Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival

Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival
The Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival is an annual independent theatre festival held in the Canadian city of Victoria, British Columbia. It is one of the longest-running fringe festivals in Canada and the entire North America.

The term “fringe theatre” refers to the theatre that is experimental in style or subject matter. It comes from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe established in 1947 as an independent alternative to the Edinburgh International Festival. Fringe festivals began to emerge in North America in the early 1980s. The first one was the Edmonton International Fringe Festival founded in 1982. It was followed by the Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival 4 years later.

Victoria Fringe is organized by Intrepid Theatre, a non-profit organization that was established in 1986 to enhance awareness and appreciation of contemporary theatre. Intrepid theatre produces several theatre festivals and a series of theatre presentations and premieres throughout the year, enhancing the experience of live theatre in British Columbia. The Victoria Fringe Theatre festival is a founding member of the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals.

All CAFF-affiliated festivals operate under four key principles: unjuried participation (free access) for artists and companies; no censorship; accessibility to all artists and audiences; 100% of the box office revenue is returned directly to the participants. Unfortunately, the festival cannot accommodate all applying artists, so the participating acts are selected at random (by lottery), which is a common practice at fringe festivals.

The Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival welcomes artists from all over Canada and abroad. Over the years, it has featured artists from the United States, Japan, Australia, the UK, and other countries. The festival runs over 10–12 days in August, presenting about 50 performers and groups. Its program includes nearly 300 shows that take place at about a dozen venues in downtown Victoria, including two year-round theatre venues operated by Intrepid Theatre, the Metro Studio and the Intrepid Theatre Club.

The festival encompasses different forms of performing arts, including theatre, dance, music, musicals, comedy, cabaret, and spoken word. It strives to promote new artists and their work, as well as encourage them to produce experimental work. The best acts receive the Pick of the Fringe Awards in several categories (Favorite Comedy, Favorite Drama, Favorite Dance/Movement/Musical Theatre, Favorite Musical/Variety/Magic/Cabaret, Favorite Spoken Word/Storytelling, and more).

Victoria Fringe





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