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What is the Fringe?
WHAT IS A FRINGE®?
- The Canadian Fringe Festivals® are built on four principles:
- 1) No Artistic Direction. Artists are selected by lottery.
- 2) No Censorship. Artists have complete freedom to present ANYTHING.
- 3) Accessibility to artists. Anyone can apply to the lottery.
- 4) Accessibility to audience. Ticket prices are kept low and 100% of the ticket price is returned to the artists you see on stage.
- For more detailed information, please visit the CAFF home page: www.fringefestivals.com
A FEW STATS & FACTS
The Montreal Fringe® holds separate lotteries to select 60% Québec artists (half English, half French), 20% Canadian artists, and 20% international artists.
Now in its 21st year, the Montreal Fringe® was founded in 1991 by Kris Kieran and Nick Morra, both McGill students at the time. Last year, we welcomed over 50 000 to the festival.
From May 30th to June 19th, the Fringe® will present over 700 performances by over 500 theatre, comedy, dance, music and visual artists.
In 1947, a number of artists who felt excluded from the first Edinburgh International Festival decided to do their shows anyway - at the exact same time. Within a few years, journalists began referring to these shows as the “Festival Fringe” - and an international movement was born!
The first Canadian Fringe Festival was held in Edmonton in 1983; since then, more than 30 Fringe Festivals have sprung up all across Canada and the United States. Most of these are members of the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals, CAFF.
In Montreal, it was started in 1991 by Kris Kieran and Nick Morra, and took place on and around St-Laurent Boulevard. In 1996, Jeremy Hechtman became producer of the festival, and the Fringe became one of the Plateau-Mile-End's largest cultural events.
After 15 years as producer, Hechtman passed the torch on to Amy Blackmore at the end of the 2010 festival. This is Blackmore's first year as Festival Director. Expect much of the same elements that bring you back year after year: a spirit of respect and acceptance, a neighborhood vibe, a block party feel and an exciting and unpredictable lineup that is accessible to all audiences.