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Edmonton’s Fringe Festival cancelled for the year

By Admin User on April 27, 2020

As organizations and events continue to react to the COVID-19 pandemic, Edmonton’s International Fringe Theatre Festival has cancelled its shows for the summer. This would have been its 39th year.

“It’s hard to imagine an Edmonton summer without Fringe. While the decision to cancel is difficult and emotional, we also know it’s necessary. The health and safety of all fringers is our top priority,” said Adam Mitchell, executive director of the festival.

The annual event typically lasts ten days in August, filling the streets and theatres of Old Strathcona. It provides the opportunity for actors, vendors and buskers to showcase their work. It also relies on the support of numerous volunteers, workers and donors.

Crowds gather to watch a street performer during a previous Edmonton Fringe Festival.

Restrictions are currently in place limiting gatherings to 15 people. Therefore, artists and technical staff were unable to prepare for their shows. It was also difficult for the Edmonton Fringe Team to plan around unknown timelines.

As the international event is also a charitable organization, they are aware this decision will negatively impact others. Therefore, they are working with partners and sponsors to reopen the doors of the ATB Financial Arts Barn as soon as it is safe to do so.

“Artists are at the heart of everything we do; countless cultural sector careers have been put on hold because of the pandemic,” said Murray Utas, the festival’s artistic director.

The festival will return in 2021 for its 40th year, running August 12 – 22. In the meantime, they are accepting donations, which will go towards supporting artists during this time.



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