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The Whos and Whats of The Toronto Fringe

About the Toronto Fringe

The Toronto Fringe provides creative opportunities for artists and audiences by producing two important festivals – the Toronto Fringe Festival and the Next Stage Theatre Festival – and by running outreach activities that benefit youth, artists and the theatre community at large. Our home, the Fringe Creation Lab at the Centre for Social Innovation Annex, welcomes independent artists year round, encouraging their creative work by offering them affordable space to make art, congregate and innovate.

THE FRINGE FESTIVAL – annually, late June/early July
The Fringe Festival, our flagship event, is Toronto’s largest theatre and performance festival. 155+ productions are featured at 25+ venues across the west end of Toronto, drawing more than 90,000 people over 12 days each year. There’s something for everyone, with musicals, comedies, family programming, drama, dance, improv and anything else you can imagine on offer. Don’t miss the Site Specific productions that take place in unexpected locations like backs of cars or down hidden alleys. The heart of the festival is the Fringe Club at Honest Ed’s (581 Bloor St. West) which includes the Visual Fringe’s eight living gallery spaces and all kinds of free forums, discussions and late night cabaret performances.Since 1989, the Fringe has showcased over 2300 independent theatre productions, returned nearly $5,000,000 back to participating artists, and provided thousands of artists with a launch pad for their careers. Like all Fringes in Canada, The Toronto Fringe abides by four rules, as dictated by the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals (CAFF):

  • Participants are selected through an equal opportunity application process such as lottery or first-come, first-served.
  • All box office revenue is returned to our artists. · The Fringe will not interfere with the artistic content of any show.
  • The Fringe must provide an easily accessible opportunity for audiences and artists to participate in a festival.

For more information, click HERE.

The Next Stage Theatre Festival (NSTF) offers Fringe artists a new platform to be discovered and connect with new audiences. Ten productions – either of past Fringe shows being redeveloped or new works by Fringe artists ready to take the next step in their careers – are chosen by a jury of industry leaders, and showcased at two venues at Factory Theatre.

Now in its 6th year, The Next Stage Theatre Festival is Toronto’s premiere winter theatre event showcasing independent theatre artists looking to bring their work to wider audiences while offering them the resources they require to succeed. Past productions from Next Stage have been recognized through Dora Award nominations, remounts in seasons at leading theatres across Canada, and off-Broadway productions in New York City. The twelve-day festival, produced by the Toronto Fringe, heats-up theatre fans in the dead of winter at The Factory Theatre, complete with a toasty beer tent provided by McAuslan Brewing Co.  This year’s line-up presents an amazing variety of shows and includes work by veteran Canadian artists and the hottest emerging talent in our city.

NSTF has grown by 118% in the past six years.

For more information, click HERE.

The Fringe Creation Lab is located at the Centre for Social Innovation Annex at 720 Bathurst St., in 3,500 square feet of space hosting our administrative offices and two studios available year round to our community at far below average hourly rates.

The Fringe Creation Lab is unique as a cultural space – There is no artistic, aesthetic, political cultural, curatorial, nor results-based vision for who can access the Lab. There isn’t even a limitation on what that space can be used for. Workshops, seminars, rehearsals, classes, creation processes, writing residencies, meetings and fundraisers are just a few of the events we imagine taking place at the Creation Lab.

The Time In Space Program offers 2600 hours of subsidized access to the space every year, making the space affordable for as little as $6/hour.

For more information, click HERE.

The Youth and Artist Outreach Department offers programs that strengthen the theatre sector and equip the independent community with the tools they need to succeed in their creative endeavours. The Fringe Research Chair engages the theatre community through research and conversation to identify common problems and offers workable solutions and the 10x10x10 Youth Outreach Program impacts over 1,000 youth each year, helping to educate young artists, provide mentor and networking opportunities, and cultivate a new generation of theatre audiences.

For more information, click HERE.