Unconventional Venues

Apply to the Unconventional Venue Category 

Applications open December 5, 2022. Proposals can be submitted for pre-approval from now until November 30, 2022 - read below for more information.

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 who wish to produce a show that cannot be presented in a conventional theatre venue, and is inclusive of digital/virtual/non-physical events, as well as any accessible space within the City of Toronto. Companies exploring non-traditional audience and ticketing relationships may apply to this category; the Fringe is open to exploring if and how this festival is able to support your production and presentation format. 

Applications must demonstrate that the work cannot be produced in a conventional, traditional theatre, but are uniquely tied to the space and/or presentation format. More than one application with the same venue/site will not be accepted.

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 STREAMS 

PHYSICAL VENUE STREAM

  • 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 permits3 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 will need to submit them to the Festival by April 2023.
  • The venue cannot be a conventional theatre facility (such as any venue in our Main Venue Category). It must be in 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 to 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.
  • The space should be integral to the success of the work.
  • There are 5 slots available in this stream.

NON-PHYSICAL VENUE STREAM

  • Audiences attend the performance remotely from where they are via an electronic or telecommunication device (computer, telephone, virtual reality headset).
  • Applicants apply with a proposed site/platform; they must demonstrate ownership or the ability to securely license the required server, and are responsible for any costs associated with securing the required platform. They must demonstrate that the site/platform is secure and keeps any patron data private and secure.
  • Applicants are responsible for all costs associated with any technical support required to set up and/or run the performance event. 
  • Toronto Fringe Patron Services staff will need to be able to access the platform and have admin/moderator status to admit ticket holders, and provide patron support.
  • There are 3 slots available in this stream.

 

HOW DOES IT WORK

In this category, you bring the venue (in-person or virtual), you set up all of the technical requirements, and you determine the performance schedule. All performances must take place between July 5-16, 2023 inclusive. The Festival reserves the right to adjust the performance of all shows in the festival as may be required. 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. 

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. Tickets are sold as general admission.

HOW TO APPLY

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.

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 our 2023 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:

If these conditions are all met, the applicant will be offered a slot in the Unconventional Venue Category in the festival. 

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOUR UVC APPLICATION IS APPROVED

If your submitted application is approved, you must pay the Participant fee deposit of $500 CAD to secure your slot. A slot will not be confirmed until this fee is paid. 

The full fee is determined based on the total ticket capacity that your application proposes. This is the total number of performances multiplied by the number of tickets available per performance. The total ticket capacity is multiplied by the coefficient 0.24 to determine the second installment of the participant fee. The coefficient of 0.24 is derived from calculating 2% of the total gross revenue potential. 

For an example of how this works, visit our 2023 Application Guide. 

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. 

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 1-30, 2022. There is no fee to submit a proposal for pre-approval, and it is not a mandatory step in order to be eligible to apply. 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. 

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 November 25, 2022. If you wish to submit a proposal for pre-approval, you can do so through this form. (https://fringetoronto.wufoo.com/forms/2023-toronto-fringe-unconventional-venue-proposal/)

ACCESSIBILITY

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

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 D in the Application Guide for a glossary of terms.

For physical venues:

For non-physical venues:

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 to 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. 223. 

Download the full Application Guide Here. Download Participation Policies here.