2024 Toronto Fringe Festival Unconventional Venue Category

Apply to the Unconventional Venue Category 

2024 Unconventional Venue Application Guide

2024 Unconventional Venue Access Definitions

2024 Toronto Fringe Participation Policies

As of January 31, 2024, applications for this category are now closed.

What is it

The Toronto Fringe Unconventional Venue Category is an expansion of the formerly named Site Specific Category, to acknowledge the alternative forms of performance art that seek the Fringe platform to reach audiences. This category is for companies whose projects do not fit within the Main Venue lottery category or the Bring Your Own Venue (BYOV) category.

The Unconventional Category includes shows which activate non-traditional theatre/performance spaces. Applications in this category must demonstrate that the work cannot be produced in a conventional, traditional theatre, and that the show/performance is uniquely tied to the space.

Exploring non-traditional audience and ticketing relationships may apply to unconventional venue productions; the Fringe is open to considering if and how the festival is able to support your production and presentation format.  If you have a show that you are interested in applying with, but it doesn’t fall into the parameters outlined above, please endeavor to submit it to the pre-approval process so we can liaise with you to determine viability before the applications open.

Slots in this category are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, separate from the Main Venue Category lottery. Applications remain open until all slots are filled. A slot is not confirmed until the participant fee is paid. Participant fees are scaled according to the max potential ticket capacity the production will offer over the 12 days of the festival.


Unconventional Venue Requirements

  • The performance starts at a geographically specific location, audiences attend the performance in-person.
  • Applicants apply with a venue; the festival does not intervene in the occupancy agreement.
  • Applicants are responsible for all costs associated with securing and setting up the venue, including any technical support. If there are any City of Toronto permits required for the proposed activity on the site, the applicant is responsible for obtaining all required permissions if they accept a slot in the festival. Applicants will need to demonstrate a reasonable plan to obtain all permissions and permits and submit them to the Festival no later than April 1, 2024.
  • The venue must be within the geographical limits of the City of Toronto, and accessible by TTC.
  • The venue must meet Toronto Fringe requirements for physical accessibility for patrons.
  • The venue must be safe for the general public.
  • The venue must be able to offer secure storage for Festival staff to store Front of House supplies, which they will need to access at least 90 minutes before the performance.
  • The seating capacity per performance will be capped at 250.
  • There will be 10 slots available

How does it work?

In this category, you bring the venue, you set up all of the technical requirements, and you determine the performance schedule, with approval from the Toronto Fringe team. All performances must take place between July 4-15, 2024 inclusive. The Festival reserves the right to adjust the performance schedule of all shows in the festival. There is no minimum number of required performances. Duration of consecutive performances in one day cannot exceed 4 hours, inclusive of audience turnover time between multiple performances. It is recommended that the length of one performance not exceed 90 minutes (about 1 and a half hours).

The Festival provides all Front of House and Box Office services and manages the Patron Services systems along with the rest of the festival. The patron services and ticketing policies are set by the Festival, as well as ticket prices and fees. Venue and technician costs are the responsibility of the company. Tickets are sold as general admission (min $15 plus ticket fees).


How to Apply

Applications were open as of December 5th, 2023, and were closed on January 31st, 2024.

Applications must be submitted through Eventotron, the festival management portal. If you require an alternative method or support in submitting your application, contact Associate Producer Suzanne Wilkie at suzanne@fringetoronto.com or by phone at 416-966-1062 ext 228.

  1. In a web browser, go to eventotron.com
  2. If you have not previously applied to a Toronto Fringe festival, you will need to sign-up for a new account. The email you use here to create an account is what we will use to contact you with any information about your application.
  3. Search for our festival in the Festivals & Seasons – 2024 Toronto Fringe Festival
  4. Click APPLY.
  5. Select “I’m creating a new event” and enter an event title. Click NEXT.

Your Event title is the title of your show. It can change later in the process if you are accepted into the Festival. Please note “TBD”, “TBC”, “Untitled” will not be accepted as an Event title. The application must be completely filled out before submitting.

If you want to see all of the questions that will appear on the form, check out APPENDIX A in the Unconventional Venue Application Guide.

NOTE: Your form should autosave as you fill it out. To be sure information is not lost, click out of the field you have edited and look for a blue SAVING icon turn to green and say SAVED in the top right corner. You can start filling out your application and submit it at a later time. When you click APPLY, select “My event is already in Eventotron” instead of a new one, and select your existing application from the drop down menu.

This category is selected on a first-come, first-served basis. An application will not receive a place in the queue if it is incomplete or deemed ineligible. Slots will not be held for incomplete applications. Applications will be reviewed for:

  • Eligibility – does the application demonstrate that the show is uniquely tied to the site/presentation format, or that the site is integral to the success of the production.
  • Accessibility – does the site meet the requirements of the Fringe Festival for public safety and reasonable access that does not compromise patrons’ independence or dignity.
  • Completion – are all of the required details and support materials provided to the Festival.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOUR UVC APPLICATION IS APPROVED

If all of the above conditions are all met, your submitted application will be approved, and you will receive confirmation via email. You will then be offered a slot in the Unconventional Venue Category in the festival.

You must pay the Participant fee deposit to secure your slot. You can find the participant fee breakdown below. A slot will not be confirmed until this fee deposit is paid.

The fee deposit is considered your first participant fee installment. The remaining participant fee will be due at a later date and is determined based on the total ticket capacity that your application proposes.

NOTE: Productions are being accepted to the Festival based on a submitted written proposal. The Festival must approve any proposed changes to the venue, the schedule or use of venue itself. The Festival reserves the right to remove an Unconventional Venue Category participant from the Festival if the proposal no longer meets the necessary requirements for acceptance.


Fee Breakdown

Application Fee:

  • Pay what you wish $15, $20, $25 CAD (non-refundable)
  • Submitted at the time of application (can pay online with a credit card, by mail with a cheque, or with cash in-person)

Participant Fee:

Part 1: Participant Fee Deposit

  • There is a $600 CAD Deposit due upon approval of your submitted application and required to secure your slot
  • Paid through Eventotron or by Cheque/Cash

Part 2: Remaining Participant Fee

  • Due by January 31, 2024
  • Paid through Eventotron or by Cheque/Cash
  • 2% of total gross revenue potential based on a $15 ticket price

Example Calculation

Based on a show in a 150 seat venue with 8 performances:

  • DETERMINE GROSS POTENTIONAL REVENUE
  • 8 performances x 150 seats available x $15 ticket price = $18,000 potential revenue for entire run
  • DETERMINE 2% OF POTENTIAL REVENUE
  • $18,000 x 0.02 = $360
  • Remaining participant fee owed to the Festival is $360 CAD

PRE-APPROVAL PERIOD

Since applications require significant information about physical venues in terms of infrastructure and accessibility, the Festival is offering a period to submit venue proposals to offer applicants feedback about their submission’s eligibility and whether any components may be missing, before the actual applications open. All potential applicants are strongly encouraged to submit proposals during the Pre-Approval phase, November 21-December 1, 2023. There is no fee to submit a proposal for pre-approval, and it is HIGHLY recommended (but not mandatory). Submitting a proposal does not replace submitting a proper application on Eventotron. If your submitted proposal is pre-approved, you still need to submit the actual application on Eventotron when it opens on December 5, 2023.

This step is intended to reduce any delay in approval of the application once applications open, which will be assessed in order of submission. The Festival will review and respond to proposals in the order they are submitted. We cannot guarantee that we will review or pre-approve every proposal submitted by December 1, 2023.

If you wish to submit a proposal for pre-approval, click here for the form. 


ACCESSIBILITY

The Toronto Fringe prioritizes accessibility across the festival. The Toronto Fringe has made a commitment to prioritizing accessibility by:

  1. Requiring that all of our festival venues, including unconventional venues, meet physical accessibility standards.
  2. Providing enough information for our audiences to make informed decisions about attending venues.

While our ultimate goal is universal accessibility, we realize that the majority of Toronto venues are retrofitted for access and do not yet meet the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) or Ontario Building Code barrier-free standards. We take this into consideration when assessing venues and look to our participating companies to make best efforts to ensure inclusion for all potential audiences, including those with disabilities.

This category requires applicants to provide a significant amount of information about the accessibility of the proposed venue. Review Appendix B in this Guide for a full glossary of definitions and standards.

Physical venues are required to:

  • Meet physical accessibility requirements to allow persons using an average-sized mobility device to access all areas of venue designated for patrons (entrance, passageways, performance space, restroom, etc.). This includes providing ramps, lifts, or elevators where level access is not available and ensuring that all passageways (doorways, hallways, etc.) have a clear width of at least 32 inches.
  • Offer an accessible restroom where restrooms will be expected to be available (i.e. any indoor spaces) either within or in-proximity to the venue.
  • Offer a designated accessible seating area.

Participants are expected to provide all accessibility-related information requested by the Festival in a timely fashion. If an application is approved and confirmed but then is deemed to not meet accessibility standards at a later date, The Fringe reserves the right to revoke approval and remove the spot. The Fringe may request additional information or arrange a site visit to assess accessibility before approval is granted.

If you have any questions about accessibility at an Unconventional Venue, contact Suzanne Wilkie, Associate Producer, suzanne@fringetoronto.com or by phone at 416-966-1062 ext. 228.


Questions?

Your question may be answered in the Frequently Asked Questions page here.

If your question is not there, or if you require assistance at any step in the application process, please contact Suzanne Wilkie, Associate Producer, at suzanne@fringetoronto.com or by phone at 416 966 1062 ext 228