A public information session Wednesday night at the Civic Centre about a new to Sault Ste Marie summer event, Fringe North International Theatre Festival, had people signing up as participants and volunteers, and others wanting information on how to sponsor and support the festival. Announcements of festival headquarters location and early performer registrations were also made.
President, founding member, and Artistic Director of Fringe North, Tova Arbus, said “The turnout was encouraging – we had a great cross section of the community attend, including students, performers, volunteers and business people, and all showed a lot a passion for the August festival. While we had those people sign up and have had more signing online to participate, there’s still a lot of opportunity for performers, volunteers and sponsors.”
Fringe Festival organizers announced its headquarters office will be located at the Sault Ste. Marie Downtown Association office, 496 Queen St. East. A formal opening event will be announced later.
Founding member and General Manager of the 10-day festival, Peter Rowe, said “Downtown Association is a key supporter of Fringe North International Theatre Festival and all of us look forward to mutually beneficial working relationships as many of the Fringe performances will be in downtown venues.”
Event organizers also announced that a group performing for children will be coming from Calgary in August as well as a clown duo from Toronto, a First Nations artist from Sudbury and some students – including one from Sault, Ontario – from the Interlochen Arts Academy in Northern Michigan. Artistic Director Arbus noted, “We’re very encouraged by these early registrations and we’ll release more information as details become finalized.”
“Fringes are urban festivals that bring significant economic and cultural benefits to the communities that host them. Fringe North vision statement includes a commitment to provide families with affordable arts and entertainment with children’s stages, a return of buskers, and a children’s fringe. Fringe North has, as one of its goals, (not a quota) that 25% of performances will originate from First Nations and Metis communities. As well, we’re looking for performers and spectators from the Upper Peninsula to be a part of our Festival.”
From its Toronto headquarters, the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals welcomed the Sault event saying it is one of 23 such festivals in North America and the newest member of the national Fringe organization.fringefestivals.com
Anyone wishing to perform, volunteer, or be a supporter or sponsor of Fringe North International Theatre Festival is encouraged to visit our website www.fringenorth.ca or Facebook facebook.com/fringesault