Posts tagged ‘Toronto Fringe Festival’

July 19, 2013

When Junk E-mail Isn’t, or New Friends at Taipei National University of the Arts

7120770827_79d72e7698_oFun fact to start with – I always scan my spam. At least what’s visible in the subject line, or the snippet of the first paragraph.

First para of an email received a few weeks ago: “Hope this e-mail finds you well. This is Priscilla from Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA) in Taiwan. Right now I’m the teaching assistant of International Master of the Arts Program in Cultural and Creative Industries (IMCCI) in TNUA.”

Sure you are. Delete.


First para of an email received a few days after that. “Hope this e-mail finds you well. This is Priscilla from Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA) in Taiwan. Right now I’m the teaching assistant of International Master of the Arts Program in Cultural and Creative Industries (IMCCI) in TNUA.  I sent an e-mail on June 24th, but I’m afraid there’s some problem with my e-mail because I haven’t received any reply yet.

Good lord what kind of spam list am I on? DELETE.

Facebook page message received shortly after:  “Hope this e-mail finds you well. This is Priscilla from Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA) in Taiwan. Right now I’m the teaching assistant of International Master of the Arts Program in Cultural and Creative Industries (IMCCI) in TNUA.”

Well now you’ve found me in two places. And your name is Priscilla, and that’s kind of a cool name. Okay, I’ll bite. Abridged version of conversation below:

Hello Priscilla,  I am glad you found me – I do not run a physical office space but would be happy to have an afternoon chat at a cafe with Mr Lu sometime during the time he is here. Please go ahead and confirm that, and we can make arrangements. What sort of information is Mr. Lu looking for?

Hi Sue, Thanks for your reply and offer. For the afternoon chat, July 18th may be the best option for Mr. Lu. If it doesn’t work, July 16th is also ok.  Please let me know your preference, thank you. Mr. Lu from IMCCI will visit Canada art organizations. He would like to visit Sue Edworthy Arts Planning and know how art consulting companies help young artists.

Hi Priscilla,The 18th will be fine, I’ll book some space.  3 pm works perfectly.  I suggest we meet at the restaurant at the Gladstone Hotel, it’s one of my favourite places to work. thank you Sue

So 3 pm yesterday found me at the Gladstone Hotel, sipping an iced tea and awaiting the arrival of the mysterious Mr. Lu from Taipei.
And arrive he did, with his EA Catherine. And we talked for two hours straight.

We talked about Charles Landry, about TAPA, Day at the City and Day on the Hill, about marketing and PR for artists and organizations, the billboard tax, tag graffitti vs murals,  They expressed amazement and delight about how we’ll put art anywhere we can, that the Fringe Club is in a parking lot and sometimes shows take place in a car or a shed, that empty convenience store across the way is home to an art show as we speak.

We talked about how neighbours sometimes don’t want artists around, the issues Artscape went through with the Barns, the issues TaiPei was having with their Artist Village. Same issues a world away.  We spoke about common language, how to figure out what someone would value about art and then speak to them on that level.

We talked about the students he is teaching, and how experience, contacts and love for art is indeed universal when it comes to getting a job in the arts. We talked about Expect Theatre, Theatre Rusticle, Obsidian Theatre, contemporary dance and visual art.

We had a fantastic time. They loved the Gladstone, and the staff  were their usual awesome selves, taking us to see a couple of the artist-designed rooms, giving history of the building, the elevator and more (thanks Gladstone!).

And then off they went  – they’d spent the time before meeting me walking along West Queen West, and now they were off to the Island, and the Distillery tomorrow.  If I’m ever in Taipei, I’m to let them know so I can come talk to Mr. Lu’s students.

Hi Priscilla,  A thank you to let you know what a pleasure it was to meet with Mr. Lu and his EA Catherine – we had a wonderful chat about art and culture and support for these things in a city.
Many thanks for your determinedness in setting up this meeting – also please thank him for the lovely gift, it was very kind of him.
Sincere best regards,
PS the link below might be of interest to Mr. Lu as an excellent example of community projects that embrace the arts.
Call For Artists – Council Endorses Pan-Am Path 37-1

Hi Sue, No problem! I’ll forward this website to Mr. Lu and let him know you love the gift. I’ve just done my job and what I have to do. It’s you who is willing to offer this opportunity to meet with Mr. Lu! I really appreciate your help and kindness
Best wishes to you and everything.

Sometimes SPAM – isn’t.

July 16, 2013

Fringe Roundup

I couldn’t say it better myself – straight from the Fringe Newsletter.  I hope all the Fringers are asleep. Much deserved.

The 2013 Toronto Fringe: Our 25th Year of Unforgettable Theatre Comes to a Close

Last night, the 2013 Toronto Fringe Festival wrapped up a truly unforgettable 25th anniversary. Audiences came out in droves, with the first four days of the festival being the highest grossing in Fringe history. The record breaking ticket sales led to nearly 200 sold-out performances, with 57,182 tickets sold and $433,027 returned to artists.

The Toronto Fringe is proud to announce it has now returned over $6 million to artists since its inaugural festival in 1989!

Fringe 25 Years Wordmark

Triumphs and Torrential Downpours

On Monday, record rainfall and flash floods caused a number of our venues to lose power, and a total of 22 shows were canceled over two days. The community rallied around our artists, and many audience members generously donated the price of the canceled tickets back to the companies. Even with a few toppled tents, patrons came out to support the Visual Fringe and over $10,000 was earned by artisans, painters and creators in the Fringe Club. You made our Fringe Club busier than ever – thank you for keeping the Fringe spirit alive during a difficult couple of days.

This year’s Toronto Fringe also featured celebratory programming for its 25 year anniversary, including an Underground Dance Party at Honest Ed’s, a 25 Second Video Contest, a 25 Hour Playwriting Contest, and a special 25th Anniversary Alumni Party at the Tranzac Club. On July 10th, the Toronto Fringe proudly announced the winners of the annual Patron’s Pick, featuring some of the most sought-after tickets of the summer, including Polly Polly, Stealing Sam, 2 for Tea, and The Musical of Musicals: The Musical!

After 25 years of unforgettable theatre, the Toronto Fringe is stronger than ever. With this momentous festival behind us, we will look to the future of Fringe: ongoing programming and amazing subsidized rental rates in the Creation Lab; accessible and supportive artist outreach programs like the New Play Contest; the 2014 Next Stage Theatre Festival (line-up announced in the fall); and – of course – the 2014 Fringe Festival Lottery. May the odds be ever in your favour!


How Did We Do? – The 2013 Audience Survey

Want to help the Fringe become even more accessible, surprising and FUN next year? Please take 2 minutes to fill out the following Audience Survey. Your responses will help us write our grants, apply for sponsorship dollars and more – so we can keep returning 100% of ticket sales back to our Fringe artists!

Click here to fill out the survey!


Best of Fringe at the Toronto Centre for the Arts

couple reading program smPhoto credit: Brian Batista Bettencourt

Didn’t get enough Fringe? The Best of Fringe at Toronto Centre for the Arts will be running from July 17, 2013 – July 31, 2013 and is a perfect opportunity to see the shows you missed at Fringe.

This year’s shows are:

Adopt This!
Death Married My Daughter
It’s Always You: The Musical
Polly Polly
Stealing Sam
Stop Kiss
Tales Of Whoa!
The Truth about Comets

More info and tickets:


Thank You!


As always, thank you to YOU. Our volunteers, our staff, our audience members, our artists and our community members. This is your festival – and you should be very proud!

Stay in touch, apply to the lottery and keep the Fringe spirit alive!

Happy 25th everyone!


July 14, 2013

Sunday Roundup – July 14

IMG_00000466Last day of the 2013 25th Anniversary Toronto Fringe Festival!

#FringeTO – July 9 – Day Seven

#FringeTO – July 10 – Day Eight

#FringeTO – July 11 – Day Nine

#FringeTO – July 12 – Day Ten and “Why Theatre?”

And – Best of Fringe Selections are up and on sale!

Big congratulations to everyone involved in the Toronto Fringe Festival this year – it was our 25th anniversary and you made it a great success. And a HUGE thank you to an amazing admin staff, technicians and volunteers – it couldn’t have been done without you. Amazing job, amazing dedication, amazing festival. Thank you.



July 12, 2013

#FringeTO – July 12 – Day Ten and “Why Theatre?”

Closing in on the final weekend of Fringe and boy are my arms tired! (you know…from flogging shows…okay fine, it’s not that good a joke. I’m tired.)

Best of Fringe and all that good stuff can be found here, and before you go charging off, please take a look in your Fringe bag, which was lovely and prepared on day one, but now – maybe not so much. So go get another Chapstick, and a fresh sunscreen, refill your water bottle and fix the pin on your tip the Fringe button (or get another one) and get on with the final weekend!

What’s Going On


Alumni Party last night at the Tranzac a lovely wonderful time, so great to see so many years of Fringe represented and celebrated. When I was leaving Ellie-Ray Hennessey stopped me to ask if I would be interviewed for a Theatre Ontario video for a minute to answer the question – “why theatre?” And of course YES I will and ran to put on lipstick and I hope I said something halfway intelligent. We’ll see.

And earlier yesterday, along with a fantastic meeting with Soheil from Modern Times,  I’d come across what I thought was a great post from Seven Sentences“Too often we chase things that are not sacred, or we pursue our work with an unhealthy attitude AND we lose touch with the uniqueness of who we are and what we have to offer.”

Why theatre? I joke a lot, I say things like, “what else am I supposed to do? be bored? Or worse – be boring?” and threaten to go work as a claims adjuster in Scranton, and point out that we are a hit at cocktail parties – but the work we do – why we’re a hit at cocktail parties?

Because we forget sometimes that what we do is extraordinary. The making something out of nothing, the spirit of generosity, the hit the deadline, the midnight emails, the rehearsals, phone calls, do you need, can I have, yes you can, please and thank you  – we make magic on a daily basis. The, “yeah we can do that” never “that’s impossible“, the pride and the bravos not just for the arias but for the finding of the cable we need 45 minutes before show.

This is not a post of arrogance, but of truth. The joy and pride I take in that I am fortunate enough not to sell shoes or shill for body parts, which are important, I agree, we need shoes and body parts – but me? I get to shill for magic that can change your life.

I talked at length to people today about audience response, not just applause but audience members holding their breath at songs, or call and responding in a show that wasn’t audience participation, I talked about a show from ten years ago that still gives me goosebumps.

A Fringe show at Factory the day of the flooding no power madness said if they couldn’t do the show in the theatre, they’d do it in the courtyard.

Hume Baugh’s Facebook status the other day: “8 scenes of Shrew in our first preview with no power (microphones, lights, sound, cue lights) until it got too dark to play. proving once again that when everything else is taken away, what is left is theatre.”

Who DOES that?

We do.  That’s “why theatre”.

July 11, 2013

#FringeTO – July 11 – Day Nine

IMG_00000457  Not a cloud in the sky. Let’s keep it that way.

A great day yesterday at the Fringe tent, with better weather, alley plays, fringe folks, music and awards  – thrilled that It’s Always You is part of The Best of Fringe up at the North York Centre!

I have to admit I’m not seeing any shows today – one of the challenges of running my own business is that when I worked for someone else, I’d take my two weeks paid vacation and all-Fringe, all the time.

Now it’s different. So I have two exciting meetings back to back, then I need to get some work done this afternoon  as I have to be at the Tranzac tonight for the Fringe Alumni Party !  Into the day!


What’s Going On



July 6, 2013

#TOFringe – July 6 – Day Four

Sold out show for It’s Always You yesterday – get your tickets folks!

I met a super lovely couple from Richmond. VA yesterday while in line for a show, and they were over the moon delighted with all things Fringe. They’d always wanted to come to Toronto, they realized they had enough airmiles to do so, and decided to come to Fringe for a few days. And were LOVING it. So nice to chat with them, and I hope they had a safe flight home.

Normally I don’t post on Saturdays but Fringe waits for no one and there’s far too much amazing stuff going on including an UNDERGROUND DANCE PARTY!

What’s Going On

Capture July 6

What I’m Seeing




was hanging around the Fringe Club/Visual Fringe yesterday post tent talk, and realized the av sideshow was about to begin. A reminder to all that alley plays are ridiculously convenient and RIGHT THERE so you probably should check out at least one.


Fun fact: Number of my programs I’ve given to people who don’t have a program yet? NINE.

July 4, 2013

#FringeTO – July 4 – Day Two

A fantastic opening day Wednesday for the Toronto Fringe, the Fringe Club looks amazing, there was art, music, speeches, cake, a poster sprint a well stocked bar and most importantly – people! So glad to see so many folks out to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Festival!

What’s Going On

JUly 4

It’s Always You was nearly sold out last night, with advance tickets all snapped up before dinner time. Highly recommend you get those tickets now.

What I’m Seeing

Dunno yet. It’s a “free” day with nothing pre booked – it’ll be on the fly, and I’ll update on FB and Twitter.

Edited 12;26 pm




And – slideshow!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

July 3, 2013

It’s Fringe Opening Day!


It’s finally here! Opening Day of the 25th Anniversary of the Toronto Fringe Festival!

What’s going on – click the image below to go to the Fringe Club page on their website

July 3

What I’m seeing

radio 30and

always you


On these notes, great blog post from Brian Carroll:  Reaching the Fringe Circuit Audience on Twitter

See you at the Fringe Club!

July 1, 2013

Double Roundup Monday July 1



Happy Canada Day and Happy Pride Weekend – hope everyone had and is having a marvelous time and aren’t too sunburned. Please SPF and hydrate.

Got back in town late last Sunday so there was no roundup, and then the week was all about getting back into the swing of things so here you go – one giant roundup. The “from the archives” seemed to work for you last week, so that might continue to happen on holidays. But only holidays because with the amount I read last week and the Fringe opening this week – well there’s far too much to talk about.



From the Archives: SWF Seeks Basic Website – must be attractive, clean and open to sharing…

From The Archives: #Twitter #Mistakes in the #Arts, and Something To Keep In Mind

From The Archives: My Thoughts on Starting a Theatre Company

Web 2.0, User Reviews & Ticket Sales

Cottage Reading, a Social Media Workshop and Dancing to Eminem

The Fringe is Less than a WEEK AWAY!

Introducing: The 2013 Fringe Club!



June 28, 2013

Introducing: The 2013 Fringe Club!

Straight from the e-newsletter yesterday. Seriously, for those who ask, “it’s just all plays, isn’t it?
no. no it is not. – we’ll see you there!


In celebration of our 25th anniversary, we have given our Fringe Club a sassy new look this summer! Back at our home-base behind Honest Ed’s flagship marquee for a 4th year in a row, the 2013 Fringe Club will be more accessible, lively and fun than ever.

1) No line ups – we have increased our bar capacity!
2) Hot and zesty new food vendors, from Fidel Gastro to ESÉ.
3) Buskers to enliven every nook and cranny of the alley.
4) Remember the sound-baffling-wall-truck from Fringe 2012? It’s SO gone this year.
5) Fringe Club programming is staying open later – ‘til 12:30am.

6) Did we mention NO LINE-UPS?!

1) Delicious McAuslan brews.
2) 16 Visual Fringe artists and 6 AlleyPlays.
3) A hoppin’ late-night patio and bar.
4) Friends, Fringe Family, your favourite volunteers and of course, you!

Read on for more exciting new additions to the Fringe Club!


SmartPhone Scavenger Hunt @ The Fringe Club

Part of our 25th anniversary programming, this scavenger hunt will be like nothing you’ve ever experienced before! Created especially for Fringe 2013 by our ex-board president Randy Sabourin (creator of The Go Game) this scavenger will pit team against team in a raucous race to the finish line.

All teams will follow clues and instructions sent to their smartphones. (Each team will need to have at least one smartphone.) Teams will be asked to race around the Annex and interact with actors, local businesses and classic Fringe locations. Videos will be made. Vintage Fringe trivia will be abundant. Victory could be yours.

The Scavenger Hunt is on Saturday July 6th from 3pm-5pm, and will be followed by a hilarious awards ceremony where we will share photos and videos and pick a winner. Did we mention there are amazing prizes? First Place: $350, Second Place: $100, Third Place: $50.

To sign up a group, please read more here.


New This Year: Fringe After Dark @ The Fringe Club

snakes and lattes
doc wuthergloom
truth or dare
beer and yoga

Join us every weeknight at 9pm for a sometimes titillating, frequently ridiculous, late-night series called Fringe After Dark. All events are free and will take place at the Tent Talk tent at the south end of the Fringe Club (near Lennox Ave.). Some highlights:

Thurs July 4 (9pm): Board Game Night
Board game gurus from Snakes and Lattes will lend us the hippest and hottest board games of 2013 and teach one and all how to finally win at “Settlers of Catan.” No registration required.

Fri July 5 (9pm): Adult Craft Night
Local burlesque performers will pose for a life drawing class facilitated by a local indie artist. BONUS: we will have supplies and instructions on how to make scandalous lingerie out of pipe cleaners. Oh yes.

Mon July 8 (9pm): Yoga with Beer
At long last (right?) – a yoga class where you can drink beer. A local yoga instructor will lead a free, 1 hour yoga class at the Fringe Club where beer drinking is not only welcomed, it’s encouraged.

Tues July 9 (9pm): Truth or Dare
Feeling candid? Like to live dangerously? Come on down for an old fashioned game of Truth or Dare (with a Fringe twist of course!) There will be prizes for silliness and bravery.

Wed July 10 (9pm): Awards Ceremony
Join us at the Fringe Club for late-night drinks and the announcement of Patron’s Pick, Best of Fringe Uptown, the Tosho Cutting-Edge Award, and the 25 Hour Play Contest. Could it be you…?

Thurs July 11 (8pm – note time difference): Alumni Party – OFFSITE!
Tonight we move our After Dark Series to the Tranzac for a trip down memory lane. Come celebrate 25 years of the Toronto Fringe Festival with music, stories, trivia and awards! All are welcome. No door charge.

Fri July 12 (9pm): Ghost Story Competition, hosted by Eric Woolfe
Doctor Pretorius Wuthergloom of Doc Wuthergloom’s Haunted Medicine Show and his gang of ghouls will be waiting to take you into the dark world of the supernatural. Come with a story or come to listen. There will be awesome prizes.

More info here.


FREE Concerts @ The Fringe Club

nick imageNick Teehan
larra imageLarra Skye
rehan imageRehan Dalal
abdominal imageAbdominal and the Obliques

Every weekend at 7pm Fringe will invite a local indie artist to serenade and entertain the crowd. From sassy contemporary Motown to soothing acoustic folk, there’s something for every musical taste. All concerts are free and all-ages. Here’s the awesome and diverse line-up:

Sat July 6 (7pm): Nick Teehan
Part crooner, vaudevillian barker, warrior poet and hopeless romantic, Nick Teehan’s tuneful arrangements and haunting lyrics have entertained Toronto audiences for years.

Sun July 7 (7pm): Larra Skye
Larra Skye creates a synthesis of pop, rock and folk, anchored by her strong songwriting and winsome voice. A Toronto songstress that CBC Radio-Canada calls “full of character and nuance… charming.”

Sat July 13 (7pm): Rehan Dalal
Rehan Dalal’s music is influenced by the early 60′s soul sounds of Sam Cooke, the Motown era magic of Stevie Wonder and the modern flavors of Raphael Saadiq. There will be dancing.

Sun July 14 (7pm): Abdominal and the Obliques
Abdominal will perform his unique acoustic blues/hip-hop filled with hilarious lyrics, sampled beats, bluesy guitar licks and percussion. Co-presented by the Koffler Centre of the Arts.

Opening Day Concert: Hooded Fang!

Hooded Fang 1 (Sara Amroussi-Gilissen)

Local indie pop-rockers Hooded Fang will take the stage in the Fringe Club at 5pm on Wednesday July 3rd for an opening day extravaganza!

This Polaris Prize-nominated band has just released its third studio album to much acclaim and will be heading to the Fringe Club after a successful North American tour. Let’s welcome them home – Fringe style!

More info on Hooded Fang:
On CBC Music


Industry Networking @ The Fringe Club

Back by popular demand, one of our Tent Talks this summer will be called A Smorgasbord of People You Should Know. This will be a reverse pitch-session where artistic directors, cultural programmers and executive directors will be asked to pitch their organization to YOU – the indie artist and audience member.

We’re still working on populating our fantastic panel of industry experts, but here’s a sneak peak:

Bob White (Stratford Festival), Rob Kempson (Theatre Passe Muraille), Tara Beagan (Native Earth Performing Arts), Monica Esteves (Crow’s Theatre), Nigel Shawn Williams (Factory Theatre), Andrea Romaldi (Tarragon Theatre), Phil Akin (Obsidian Theatre), Nancy Webster (Young People’s Theatre), Andrew Lamb (Roseneath Theatre), Michael Rubenfeld (SummerWorks), Laura Nanni (Rhubarb Festival), Alison Wong (b-current).

Friday July 12 (5pm)
A Smorgasbord of People You Should Know.
Hosted by Matt Baram of National Theatre of the World.
Followed by an informal mix & mingle from 6-7pm.

More Tent Talk listings here.


As Always…

Fringe has 122 amazing shows at our favourite classic main venues.

Fringe has 20 site specific shows at unexpected locations around the city.

Fringe has 8 FringeKids shows at the Palmerston Library Theatre.

Fringe has 16 Visual Fringe exhibits and 6 AlleyPlays woven throughout the Fringe Club.

Fringe has 100 emerging artists that will be networking up a storm.

Fringe has 1,000 youth who are granted free Fringe tickets, through partnerships with community organizations.

Fringe has 400+ dedicated volunteers, 45 FOH Managers, 30 Venue Technicians and 23 sensational office staff members.

Fringe has 1,100 artists!

And, of course, we have YOU! So thank you for keeping the movement alive and see you at the Fringe Club!


Thank you to the following organizations for their support



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