Vancouver Fringe Festival

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The Vancouver Fringe is a celebration of every kind of theatre imaginable. Produced annually by the First Vancouver Theatrespace Society over 11 days in September, with over 600 volunteers supporting 700+ performances and attracting over 30,000 attendees, the Vancouver Fringe Festival is consistently voted Vancouver’s Best Arts Festival by Georgia Straight readers. [1]


The First Vancouver Theatrespace Society (FVTS) was formed in 1983 with the mis­sion to produce “Theatre for Everyone” in Vancouver. FVTS initiated the first Vancouver Fringe Festival in 1985 and now, 30 years later, the FVTS has established itself as a leader in the BC arts community and a fixture in Vancouver’s events calendar. The Vancouver Fringe Festival is now BC’s largest theatre festival. [2]

Festival Events

Opening Night

The Fringe revels in its identity as part theatre, part party. Kick off the Festival with a VIP reception including complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres. [3]


Get your Fringe feet wet at the Fringe-For-All, a fast and furious preview event where artists perform two minute teasers for their upcoming shows! Host David C. Jones wrangles as many artists as he can into two hours at Performance Works. Tickets available online or at the door (if it’s not sold out!). [4]

Fringe Bar & Free Stage

The party doesn’t stop! The St. Ambroise Fringe Bar is the heart of the action during the Festival, with live music and more every night on the Barefoot Wine & Bubbly Stage. [5]

Pick of the Fringe

The Public Market Pick of the Fringe takes place following the Festival at Performance Works. Winners announced at Awards Night. [6]

Pick Plus

September 17 – 21, we’re bringing in four performances that have been a hit at the Vancouver Fringe and/or around Canada back for special performances! Buy tickets to three Pick Plus shows and save more than 30%! It’s like getting a show for free! Click here for more information. [7]

Awards Night

Awards Night recognizes the best of the Festival and is when the festival announcesPick of the Fringe! Admission by cash donation at the door will be donated to the Vancouver Food Bank. [8]



There are approximately 8 groups assigned to each venue. A Mainstage venue spot refers to shows that are placed in a venue supplied by the Festival, including a technician, basic lighting, and sound. The show can be from 10-75 minutes in length. Each group has 15 minutes to set up before each performance, and 15 minutes to take down afterwards. Applicants are selected by lottery, and 56 spots are available. [9]


Applicants are approved on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants must have secured a pre-approved venue BEFORE they apply with the Fringe. BYOV refers to shows that supply their own venue or location, technician, lighting, and sound. Technical rehearsal and scheduling is up to the company to arrange with the venue. This year, only pre-approved, Fringe BYOVs will be accepted. Applications will begin in December. [10]

Site Specific

There are a limited number of spots available, and applicants are approved on a first come, first served basis. To be considered in the Site-Specific category, artists must apply with a paired site and script idea–in other words, the script should only be able to be produced in the specific site you apply with. Previous examples include Industry: The Food Must Go Out at Edible Canada and Pirates? on the Kids Tugboat. Applications will begin in January.[11]

Dramatic Works Series

New in 2014, with support from Lochmaddy Foundation, this is a category for artists to produce previously published dramatic scripts with two or more actors! The Dramatic Works Series is housed at the new Festival Mainstage, The Cultch’s Vancity Culture Lab, a Fringe BYOV since 2011.

With this new program, six directors, chosen on a first come, first served basis, will produce drama-based theatre pieces for the September Festival. Scott Bellis—best known as a founding member and Artistic Associate at Bard on the Beach, as an actor in numerous Arts Club productions, and as a director at Studio 58—will mentor the Fringe artists as they produce their Festival shows.

Marisa Smith of Alley Theatre (Tape, 2009) brings Hannah Moscovitch’s Little One while Qelsey Zeeper of Sinzi gives us The Body of a Woman as a Battlefield in the Bosnian War, recognized by Theatre Without Borders. These are just two of the six shows drama appreciators can look forward to at the Fringe this year!

The Drama Works Series will build on the Cultch’s long standing history with the Vancouver Fringe Festival since the 1990s, when the Fringe was “Alive on the Drive.” While the open selection technique of the Fringe has always welcomed drama at the Festival, the 75 minute time limit for the Mainstage Category shows limited the ability of artists to produce published scripts. The new Dramatic Works Series program expands that limitation to 120 minutes. The Fringe also provides a subsidy to cover royalty fees. [12]

External Links

Official Website