- Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival
The Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival is an annual alternative theatre festival held in
Winnipeg, Manitoba. It is the second-largest North American festival of its kind, and since 2003, has been the longest at twelve days (except in 2005, when it reverted to 11 to avoid a conflict with another event), and it is common for a small number of shows to be held over past the festival's official end date. The most recent Winnipeg Fringe ran from July 16 to 27, 2008.
1988by the Manitoba Theatre Centreunder the directorship of Rick McNair, it is one of Winnipeg's most popular cultural events. The executive producer is currently Chuck McEwen, former director of the Toronto Fringe Festival. [Melissa Martin, " [http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/story/4201486p-4793358c.html We asked ... Chuck McEwen] ", " Winnipeg Free Press", 20 July 2008.] The festival takes place in various venues throughout Winnipeg's historic Exchange District. In recent years, total attendance has generally been around or just under 150,000, with paid attendance usually around 30% of that figure (in contrast to less than 10% for some other similar festivals). It features many local groups who may not otherwise have the opportunity to reach an audience, as well as others from all over the globe; for example, the 2005 festival featured performers from France, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and South Africaas well as performers from across Canadaand the U.S..
", 28 July 2008.]
Like its Edmonton counterpart, on which it was largely modelled, but unlike the
Edinburgh Fringe, the Winnipeg Fringe provides a number of venues for the performers, including paid technicians as well as volunteer ticket sellers, ushers and other such functionaries. It is also possible - and increasingly popular - for performers to "bring their own venue" by making arrangements with a potential venue other than the ones the festival provides, a process much more similar to that of the Edinburgh fringe.
Many Canadian Fringe Festival artists have enjoyed continued success, based on productions they first mounted at Fringe Festivals. TJ Dawe (The Slip-Knot), Charles Ross (One Man Star Wars), Ribbit Productions (BoyGroove), and Monster Theatre (The Canada Show), have all performed over several years in Winnipeg.
* [http://www.winnipegfringe.com/ Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival]
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