With the easing of restrictions, the Victoria Fringe returns with new dates and new ways to Fringe. Running August 13 – September 24, the 2021 Victoria Fringe has both live and online shows and experiences, and will adapt to changing Provincial Health Orders as required. The Fringe Victoria knows and loves will look different this year, but we are thrilled to be able to return to live theatre and showcase the unjuried and uncensored work of independent artists over 6 weeks this summer.
- Fringe at The Metro – With COVID safety plans in place, 13 local companies take over The Metro Studio, with 2 companies playing 5 shows each week. The Metro has been transformed into a 40 seat socially-distanced cabaret venue, with tables for 2 and 4 spaced out on the seating risers.
- Fringe at Home – Take in shows from national and international touring artists from your screens at home, with a different online show on offer each week. Each show will be available to view on demand for a week.
- Fringe After Dark – A free livestream series brings the Fringe to pop-up locations across the city, with short performances shared on our Facebook.
- Fringe with Kids – This popular event for the youngest Fringers goes online on Saturday August 21, with a day of digital performances, art lessons, and a ‘to-go kit’ of art supplies and interactive materials. As always, FringeKids is 100% free.
- Fringe Preview – This kick-off to the Fringe will be pre-recorded and available to view on our website throughout the Fringe, featuring 2 minute previews from the participating companies, hosted by past Victoria Fringe artist Shawn O’Hara (Field Zoology 101).
As we adapt to the challenges and limitations presented by COVID-19, audiences will notice a few changes this year. The big change is that there will only be one venue, and a longer date run. This allows us to implement a safety plan, provide additional venue staff to guide the audience experience, and to carefully return to live performance with time for cleaning and venue preparation between shows. The Fringe Program Guide will be available on our website and for download, as the go-to source for all things Fringe. The Fringe guide is going digital to lower the number of touch points at the festival. This year, 100% of all tickets will be sold in advance to allow for contact tracing and to limit the gathering of groups in line-ups outside the theatre. Tickets and passes will be different from past Fringe Festivals, and tickets for in-person shows will be sold in tables of 2 or 4. More ticket details and an on-sale date will be announced soon.
Intrepid Theatre is increasing accessibility measures for our programming this season, including at the Victoria Fringe. Thanks to a project grant from Disability Alliance BC, we are working with a Deaf artist and consultant to improve our communication pieces, providing American Sign Language vlogs, including ASL interpretation for live and online shows, and closed captioning for online events.
While we are excited about returning to the theatre for the first time in 16 months, we also want to return better. Intrepid Theatre’s beginning steps have included Cultural Competency Training for staff with Silvia Mangue from Kulea Culture, and an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion audit with Baukau Consulting from Vancouver, BC, with the support of a Pivot Grant from the BC Arts Council.
Volunteers play an important role in the Fringe, and we will share more details on volunteer opportunities and how to get involved in a few weeks. Artist applications for both the Digital Lottery for national and international artists and for the Fringe After Dark Livestream on June 22.
The 2021 Victoria Fringe Festival will bring together artists and audiences, and we want to thank all of the artists who have shown great patience and adaptability as we have navigated the impacts of the pandemic on artists and changing health orders over the last 16 months. We are thrilled to be back and to share the work of independent artists again. As always, 100% of the ticket price you pay at the Fringe goes directly to the artists you choose to see, whether that is live or online.
Artists can see updates about the 2021 Fringe Lottery here.
A Vancouver Island festival tradition for more than three decades, Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival takes over downtown Victoria BC each summer for a celebration of live performance from around the world, featuring an eclectic mixture of spoken word, drama, musicals, dance, comedy, magic, theatre for young audiences and more at venues across the city.
Fringe™ and Fringe Festival™ are registered trademarks of the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals (CAFF). The Victoria Fringe is part of the World Fringe Network.