The summertime theatre festival, Fringe North has been cancelled for 2020. The board of the festival issued a press release Tuesday.
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the cancellation of the 2020 Fringe North International Theatre Festival due to the ongoing uncertainty created by COVID-19 Pandemic.” the release stated.
“The situation has been changing daily with the closures and cancellations of anything not essential. We are currently unable to provide a safe festival for our artists, staff, patrons, and volunteers and because of this we can not proceed as planned. We are not able to predict when social distancing practices, physical isolation measures, and restrictions on public gatherings will be lifted. Rehearsals have become impossible, venues have been closed for unknown lengths of time, and we are no longer equipped to plan the festival that we all love.”
The board goes on to say they know the decision will have an impact of the artistic community and say any artist that has already paid fees will be reimbursed.
“we will use our financial and human resources to support local theatre creators. We’ll have more details on these initiatives in the coming weeks.”
The Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals (CAFF) and the 250 member fringe festivals around the world are ahead of the curve in responding to COVID-19 and are either cancelling or postponing their festivals. Many fringes are also exploring digital options in lieu of live theatre.
The board said they are looking forward to returning with affordable live theatre from around the world Aug 12-22, 2021, our Free Kids Fringe with buskers and clowns, and collaborating with the Arts Council of Algoma on it’s annual #upthearts free admission multi-festival.