Welcome to the Festival!

Welcome from Executive Director Megan Dart and Artistic Director Murray Utas:

Where the Fringe Theatre Arts Barns stands is a “meeting place” or “waiting place” known in Nêhiyawêwin as pêhonân, where for time immemorial, people have travelled from up and down river to share in community, story, feast, and celebration. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

‘round here, we champion the dream of making it: making art, making community, making change, making memories.

We honour the tradition and responsibility of upholding the intention of this meeting place. Our currency is kindness. We share in abundance. We aim to create a space where fringing is for everyone, and everyone is fringing.

We welcome more than 1,200 Artists; 1,000 Volunteers; and hundreds of thousands of patrons to the heart of Old Strathcona for the 42nd edition of North America’s largest, longest-running Fringe Theatre Festival. This time of togetherness is precious.

Thank you. For seeing shows. Tossing a few bills into an outdoor performer’s hat. Sipping a cool one in the tents. High-fiving a Volunteer for their passion and service. Telling an Artist how much their work moves you. Bringing a pal who’s never fringed before along for the ride. Donating to ensure generations of storytellers and story-lovers continue to come together for many more years. For being here. You being here matters.

– Megan Dart, Executive Director & Murray Utas, Artistic Director

Welcome From Fringe Indigenous Director MJ Belcourt Moses:

As Fringe Theatre’s newly appointed Indigenous Director, I am honoured to lead a transformative era that merges my passion for the arts with a deep commitment to Indigenous representation and empowerment that will shape the Festival’s future.

Art heals, educates, and inspires change. Together, let us celebrate and amplify Indigenous voices, stories, and artistic expressions. By showcasing a diverse range of Indigenous performances, from traditional to contemporary, we will foster a deeper appreciation and understanding of Indigenous cultures, while challenging stereotypes and nurturing cultural exchange. We will build a Festival experience that celebrates the strength and resilience of Indigenous peoples, while promoting dialogue, reconciliation, and social justice.

By embracing the principles of respect, reciprocity, and inclusion, we will create a space where Indigenous Artists shine, where audiences engage with diverse perspectives, and where the transformative power of art inspires meaningful change.

I eagerly anticipate collaborating with others to create an inclusive and vibrant celebration of Indigenous arts and culture that will leave a lasting impact on our community and beyond. Together, let us embark on a journey towards a future where Indigenous voices are heard, respected, and celebrated on every stage.

– MJ Belcourt Moses, Indigenous Director

Read Welcome Messages From:

The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, Her Honour, the Honourable Salma Lakhani 

Edmonton-Strathcona Member of Parliament, Heather McPherson

Edmonton-Strathcona Member of the Legislature Assembly and Leader of the Official Opposition, Rachel Notley 

Edmonton Mayor, His Worship Amarjeet Sohi 

Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals President, Michele Gallant 


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