The Toronto Fringe Festival is an annual grassroots event that brings together artists, theater lovers, and all those looking to experience something new.
The festival was founded in 1989 by a community of local artists. Since then, every July, it turns Toronto into a giant theatre stage: 12 days, over 1,000 performers, and more than 150 shows staged at 30+ venues in the downtown.
The initial idea of the festival was to make the theater more accessible and to let artists experiment with performances. That’s why there is no jury deciding which plays will be staged and the chances to join the festival are equal for all the applicants. The artists apply for the participation, and the names of the lucky ones are drawn from a lottery.
The Fringe program is more than diverse: popular and classical plays, experimental and indie performances, dance, and late night shows. There is even a special program for the youngest thespians—KidsFest.
The prices are moderate and reasonable so that everyone can afford to watch the theater performance: KidsFest – $5, single ticket – $13, and 5-show pass – $50. For those who want to visit plenty of performances, there are also 10-, 20-, and 30-show passes. However, there are no refunds for the unused passes as 100% of net ticket sales go to artists.
There are also free-entry options. The main outdoor spot of the festival, a so-called Postscript (or the Patio), is free to enter. For 12 days, it occupies Scadding Court Community Centre hockey rink and entertains the visitors with live music, a food court with diverse local cuisine options, and pop-up bars.