Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals

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About [1]

CAFF’s member festivals have worked together for more than thirty years to pioneer a made-in-Canada model unique in the Fringe world. The festivals are designed to put artists and audiences in direct contact, fostering experimentation and discovery on both sides of the fourth wall. It is a movement for artistic innovation through audience-driven “curation.”


The first Canadian Fringe was the Edmonton Fringe Festival (est. 1982). Inspired by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (est. 1947), the success and growth of Edmonton’s adapted formula soon led to the creation of Fringe Festivals across Canada and the United States. Each festival evolved its own flavour to match the distinct personality of its home city, yet each dedicated to the Fringe philosophy of accessible, inexpensive and fun theatre-going.


The Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals was formed to protect these four guiding principles, still in place today:

  • Participants will be selected on a non-juried basis, through a first-come, first served process, a lottery, or other method approved by the Association.
  • The audience must have the option to pay a ticket price, 100% of which goes directly to the artists
  • Fringe Festival producers have no control over the artistic content of each performance. The artistic freedom of the participants is unrestrained.
  • Festivals must provide an easily accessible opportunity for all audiences and all artists to participate in Fringe Festivals.


In 1994, the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals was officially registered as a non-profit organization with the following mandate:

To safeguard the integrity of Fringe Festivals as outlined in the four minimum criteria. To recognize that the health of all member Festivals is important to the Circuit and therefore the artists’ health as a whole. To encourage communication and cooperation between member Festivals thereby fostering the continuity of our guiding principles.


The mission of the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals is to unite, support, empower and strengthen member festivals in order to cultivate and foster independent artistic exploration for artists and audiences across North America


Fringe Theatre makes all performance selections via a lottery system.[2] An artist or company submits their work anonymously, as per a designated set of rules specific to each Fringe, in order to be potentially randomly selected for the respective Festival applied to. [3] Usually only one entry is allowed per artist/company and per show. This is to ensure fairness in the random selection.

List of Fringe Festivals[4]

Festival City
Atlantic Fringe Festival Halifax, Nova Scotia
Boulder International Fringe Festival Boulder, Colorado
Calgary Fringe Festival Calgary, Alberta
Chicago Fringe Festival Chicago, Illinois, USA
Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival Edmonton, Alberta
Elgin Fringe Festival Elgin, Illinois, USA
Festival St-Ambroise Fringe de Montréal Montréal, Québec
FRIGID New York Fringe New York, New York
Fringe North Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Fundy Fringe Festival Saint John, New Brunswick
Great Salt Lake Fringe Great Salt Lake, Utah
Guelph Fringe Guelph, Ontario
Hamilton Fringe Festival Hamilton, Ontario
Indianapolis Fringe Theatre Festival Indianapolis, Indiana
Island Fringe Festival (PEI) Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
London Fringe Theatre Festival London, Ontario
Nanaimo Fringe Festival Nanaimo, British Columbia
ON THE EDGE fringe festival North Bay, Ontario
Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival Orlando, Florida
Ottawa Fringe Festival Ottawa, Ontario
PortFringe Portland, Maine
PotashCorp Fringe Theatre Festival (Saskatoon) Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Regina International Fringe Theatre Festival Regina, Saskatchewan
San Diego International Fringe Festival San Diego, California
San Francisco Fringe Festival San Francisco, California
Storefront Fringe Festival Kingston, Ontario
The Toronto Fringe Festival Toronto, Ontario
Vancouver Fringe Festival Vancouver, British Columbia
Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival Victoria, British Columbia
Windsor Fringe Windsor, Ontario
Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival Winnipeg, Manitoba

Name:Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals
Location:2 Daly Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA K1N 6E2