Sometimes it simply isn’t possible for the show(s) to go on

Dear Fringe Family;  

Sometimes it simply isn’t possible for the show(s) to go on. It is with a heavy heart that we announce the cancellation of the 39th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival.  

Our priority is the health and safety of all Fringers, and the ongoing COVID-19 crisis demands we take extreme measures.  

The decision to cancel is difficult, emotional, but necessary.  

As a public gathering place where creativity thrives all year long, we do not make this decision lightly. The realities of the pandemic are changing daily. Currently, there is no clear timeline on when public gathering restrictions, social distancing practices, and self-isolation measures will be lifted. Theatre is a collaborative and social art by nature – it’s incredibly hard for artists to prepare for shows, and for our team to plan for Festival when so much is still unknown. And so, in the interest of protecting the health and safety of our community, we made the decision to do our part and help provide frontline workers every possible chance to contain the pandemic. If we could, we’d give every frontline worker a standing ovation. 

We must work together to prioritize public health. We care about our community, and we are committed to doing what is necessary to protect the health of that community so we may ensure it returns stronger than ever.  

We will fringe again, and we look forward to celebrating the 40th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival August 12 – 22, 2021. 

As a charitable organization stewarding an international event with far-reaching impacts, we know this decision will have a ripple effect. We are working with our board, staff, artists, volunteers, sponsors, vendors, and many partners to provide supports as we shift our priorities toward reopening the doors of the ATB Financial Arts Barns as soon as it is safe to do so and championing our creative community. 

Our hearts are with our creative community. Countless cultural sector careers have been put on hold because of the pandemic. Artists, you are at the heart of everything we do. To the performers, playwrights, directors, designerstechnicians, stage managers, producers, and many others who help make theatre magic happen: we stand with you.  

Our thanks to our volunteers. Your commitment and love of fringing keeps us going. We could not do what we do without you, and we look forward to bringing our Fringe Family together again soon. 

To our funders, sponsors, and donors: thank you for your support, generosity, and understanding as we navigate this truly extraordinary time. We’re all in this together.  

Our vendors, artisans, buskers, and partners help bring our site alive. We can’t wait to bring the bustling joy of Festival back to the heart of Old Strathcona in 2021. Thank you for being an integral part of the Fringe experience  

It’s hard to imagine a summer without our beloved audiences. Audiences make fringing possible. You keep storytelling alive. Thank you. Your seat will be waiting for you as soon as our theatres open again.  

We exist because theatre exists. And theatre will play an important role in healing as we learn to process and understand the impacts of this pandemic.  

We will adapt. We will continue to be home to creativity, risk, craft, and community. And we will open our doors as soon as it is safe for us to gather again. 

Take care of yourselves and each other. 

With love,  

The Edmonton Fringe Team 

Help us Help Artists
If you’re able and moved to give today, this week, or even in the future, please know your financial support will help us help artists as we grow through this difficult time. All donations will receive a charitable tax receipt (and our unending love and gratitude!). 

Give a little, help a lot 

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