Vancouver Fringe Festival

Vancouver Fringe Festival
The Vancouver Fringe Festival is an annual alternative theater festival that takes place in the Canadian city of Vancouver, British Columbia. It is held over 11 days in September, presenting a diverse program at a number of venues across Vancouver.

The Vancouver Fringe Festival is produced by the First Vancouver Theatrespace Society, a volunteer non-profit organization whose mission is to produce “Theater for Everyone” in Vancouver. The first festival was held in 1985 in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood. Its program included 220 performances in 7 venues. The event was organized by only 25 volunteers and drew an audience of about 4,000.

Since its inception, the Vancouver Fringe Festival has become one of the largest independent theater festivals in North America. It hosts about 700 performances over 11 days, attracting more than 40,000 attendees. Georgia Straight readers consistently vote it Vancouver’s Best Arts Festival. The Fringe relies on over 500 volunteers who donate their time and effort to bring contemporary performing arts to a wide audience.

The Fringe is an open-access, unjuried performing arts festival. It employs an “everyone is welcome” selection technique. The main stage acts are literally drawn out of a hat so that all participants, from up-and-coming artists to veteran performers, have a chance to participate. Artists also can stage original work in unconventional venues thanks to the Bring Your Own Venue (BYOW) category.

The Vancouver Fringe Festival strives to break down traditional boundaries. It encourages open dialog between artists and audience by presenting live, uncensored theater in informal and accessible environment. The Fringe is a member of the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals, so it follows the association’s guiding principles and gives 100% of box office revenues back to artists.

According to the organizers, the Fringe is part theater festival, part party. After the shows scheduled for the day are over, many artists, volunteers and attendees go to the Big Rock Brewery Fringe Bar to take in live music and performance. Along with performances and parties, the festival hosts workshops for artists and inspiring artists and the Fringe Awards Night, where the best shows and artists receive special awards.

Vancouver Fringe Festival

Photo: Vancouver Fringe




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