PotashCorp Fringe Theatre and Street Festival

PotashCorp Fringe Theatre and Street Festival
Photo: 25thstreettheatre.org
The PotashCorp Fringe Theatre and Street Festival, formerly known as the Saskatoon Fringe Theatre Festival, is an annual fringe theatre festival held in the Canadian city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. It was founded in 1989.

The term fringe theatre refers to theatre that is experimental in style or subject matter. Most fringe theatre festivals are unjuried, i.e. they do not employ a jury-based selection process. All submissions are accepted, and when there are too many of them, the participating acts are chosen by lottery or on a first come, first served basis. No restrictions are made as to the nature, style or theme of the performance and there is no censorship. In other words, the performers enjoy complete artistic freedom. At most fringe festivals, up to 100% of the ticket revenue is returned to the participants.

The world’s first fringe festival was held in 1947 in Edinburgh. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe was founded as an alternative to the traditional Edinburgh International Festival. Canada’s first open access performing arts festival was the Edmonton International Fringe Festival founded in 1982. Seven years later, Saskatoon Fringe joined the family of Canadian unjuried theatre festivals.

The Saskatoon Fringe Festival was founded by Tom Bentley, the artistic director of 25th Street Theatre. The first festival took place in 1989. It was a mini fringe that provided performance opportunities to touring artists who needed somewhere to perform between Winnipeg and Edmonton Fringe. The first full-fledged edition of Saskatoon Fringe was held in summer 1990.

Over the years, the Saskatoon Fringe Theatre Festival has become one of the top ten fringe festivals in North America by artist earnings. It is held in a number of venues on Broadway Avenue, including the Broadway Theatre with a capacity of 430. The festival features independent performers and theatre groups from all over the world, offering more than 200 shows over 10 days. The participants are selected on a first come, first served basis, but there is an additional requirement that the slots be equally allocated to Saskatchewan artists, Canadian artists and international artists.

The PotashCorp Fringe Theatre and Street Festival attracts tover 50,000 attendees annually and its ticketed audience is around 11,000. Alongside free and ticketed shows, it features a spectacular street festival with professional buskers, food vendors and craft vendors. The festival is a major platform for independent theatre groups and buskers and a popular tourism destination.

PotashCorp Fringe Theatre and Street Festival

Photo: 25thstreettheatre.org



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