Edmonton International Fringe Festival

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Edmonton International Fringe Festival
Genre Fringe Theatre Festival
Dates 2012: August 16 to August 26
2013: August 15 to August 25
Location(s) Edmonton, Alberta
Canada Canada
Years active 1982 – present
Edmonton International Fringe Festival

The Edmonton International Fringe Festival produced by the Fringe Theatre Adventures (FTA) is an annual event held every August in Edmonton, Alberta in Canada. It is the oldest and largest Fringe Theatre Festival in North America. [1]

In 1982, Chinook Theatre's artistic director Brian Paisley received $50,000 from Edmonton's Summerfest to put together "A Fringe Theatre Event" in Edmonton’s Old Strathcona District. Inspired by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Scotland, the Edmonton Fringe (the first in North America) offered 200 live performances in five theatre venues.[2]

More than 1,500 performers take part in the festival each year. The fringe festival is the largest in North America based on indoor ticket sales. In 2011, ticketed attendance was 104,142 to indoor shows, with an estimated outdoor site attendance of 576,000.[3] It is expected that there will be 1,600 performances of 220 unjuried and uncensored plays in the 2012 season.[4]

Admittance for performers to the festival is determined by application to a lottery held each November. The emphasis is on theatre, but performances can and do feature almost every form of art and entertainment. The festival itself takes place in Old Strathcona which has a number of permanent theatres (the Westbury Theatre and PCL Theatre in the ATB Financial Arts Barns, the Walterdale Playhouse, the Varscona Theatre, Catalyst Theatre, etc.) and a number of other venues (Acacia Hall, King Edward Academy, etc.) which are converted by FTA into temporary theatres to host theatre companies. During the festival, the streets and alleys of the neighbourhood are also filled with street performers and masked or costumed actors promoting their plays.

In addition to the hundreds of national and international artists who travel from around the world to bring their shows to the Edmonton Fringe, there are also hundreds of local performers who participate each year. Many of the local performers have been with the festival since the early years. Performers such as Ken Brown[disambiguation needed], local magician Ron Pearson, Rapid Fire Theatre, Die-Nasty, Teatro la Quindicina, Panties Productions, Mump and Smoot, The Wombats, Ribbit Productions, The Dan Show, Nikolai, Ryan Stock of Insane Entertainment, Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie and Tim Waterson have appeared at the festival regularly.

Unlike the Edinburgh Festivals, where artists are responsible for finding and running their own venues, the Edmonton Fringe implements a system in which for a relatively low application fee, the festival provides artists with a venue, a set number of performances, two technicians, and front-of-house and ticketing services and general festival marketing.[5] Artists may also arrange for their own performance space independently as a "Bring Your Own Venue" or BYOV, similar to the Edinburgh Fringe model.

The Edmonton Fringe is a founding member of the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals.

Edmonton International Fringe Festival. Nancy Bromley of Vibe Tribe
Guest performer from New Zealand


  1. ^ "2011 Volunteer PSA". Fringe Theatre Adventures. Retrieved May 16, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Fringe Theatre Adventures Historical Timeline". Fringe Theatre Adventures. Retrieved May 16, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Edmonton International Fringe Festival". Fringe Theatre Adventures. Retrieved August 25, 2011. 
  4. ^ "The Village of the Fringed Media Release". Fringe Theatre Adventures. Retrieved May 16, 2012. 
  5. ^ Paul Matwychuk (April 15, 2011). "On the Fringe of Edmonton". Canadian Geographic Travel. 

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Coordinates: 53°31′05″N 113°29′42″W / 53.518°N 113.495°W / 53.518; -113.495