Fringe Indigenous Artist Program

Intrepid Theatre, producer of the Victoria Fringe, is located on the traditional and unceded territories of the Lekwungen People, now known as the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations. We are committed to offering creative opportunities to artists and audiences, and building inclusive festivals that connect diverse communities through performance.

2023 DATES

  • APPLICATIONS LAUNCHED: Tuesday February 28, 2023
  • APPLICATION DEADLINE: Tuesday March 28, 2023 at 5 pm Pacific Time
  • LOTTERY: Thursday March 30, 2023 (livestreamed on Facebook)
  • FRINGE FEE & CONTRACT DUE: April 14, 2023
  • DROPOUT DEADLINE (for refund): mid May, 2023
  • 2023 FESTIVAL DATES: August 23 – September 3, 2022

Sign up to our artist enews to get reminders about applications. See the Fringe Applications page for details on the Victoria Fringe for artists. 

WHAT IS THE FRINGE INDIGENOUS ARTIST PROGRAM? The Fringe IAP is in its 6th year and provides access and mentorship for local artists who identify as Indigenous, and wish to produce work as part of the Victoria Fringe. The program incorporates collaborative mentorship, access to resources and support to strengthen participating artists’ producing skill-set and artistic practice based on their predetermined goals. The framework for the first Fringe IAP was devised by Two Spirit artist and activist Johnny Aitken (who is of Coast Salish, Haida and Scottish ancestry) and Intrepid Theatre staff in 2017. Hy’ch-ka Siem to Johnny for his invaluable input in shaping this program.

WHAT IS THE FRINGE? The Victoria Fringe is an un-juried international theatre festival that takes place each summer in venues around Victoria in late August – early September. 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. Fringe artists have creative freedom in creating their show and are the producer of their own work.

WHAT HAS THE EXPERIENCE OF PARTICIPATING ARTISTS BEEN? You can read a series of interviews with Fringe IAP artists: Johnny Aitken 2017, Rory Keewatin 2018/2021, Nyla Carpentier 2019, Elowynn Rose 2020/21, Danica Charlie, 2022/23.

HOW DOES THE LOTTERY WORK? It is free to apply to the Fringe IAP lottery and if drawn as part of the Victoria Fringe, the successful artist will be provided with a bursary for the entire participation fee and application fee. If you are not drawn for the Fringe IAP slot, your application will automatically go into the Fringe general lottery. Participants will be required to self-produce their project and responsible for all risk associated with it.

WHO IS IT FOR? This program is open to any artists living in Coast Salish, Nuu-chah-nulth or Kwakwaka’wakw territory who self-identify as Indigenous (includes First Nations, Métis and Inuit, proof of status not required), and assists artists who are looking to produce a show in the Victoria Fringe. As an open-access festival, the Victoria Fringe welcomes applications from a wide range of performance styles, traditions and artistic disciplines – anything goes at the Fringe!


  1.   Choice of the following options:
  • Doing the program over 2 years, with a work-in-progress reading or showing at the Fringe in year 1 and full production at the Fringe in year 2.
  • Doing the program over 1 year, utilising it for a work-in-progress reading or showing at Fringe.
  • Doing the program over 1 year, utilising it to do a full production in the Fringe the year you get into the lottery
  1.   Mentorship with your chosen mentor and area of learning and creation focus in year 1 (relating to artistic or production elements for your show). Approximately 10 hours. 
  2.   Producing mentorship over 5 months in the lead up to the festival with Fringe Producer and/or Artistic Director. Mentorship and timeline are determined in collaboration with the participating artist in response to your overall goals and learning focus, and created in the first month of the program. Approximately 10 hours.
  3.   A consultation meeting with a past artist who has been part of the program.
  4.   Free entry into the IAP Fringe lottery ($30 registration fee) + Bursary for participation fee into the Fringe Festival (up to $520 fee).
  5.   Access to 50 hours rehearsal space in year 1 at the Intrepid Studio, subject to availability.


The “Primary Contact” is the individual responsible for the application to the lottery and producing the Fringe show, and will be the sole contact for that company/production for festival staff. The “Primary Contact” must self-identify as Indigenous to qualify for the Fringe IAP.   

QUESTIONS? Contact Sean Guist, Artistic Director: /250-383-2663. Or drop by Intrepid Theatre to find out more info – Fisgard at Blanshard (M-F, 10am – 5pm).

Pictured above: Johnny Aitken and Shelley MacDonald in The Gift, (Fringe IAP 2017). Image credit Roy Mulder.

™ FRINGE and FRINGE FESTIVAL are registered trademarks of the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals

Intrepid Theatre is located on the lands of the Lekwungen People, now known as the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations. We give our thanks and respect to the stewards of these lands, and to elders, past, present and future.