COVID-19 Preparedness

Updated: March 27, 2020

Dear Fringers –

Happy World Theatre Day! We’d like to extend some big ol’ heartfelt #yegfringe love to all the artists finding inventive ways to create, spread joy, and share moments of connection with audiences near and far during this strange and trying time. We’re all in this together!

We are closely monitoring the developing COVID-19 situation. The City of Edmonton and the Province of Alberta are currently under a state of emergency. The Federal Government is now more than ever urging Canadians to stay home. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we gather information and update our processes on a day-to-day basis

As of this time, we are still mindfully and optimistically planning for the 39th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival to go forward as scheduled. However, the realities of the pandemic are changing daily, and we are adapting. We are taking this time to carefully consider all of our options, including examining how we might scale back, reimagine, or if necessary cancel the Festival to best support artists, volunteers, patrons, and staff in this new reality. Our Fringe family is far reaching, and we want to ensure any decisions we make take all impacts into consideration. If we go forward with the Festival, it will look and feel a little different than it has in the past. We will know more in the coming weeks, and will provide updates as more information comes available.

The ATB Financial Arts Barns is the crown jewel of our organization. We take our role as a community gathering place seriously. As such, we have made the necessary decision to close the ATB Financial Arts Barns (10330-84 Avenue) to the public until at least April 15. Day-to-day operations will still be carried out by our administrative team remotely, and we will continue to assess the closure on a day-by-day basis. By taking measures now to ensure the well-being of our community, we have a fighting chance to get back to business and art-making as usual more quickly. We will open our doors as soon as it is safe for us to gather again, fringers.

We are living in unprecedented times, and the constant updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic can be overwhelming. This is having very real, very difficult impacts on our local arts community and our global community. We feel it, too. And we’re here to support you however we can. We are incredibly thankful for all front line workers and essential service providers for all they are doing to help keep our communities safe during this trying time.

With patron, volunteer, artist, staff, and client health and safety in mind, we are:

  • Closing the ATB Financial Arts Barns, including the Fringe Grounds Cafe, to the public until at least April 15;
  • Making adjustments to our workflow to allow administrative staff to work remotely;
  • Working with maintenance and cleaning staff to continue reinforcing and increasing existing health and safety practices to ensure our venues remain clean and safe even during the closure;
  • Assessing the building closure on a day-to-day basis, and adjusting as necessary;
  • In contact with City and Health professionals, as well as other cultural venues in and around Edmonton and Fringe Festivals across North America regarding updates and best practices;
  • Reaching out to all clients hosting upcoming events in our venues to discuss options regarding rescheduling and/or cancelling events;
  • Relaxing our ticket exchange and refund policy to accommodate rescheduled and/or cancelled events and/or patrons who choose to stay home (please see below);
  • Working with our board to support all Fringers as best as possible during this trying time;
  • Mindfully and optimistically planning for the 2020 Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival to go forward in August as scheduled; and
  • Taking the necessary time to consider all of our options, and measure the potential impacts of any decisions we make about Festival planning to best support artists, volunteers, patrons, and staff in this new reality.

What can you do to help?

  • Stay home! Only go out for essential needs, do not gather in large groups, take care of yourselves and each other;
  • Self-isolate if you are showing any symptoms, even those unrelated to COVID-19;
  • Wash your hands often and well;
  • Avoid touching your face, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Practice social distancing;
  • If sick, cover your cough and sneezes, and then wash your hands;
  • Avoid travel outside of Canada; and
  • Self-isolate for 14 days if returning from travel outside Canada or if you were exposed to COVID-19.

If you have purchased tickets to an upcoming event that has been cancelled or postponed, you may:

  • Exchange your ticket for another date if the event is rescheduled;
  • Donate your ticket to the organizing body and/or artists producing the event. If you donate the cost of your ticket to Fringe Theatre, you will receive a charitable tax receipt in return (and our eternal love and thanks!);
  • Receive a credit note on your account. Credits may be used for future Box Office purchases. Please note: credits expire one year after issue; or
  • Receive a refund for the full face-value of the ticket.

Please contact boxoffice@fringetheatre.ca. We will be happy to help you with any ticketing needs or questions.

If you are a rental client with an upcoming event in our venue, our Rentals Department will be in touch directly to discuss rescheduling and/or cancellation options. If you have questions, please contact rentals@fringetheatre.ca.

If you are an artist involved in our season or Festival with questions regarding the impact of COVID-19, please contact communications@fringetheatre.ca.

If you are a volunteer involved in our season or Festival with questions regarding the impact of COVID-19, please contact volunteers@fringetheatre.ca.

If you are in a position to support Fringe Theatre in these uncertain times, please consider making a gift. You will receive a charitable tax receipt in return (and our eternal love and thanks!).

General questions and media inquiries may be directed to communications@fringetheatre.ca.

Please find below a list of community and health resources. Have more to add to this list? Please contact communications@fringetheatre.ca.

Take care of yourselves and each other, Fringers!

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