Celebrating a love of theatre for over 30 years, the Vancouver Fringe Festival sees over 80 theatre artists and companies come together to share their creativity on stage.
What do you love about a trip to the theatre? The anticipation of the curtain rising? The emotional journey the characters take you on? The ice cream during the interval? Well, you'll be in your element at Vancouver's Fringe Festival with 11 days of theatre to get stuck into.
Consistently voted Vancouver's Best Arts Festival, the Vancouver Fringe Festival started in 1985 and now welcomes around 40,000 visitors each year. Whilst the dates for 2017's festival haven't been released yet, it usually lasts 11 days and takes place in the first or second week of September.
The festival aims to present live theatre in a way that is accessible to all and breaks down boundaries between audiences and artists. The organisers promote discussion and open dialogue around the performances which goes partway towards doing this. Local, national and international artists are welcomed to the stages of the Vancouver Fringe Festival, allowing them to develop and learn from each other.
The Fringe's uniqueness comes from its selection technique, which follows an 'everyone is welcome' ethos. The mainstage shows are drawn from a hat, so everyone gets the chance to participate. Artists can also 'BYOV' (Bring Your Own Venue), which allows them to find their own performance space. Popular venues include the Carousel Theatre and Firehall Arts Centre and The Only Animal, which in 2011, partnered with the Fringe to support hopefuls in their quest to find innovative performance spaces.
Alongside the daily theatre performances, there are often other events running. On each night of the festival, everyone involved (from artists to audiences to volunteers) share their experiences to a backdrop of live music down at the Fringe Bar. There are also a number of workshops held throughout the festival, for artists and aspiring artists alike. 2016's offerings saw a 'Promo 101' session, giving advice on how to promote a new production. The Fringe-for-All showcase lets audiences find out what they can expect to see over the next few weeks and the Public Market Pick of the Fringe shows an extended run of the most popular shows chosen by the audience.
In 2016, the festival held an opening night ceremony, in what was dubbed 'part performance, all party'. There was also an awards night, which saw an award given for artistic risk, alongside the New Play Award and SOFA (Spirit Of the Fringe) Award. With so much on offer, it's safe to say this is a cultural experience that you won't find anywhere else. And if you're not too bothered about the culture, there's always that interval ice cream to look forward to.
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