Fringe Festival Set For Third Fun Year


The third annual Fringe North International Theatre Festival returns to Sault Ste. Marie August 8-18, 2019. Theatre artists and performers wanting to register can do so now by using the Arts Council of Algoma  (the 2019 Fringe website will open soon). Early submissions are encouraged since selection is based on a first come- first served non juried basis. Registration opened March 1 and closes June 1.

The website is inoperative because it was hacked and a Bitcoin demand was made to release it. Fringe Festival organizers are distressed the festival’s artist registration system had to be relocated to the Arts Council website but are also bemused that the unfunded Fringe Festival with no assets was picked for ransom. Festival organizers jokingly thought of passing the hat like buskers for Bitcoins to pay the ransom, but decided they’d rather not negotiate with international ‘ransomers,’ especially ones who picked an organization to hijack that has no money.

#upthearts, an Arts Council/Fringe arts multi-fest festival, will once again bring free music concerts, graffiti contest, Art Crawl, Art Battle, the annual Arts Council “Art in the Parkin’ Lot”, and a Free Kids Fringe with Buskers, street performers, dream-catchers, drumming and storytelling, costume play, and free art and music activities for all ages. #upthearts opens August 8 in collaboration with the SSM Downtown Association and Downtown Days, and returns to Bondar Pavilion August 15-18.

Fringe Festival organizers thank the Shadows of the Mind Film Festival, James Douglas and cast and crew of ‘Doctor’s Case’ for their generous donation to the Fringe.

Russ Raven, Arts Council President and Fringe North Board member recalls some festival events highlights from last year:

“The Arts Council as an umbrella organization promoting all of the arts and is part of Provincial and Canadian Arts Councils. My fondest memories of 2018 include Chrystal Shawanda at the Bondar, wonderful productions from out of town theatre companies via the Fringe theatre worldwide network, Lake Superior State University, Tim Murphy and his courageous and brilliant performances, Ryan MacFarling bringing smiles and awe, our clown philosopher Grup, Sydney and the Prodigy flame juggling, Youth Odena box fort, the youth graffiti contest, and Christina’s all-star band featuring over twenty musicians including Syrian and indigenous drummers on the Bondar Stage.

“The Arts Council and the Fringe are entering the third year of a very unique partnership which has brought free entertainment, multiple paid opportunities for local artists, employment for 10 students and an intern in 2018, boosted tourism and contributed to the cultural revitalization of the downtown and waterfront. Both organizations have shared values of accessibility, inclusion, diversity, providing opportunities for artists, and free admission events whenever possible. We appreciate our wonderful volunteers, community partners, and sponsors and we encourage everyone who loves the arts to come have some fun at #upthearts. New volunteers welcome.”