Toronto Fringe Festival

Join us in 2021 for the next Toronto Fringe Festival: June 30 - July 11, 2021. 

A note to artists: if you are looking for information about Fringe applications (Lottery, Site-Specific, etc) for 2021, here is a brief update

If you would like to learn more about what programs we offer during a non-pandemic year (those will come again soon, right?) please browse our applications portal here.

About Fringe:

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.

a video about the toronto fringe

It's hands-down the most exciting 12 days of summer.

Glenn Sumi, NOW Magazine

Why is Fringe different?

In line with all other Fringe Festivals in Canada, the Toronto Fringe Festival believes:

  1. Performing artists in Canada should be supported - that’s why we return 100% of the net box office revenue to Fringe artists.
  2. 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.
  3. Theatre should be surprising, risky, unconventional, fun and never boring - that’s why we don't interfere in the art on our stages.
Benjamin and Melissa pose for the camera in graffiti alley.
Photo by Tanja-Tiziana