Toronto Fringe Festival
Join us in 2021 for the digital Toronto Fringe Festival: July 21 - 31, 2021
After considering an outdoor festival for Summer 2021, the Toronto Fringe has decided to move forward with a digital festival to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Now called The Digital Toronto Fringe Festival, dates have been shifted from June 30 – July 11 to July 21 – 31, 2021. During the festival, Fringe companies will present pre-recorded video, audio, and written pieces for audiences to enjoy as part the Fringe On-Demand series. Audiences will access content on fringetoronto.com with the purchase of an affordable and accessible membership pass. An additional Fringe Primetime series will offer audiences a chance to experience the thrill of a live and interactive Fringe show online.
This year will not be a stop-gap. The Digital Fringe will be a celebration of the Fringe Movement, with the only difference being its location: online. The Digital Fringe will connect to the worldwide Fringe community and widen the networks of indie artists in Toronto, offer practical solutions for access measures and involvement of Deaf and disabled artists, and implement recommendations from an ongoing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Audit. The Digital Fringe will prove that the Fringe spirit can live anywhere – whether you log in from your cozy apartment or from a blanket on the beach. Fringe lives everywhere, and this community won’t let a pandemic get in the way of uncensored self-expression. The Fringe lives on.
Now Open: 2021 Digital Play Contests
We are so excited to be able to offer artists the chance to have some fun, practice their craft, and win some prize money this spring.
The winners of each of these contests will be offered a performance slot in the Fringe Primetime series of the 2021 Digital Toronto Fringe Festival, as well as production and financial support. Find details on each contest by clicking the links below, and more details about Fringe Primetime coming soon.
New this year, Fringe has waived the $35 application fees to all the contests below. Applicants may decide to select a donation level when applying. Funds collected will be used to administer the programs.
About Fringe - when it's not a pandemic:
Inspired by the worldwide fringe movement, Toronto Fringe was founded by a cluster of local indie artists in 1989 to offer the “fringes” of the performing arts community a platform to create art at a grassroots level. It’s theatre by the people, for the people.
Since then, the Toronto Fringe Festival has become the largest theatre festival in Ontario, showcasing 150+ productions every July at 30+ venues around downtown Toronto. But throughout its three decades of growth, Fringe has kept the indie, grassroots spirit alive. Fringe keeps ticket prices lower than any other arts festival in the city, at $13, because we believe everyone should be able to afford to see theatre.
WHAT IS THE FRINGE LOTTERY?
The Toronto Fringe is a non-juried festival, and holds a lottery to program the festival by selecting shows at random in a draw. This draw takes place in the late autumn. In line with all other Fringe Festivals in Canada, The Toronto Fringe does not evaluate the artistic merit of applicants, or the viability of the work – all applicants have the same chance of earning a show slot as the rest of their category.
WHY DO WE PROGRAM THE FESTIVAL VIA LOTTERY?
Because we, along with all other Canadian Fringe Festivals, believe that every voice has an equal right to be heard. It's not about who you know or how much you know. Your project holds just as much weight in the Fringe Lottery as anyone else's. The power of the Fringe Movement is that there are no gatekeepers. It's a platform for everyone to learn about and experiment with the arts.
Why is Fringe different?
In line with all other Fringe Festivals in Canada, the Toronto Fringe Festival believes:
- Performing artists in Canada should be supported - that’s why we return 100% of the net box office revenue to Fringe artists.
- Every voice has a right to be heard - that’s why we program the festival not by a jury of professionals, but by drawing names from a lottery each fall.
- Theatre should be surprising, risky, unconventional, fun and never boring - that’s why we don't interfere in the art on our stages.