What is Fringe?
You may have heard of Edmonton Fringe or Edinburgh Fringe, those diverse and memorable theatre festivals that have cities buzzing for weeks. This year, Kelowna is getting its own version!
The new annual Kelowna Fringe Festival will take place in the heart of the city’s Cultural District. The event is being organized by a committee of the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan (ARTSCO).
At its core, Fringe is a unique showcase of drama, comedy, musical theatre, clown, dance, multi-media works and more. You never know what you're going to get!
There are several commitments that set Fringe Festivals apart. For example, there’s no curation (artists are selected by lottery), there are no parameters or censorship on content, and there’s a dedication to accessibility for all (fees and ticket prices are kept low with a 100% of the ticket price going to the artists). For the Executive Director of ARTSCO, Dustyn Baulkham, that’s part of what makes Fringe so exciting:
“Because it is a lottery, you never know what you’re going to get with Fringe, and that is part of the beauty of it. It’s egalitarian and open to all. That means guests could see an incredible show or a not so incredible show, but either way, it’s probably going to be mind-blowing and will definitely be worth the ticket price!”
The 2019 Kelowna Fringe Festival is taking place from September 19 - 22, 2019, in Kelowna. There will be multiple performances from 12 companies (3 of which are Okanagan-based - ARTSCO guaranteed 3 spots for local acts).
Baulkham, believes Fringe will be a big boon for the region’s cultural calendar:
“We’re extremely excited to be bringing a true Fringe Festival to our region. Not only is it another performance opportunity for locals, but it brings artists who might not otherwise have visited our area to the Okanagan. We have a performer coming from as far away as South Africa. It should be an amazing few days!”
Those who have been in the Okanagan since the 90s may recall that there was a short-lived Fringe Festival in Kelowna at the end of the last century. However, the new Kelowna Fringe is not affiliated with any previous festivals that have been attempted. 2019 is the inaugural year for our festival. Please join us from September 19 - 22!