Fringe is completely different from other Fringe festivals I’ve been to in the best possible way. Other festivals have felt competitive, and that you’re “on your own” as a performer, but Vancouver was nothing like that. I knew if something went wrong, someone would always be there to help. Every show left me with a positive feeling, and before every performance I felt like I was vibrating as I waited to go on stage, listening to the pre-show message. 

There was also something special about performing this type of show in Vancouver. When I talk about my experience with gendered bathrooms in Ireland, it’s completely different to the experience in this city. After a show, an audience member came up to me and told me about how she came out as trans at 56. Even though we are at polar opposite ends of life, the show resonated with her, and it was nice to feel connected through my work. Usually, I try to avoid interacting with audience members, but every single night I had gorgeous interactions with volunteers and audiences. Even though there’s such a diversity of performance types, there was a continuous community feel among everyone on Granville Island. It was an amazing experience, and I can’t wait to be back! 

Feeling inspired? You can still join us at the Festival as a performer! The lottery may be closed. but applications for BYOV and Site Specific shows are open. Apply today to experience the magic that Sinead felt last year.


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