London Fringe Theater Festival

London Fringe Theater Festival
Photo: londonfringe.ca
The London Fringe Theater Festival is an annual independent performing arts festival held in the Canadian city of London, Ontario (not to be confused with the capital of the United Kingdom). It was founded in 2000 and has been held every summer since its inception.

The history of the festival began in the late 1990s, when the University of Western Ontario, located in London, canceled its drama program. To make up for the loss and support local performers and playwrights, a group of art-minded, theater loving friends came together to organize a Fringe Festival intended to become an exciting addition to the city’s arts scene. Inspired by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, they wanted to create a platform where artists and audiences would come together to share arts experiences.

Planning and organizing for the first festival began in 1998, when the London Fringe joined the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals (CAFF). The first London Fringe Festival took place in 2000. It presented 28 local, national and international productions. Prior to 2009 the festival was held in early August, beginning on the Civic Holiday weekend. It was moved to June to better fit into the CAFF’s festival circuit.

The London Fringe Theater Festival strives to support and promote independent artists. The organizers create a unique and inclusive environment where outstanding artists from Ontario, across Canada and around the world can showcase their work to audiences. Like most other fringe theater festivals, the London Fringe guarantees unrestrained artistic freedom to artists and imposes no censorship.

The London Fringe is an open-access (unjuried) theater festival. There is no selection committee. The festival accepts all applications and then chooses the participating acts by lottery. The number of participants depends on the number of available venues. The London Fringe Festival provides artists with venues, promotional support, technical assistance, and educational opportunities. 100% of the ticket sales is given back to the artists.

The London Fringe is a non-profit, charitable organization supported by sponsors and donations. Along with the annual festival, it hosts a series of cultural events throughout the year.

London Fringe

Photo: Richard Gilmore



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