Guelph Fringe Festival accepting submissions for August festival until Feb. 1

GUELPH – On the heels of a successful reboot last summer, the Guelph Fringe Festival will be back for a repeat performance in August. 

And with backstage preparations now underway, the festival producers are calling for submissions from performing artists in Guelph and across Canada.

Festival coordinator Paul Barson says “all you need is an idea” to participate in this phase of the Guelph Fringe. 

In keeping with the values of the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals, performances are not curated. 

All entries received before the deadline will be included in a random lottery to secure one of 15 spots on the program. The draw will be streamed live on Feb. 2, at 8pm on Facebook.

By definition, Fringe shows are rarely mainstream, appealing to new and emerging artists with original stories to share. 

“At this stage, we’re looking for performers and producers to express interest in staging their work, and they don’t need a full-formed show,” says Barson. “Not yet anyway.”

The organizing committee is calling for all actors, dancers, musicians, and other performing artists to throw their hats into the ring before Feb. 1. 

Each of the 15 independent artistic teams will perform three shows at one of the local venues. A total of 45 live shows will be performed over four days in Guelph, August 10-13.

Like other fringe festivals around the world, proceeds from local ticket sales go directly to the performing companies. 

“The Fringe model is all about the artists, and giving them opportunities to showcase their work,” says Barson, “and maybe make a little money for their efforts.”

The Guelph Fringe was rebooted in 2022 through a volunteer collaboration between local artists, thespians, and theatre-lovers, including producers from the Downtown Theatre Project, a local production company launched in Guelph in 2018.

All Festival shows will be performed in downtown Guelph. For more information on the festival and its application process, visit