If you are around the Victoria Fringe this summer, volunteering at the festival, or stop by the office, you will see three new faces – SJ & Hilary, our 2019 Fringe Volunteer Coordinators and Navarra, our Accessibility & Outreach Coordinator. These three are working hard to place artists with billets, create volunteer schedules, coordinate 300 volunteers and make the festival more welcoming and accessible!
[Image caption: SJ and Hilary, smiling stand behind Navarra, smiling and seated in a wheelchair against a graffiti mural background.]
I recently moved to Victoria from southern Alberta and have been loving exploring the local area. When I’m not around the office, I spend my time at the track and travelling across the country for different wheelchair racing competitions. In the spare time that I have left over, I am an avid gardener and crafter, and am a part of local arts and crafts guilds to work on my fibre arts. During the winter season, I am a History and Spanish student at UVic and starting to learn American Sign Language.
I’m new to Fringe this year, and I’m really looking forward to experiencing it for the first time. I’m also excited to be working on accessibility at the Victoria Fringe! I think that there is an amazing culture of welcoming and inclusivity around the festival, and I’m thrilled to be a part of that. With more accessible options being added, it’s going to be a really awesome festival this year that will be easier for more people to enjoy!
SJ Valiquette is a local poet, photographer, and performer. She moved to Victoria from Southern Alberta in 2014 to study theatre performance at UVic and graduated with a BFA last April. SJ has studied at Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Banff Centre for the Arts, she runs an ongoing photography project called (re)markable project (which often involves copious amounts of biodegradable glitter) and her poetry can be found in Oratorealis Magazine, or in her self-published collection “Little Rebellions” which came out earlier this year.
The Fringe Festival was SJ’s introduction to theatre in Victoria. She moved to Victoria during the 2014 Fringe and since she didn’t know anyone and had nothing to do until classes started she immersed herself in the festival. Since then she has cowritten and performed in two shows at the Victoria Fringe (The Quiet Environmentalist in 2016, and Daddy Issues in 2017.) She’s very excited to get to play such a big role in bringing the festival to life this year.
Hilary is going into her fourth year at the University of Victoria studying theatre and history, with a focus in applied theatre. She enjoys many aspects of theatre, from directing, acting, and devising. With having three years of school under her belt she is excited for more opportunities to come in her academic and professional career. She is wanting to create her own theatre company focusing on social justice and making theatre accessible for all.
Hilary is new to Fringe but was a cast member in Kansha which ran as a YOUshow. Hilary also volunteered with Intrepid during their 2019 UNO Fest as their Accessibility Assistant Volunteer. This experience helped shape Hilary’s idea of theatre and grow her excitement for non-traditional theatre practices grow. Hilary is excited to learn more about the Fringe festival and gain more experience with the theatre community around Victoria.
These positions are funded through the Canada Summer Jobs program.