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Apply for Fringe
Applications for the 2017 Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival are now closed. The festival runs August 24 – September 3, 2017. This year’s Fringe lottery results are here. The Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals also has a North American Fringe Festival touring lottery. Applications for 2017 are now closed but you can read more for 2018 here – CAFF touring lottery.
Victoria is home to one of the oldest Fringes in Canada. We accept about 50 indoor shows in a 7 venue, 11 day event in downtown Victoria (located on the southernmost tip of Vancouver Island, 1.5 hours from Vancouver, or 2.5 hours from Seattle, by ferry.) This year’s fringe attracted about 23,000 audience members.
This year there is a small overlap with the Edmonton Fringe Festival (which runs August 17 – 27).
Please read the following to learn how to apply.
What is the Fringe? The Fringe is un-juried and uncensored international theatre festival. Participating companies/artists bring their fully-produced shows to the festival, and receive 100% of their box office revenue. Ticket prices are affordable so the festival is accessible to the widest possible audience.
What to Expect
- A friendly, professionally run, well-attended festival event in beautiful downtown Victoria
• 6 scheduled performances (or 5 if you are arriving late from overlapping festivals)
• A fully outfitted venue (average 100 seats)
• One professional technician and Front of House Management.
• Box office volunteers, at-door and advance ticket service (there is a fee for advance tickets)
• Up to 3 hours technical rehearsal
• A 60 word listing/graphic in the Fringe Program Guide and website
• Blanket Festival Promotion
• Local media contact list and online artist resources available to you all year
• 100% Box office receipts (top price $11)
• Local billeting services for a nominal fee ($25 per person) for company members
- A fully produced show, ready to be seen by an audience.
• An email address and contact person we can reach on a regular basis.
• Tech and promotional material ON TIME when we request it.
• A set ticket price of $9 and/or $11 ($11 is the ceiling).
• All your food, travel, work permits (if required), production, royalty, union fees, and artist fee expenses.
• Your own show-specific promotional materials (posters, flyers) which YOU distribute.
• Specialty technical equipment (ie. projectors, monitors, lapel mics, pianos, keyboards, fog machines…)
You are responsible for all aspects of production – casting, rehearsals, design, direction, promotion, budgeting. We provide blanket promotion, space, tech, and support for you to share your work, and opportunities to connect with audiences and other festival artists socially.
How to Apply
It’s easy to apply to the Victoria Fringe lottery. You will require a credit card or paypal account at the time of application, to pay the $30 non-refundable lottery fee. You can apply any time between the release of the applications (Sep 21, 2016) and the deadline of January 11, 2016 at 5 pm PST. You should receive an automatic confirmation of the receipt of your application. If not, check your spam or “promotions” (gmail) inbox. If you want to participate in the Earlybird Lottery (Victoria-based companies only) complete your application by 5 pm Fri Dec 9, 2016 (now passed).
If you want to apply to the Fringe, the total application fee should you be drawn in the lottery is $650.00 CAD, GST included. $30 of this fee is a non-refundable processing fee that all companies pay to apply to the lottery. The remaining $620 participant’s fee is only payable once you are drawn in the lottery (by Monday, January 16), or if you are on the waiting list and accept a spot later if one opens up. You do not need to pay the full Fringe Fee upfront to apply to the lottery or to remain on the waiting list.
How Shows are Selected
Fringe Applications are selected in three ways
- CAFF LOTTERY – We accept up to 10 companies through the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals Touring Lottery – for artists who want to do a tour of 5 or more CAFF festivals. (click here to learn more)
- NEW! EARLYBIRD LOCAL LOTTERY – 10 spots are reserved for Victoria-resident shows only, to be drawn at an early-bird lottery party at the Intrepid Theatre Club at 7pm on Mon Dec 12, 2016. To apply, complete the online application by 5pm, December 9, 2016. If you don’t get an earlybird slot, your application will go into the regular lottery in January.
- REGULAR LOTTERY – All remaining spots are drawn randomly from a hat on January 12 at noon, and accepted into regional quotas: Local (BC) 50%, Other North America (35%), Overseas (15%). When the quotas are full, we continue to draw applications for regional waiting lists. Our waiting list reflects the quotas (ie. If an overseas company drops out, it will be replaced with another overseas company.) To apply, complete the online application by 5pm, Wed January 11, 2016 [now closed].
Important Deadlines & Dates for 2017
- APPLICATION RELEASE DATE: September 21, 2016
- EARLYBIRD (Local only) APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday Dec 9, 2016 at 5 pm [NOW CLOSED]
- EARLYBIRD LOTTERY DRAW & PARTY (Victoria-based companies only): Monday Dec 12, 2016, 7 pm at Intrepid Theatre
- REGULAR APPLICATION DEADLINE (all applicants): Wednesday January 11, 2017 at 5 pm Pacific Time
- LOTTERY: Thursday January 12, 2017 Noon at Intrepid Theatre
- FRINGE FEE DEADLINE FOR LOTTERY WINNERS: Monday, January 16, 2017
- DROPOUT DEADLINE (for full refund): May 31, 2017
- 2016 FESTIVAL DATES: August 24 – September 3, 2017
How many applications do you get? Last year we got 190 applications for 52 spots.
What are my chances of getting in off the waiting list? It’s impossible to say. Some years there is a lot of movement on the list, and some years very few companies drop out. The longer you can hang in there, the more your chances improve.
Will you deposit my application fee if I’m not drawn in the lottery? Everyone who enters the lottery pays a non-refundable $30 fee. We don’t ask you to pay the full Fringe participant’s fee of $620 unless you are drawn in the lottery on January 12 – then you’ll have until January 16 to submit your Fringe Fee to stay in the festival.
If I get a spot in the festival and decide to drop out, do I get my money back? If you notify us in writing by May 31, 2017, you get 100% of the Fringe Fee back if you decide to drop out. As of June 1, your entire application fee is non-refundable. You cannot sell or transfer your spot at any time.
I don’t live in Canada – is there anything I need to know? You don’t require a work permit to do a Fringe Festival here, but non-residents of Canada are subject to a 15% Federal tax on earnings in Canada. You can apply for a waiver that may exempt you from all or part of this tax. We’ll send you more information if you are accepted into the festival. All travel documents are your responsibility.
What’s the deal with BYOVs in Victoria?
Unlike some other Fringes, Victoria doesn’t have “Bring your Own Venues”. We will consider applications for non-traditional, Site-Specific venues on a case-by-case basis, where the site is integral to the performance (the site is “the set” and the piece could not be performed in a regular theatre venue.) You don’t need to enter the lottery for a Site-Specific Venue, but you do need to pitch your proposal to us. Site-Specific Venue proposals will be considered and approved or rejected on the basis of site specificity, audience safety, permission to use the site, and proof of insurance. Email us to set up a time to talk about your proposal.
When do Victoria Companies start lining up for the Earlybird slots? They don’t! We have discontinued the first-come, first-served lineup in favour of a local earlybird lottery and party. See above for deadlines and details.
How much money will I make at the Victoria Fringe? As an independent producer in a competitive marketplace, you are responsible for producing and promoting your show to the best of your ability. If you have a great show and are great at promoting it, you’ll do well. There is no meaningful “average” box office revenue because it varies widely, but a recent range was $5,700/$470. Do the best show you can, tell people about it, and you can reasonably expect something between those two numbers!
I’m planning on doing the Edmonton Fringe and Victoria Fringe, how does that work with the overlap?
You’ll be given 5 show slots instead of 6 and MUST arrive in Victoria by Monday August 28 for your tech. This means you cannot drive from Edmonton and get here in time, so book a flight. You will be given a $50 rebate on your fee if you are doing both.
Questions? We are here to help. email or call us at 250-383-2663.