COVID-19 Preparedness

Updated: April 14, 2020 

Dear Fringers –  

We are closely monitoring the developing COVID-19 situation. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to gather information and update our processes on a day-to-day basis.   

On April 13, we announced the difficult, emotional, but necessary decision to cancel the 39th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival. So much is still unknown. There is no clear timeline on when public gathering restrictions, social distancing practices, and self-isolation measures will be lifted. It is extremely difficult for artists to prepare and for us to safely plan a Festival under these circumstances. While this decision is heartbreaking and far-reaching, we know 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 in the heart of Old Strathcona.  

Read More about Edmonton Fringe Festival Cancellation 

In the meantime, we are shifting our priorities toward reopening the doors of the ATB Financial Arts Barns as soon as it if safe to do so and championing our creative community 

The ATB Financial Arts Barns is the crown jewel of our organization. We take great pride in our role as a community gathering place seriously. As such, the ATB Financial Arts Barns (10330-84 Avenue) is closed to the public until further notice. 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 

Artists are at the heart of everything we do. Countless cultural sector careers have been put on hold because of the pandemic. We look forward to collaborating with our creative community here in Edmonton, across Canada, and internationally to help get artists back on their feet.  

We’d like to extend some big ol’ heartfelt Fringe 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! 

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

  • Cancelling the 39th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival; 
  • Closing the ATB Financial Arts Barns, including the Fringe Grounds Cafe, to the public until further notice;  
  • 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; and 
  • Collaborating with our creative community to help get artists back on their feet as soon as possible.  

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 physical 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. 

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 

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 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 

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

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

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 

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

Take care of yourselves and each other, Fringers! 

If You Liked This Blog Post, You Might Enjoy These: