Calgary Fringe

Calgary, Alberta
July 30–August 7, 2021

3 Riverwood Close SE
Calgary, AB
T2C 3Z4

Phone: 403.451.9726

Most recent festival

6 participating companies

$75,000+ returned to artists

Application and selection

Application fee(s)

$50 for Artist Managed Venue Performances
$30 for Digital Performances

Selection process

Lottery, First-come, First-served

Production information

Venue sizes:

30 (under anticipated COVID restrictions for the summer)

Number of performances per show: 5 guaranteed performance time slots

Maximum ticket price: 15.00

Maximum show length: 75


While it’s looking more and more hopeful that we’ll have a vaccine for COVID-19 in the very near future, predicting an end date to this pandemic isn’t a certainty. It’s generally agreed that the earliest a mass vaccine would be rolled out is Spring 2021 and if proven safe and effective, we could be back to near normalcy, pre-COVID times, by the end of 2021 / early 2022. Until then, we all have to continue to do our part – observe public health and safety guidelines with social distancing, wearing masks, washing our hands frequently, gathering limits, and travel restrictions as part of our daily lives to help curb the affects of the pandemic and the impact on our fellow citizens. Many Fringes across the globe are looking at pairing down and/or revamping their offerings in 2021 in recognition of these facts, and the Calgary Fringe is no exception.

In discussing this with Calgary Fringe board and what our plans could be for the Calgary Fringe Festival in 2021, it came down to one simple question:

“What can we reasonably deliver on with almost 100% certainty in the summer of 2021 should the pandemic and any corresponding restrictions continue to exist at that time?”

Once we asked ourselves that question, the answers, though difficult to grasp and accept at first, became clear. Below is a point form summary:

BASIC OFFERING – we will be pairing down to ONE mainstage or Fringe Managed Venue (FMV) at Calgary Folk Fest’s Festival Hall for our annual Fringe Festival next year. Dates are Fri July 30 to Sat Aug 7, 2021. Local artists only for in-person presentations, with full COVID safety protocols and regulations carefully adhered to, as may be required at that time (ie. limited seating that allows for proper physical distancing, staggered patron arrivals and departures, cleaning and sanitization between shows). 5 Fringe artists … 40% IBPOC (Indigenous Black People of Colour) / Equity-Seeking Artist category and 60% General Artist category. 6 guaranteed performances over the 9 days. Live streaming of the performances will also be made available to allow for increased audience participation.

Festival Hall will serve as our ‘Festival Hub’, where our main box office will operate from and where other cool activities will be planned outside of scheduled Fringe performance times. Such activities could include things like special community performances, artist workshops, audition taping sessions, outdoor patio / lounge services – to name a few. Just because we’ll be at a reduced capacity for 2021 doesn’t mean we won’t have any fun … ‘cause we most certainly will! More details will be shared in late Spring 2021.

Local artists who were not able to participate in the cancelled 2020 Calgary Fringe Festival participated in the lottery draws for both categories.



Newman Mentalism

Life Stages Theatre

Jessica Belbin


Cloudsway Dance Theatre

Kodie Rollan


THE ADD-ONS – we will look at expanding our basic offering to include Artist Managed Venues (AMVs). AMVs can be indoor OR outdoor performance spaces. AMVs will be vetted for pandemic safety protocols and selected on a first come, first serve basis (for those artists that have their own venues). For those that don’t have a venue and are interested in an AMV spot, we will provide a list of available AMVs from which to choose from as they come available – artists will be selected for those on a lottery or first come, first serve basis depending on the venue’s preference. The AMVs will be offered to local artists first, with the possibility of expanding to include National artists, starting late March / early April 2021. AMVs will be finalized in late Spring/early Summer 2021.

THE DIGITAL COMPONENT – for our National and International artists that were not able to participate in the cancelled 2020 Calgary Fringe Festival, we will be offering online digital performance opportunities. We are considering a variety of options: providing patrons with URL links to the artists’ own online digital platforms or there may be a possibility of offering digital programming services through an in-house Calgary Fringe digital platform provider or participating in goofy, one-off things like online ‘radio plays’. Whatever those will end up being will have some sort of a LIVE element attached with it – because we are a LIVE theatre festival and that is what sets us apart from movies and tv shows. The digital offerings will be finalized in the late Spring/early Summer 2021.

NEW TICKET PRICING STRUCTURE FOR ALL FRINGE EVENTS – we will be phasing out SuperPasses and the mandatory Fringe Button and instead, offering a Calgary Fringe Membership / Non-Membership pricing structure. Ticket prices will be $20 for non-members ($15 to the artist and $5 CFF ticketing surcharge) or $15 for members ($12 to the artist and $3 CFF ticketing surcharge). Calgary Fringer+ Membership price is $25 per annum.

Members will receive:

  • A souvenir Fringe Button.

  • Voting privileges at our AGM.

  • Member’s Only access to purchase show tickets before they are released to the general public.

  • Exclusive Member’s Only Clubhouse.

  • Special membership discounts at select restaurants, stores, and discounted tickets to other arts events in the city, when available.

This is a new pricing structure we’ll be introducing in 2021 for full performances, be it in-person or online. There may be special ticket prices introduced at the artists’ discretion for certain shows, like PWYC (Pay What You Can), Two-for-Ones, and other artist-offered specials.

NO PAPER FRINGE GUIDES – there’s long been a call to decrease our carbon footprint on the environment and with COVID-19 health guidelines forcing everyone to go as paperless as possible, this makes the transition to going paperless even easier. Starting 2021, Fringe Guides will only be offered exclusively online.

CONTACTLESS BOX OFFICE – in 2019, 80% of our patrons purchased their tickets in advance online. Tickets were sent electronically, which could then be displayed on cell phones or printed off. The pandemic has further changed things, with many businesses not accepting cash and going ‘contactless’. We will continue to encourage everyone to book their tickets in advance online as much as possible. This will be particularly important for AMVs as many of them will not have onsite ticket selling services available. Our main box office will be conducting its services from the Calgary Folk Fest’s Festival Hall during Festival time. Hours of operation will be posted in late Spring/early Summer 2021.


We briefly talked about some of the things we’ll be doing in the digital universe during our Festival this year. We are currently in the process of putting together a digital equipment package comprising of multiple high-quality digital video cameras and related equipment so we can create HD quality online presentations, giving us the ability to take shots from different angles and to zoom in / pan out. Not only will be able to utilize this equipment during our Fringe Festival and other special Fringe events (one of which you’ll read about below), we will be offering this equipment with full digital tech services for use by other artists and arts organizations for their own productions as part of our community outreach. We will also be providing access to additional training and support with basic “How to …?” guides and shared best practices.


In Spring 2021, we will be introducing Fringe University, or FRINGE U, offering training to artists on how to become their own producers (aka self-producing artists). This 8 to 10 week course will be offered to the first round of emerging artists starting mid-April 2021, and will be guided and mentored all along the way by the Calgary Fringe Executive Director /Producer, Michele Gallant, and guest teachers.

Upon completion of the course, the graduates will be given the opportunity to put into practice what they’ve learned and can present their show at one of our FRINGE U Showcase Weekends, a 3-day special event (Fri-Sun) exclusively for FRINGE U graduate students. Graduate FRINGE U students are given the opportunity to perform one show each day of their Showcase Weekend. Audiences, as Co-Creators of the art being presented on stage, and industry panelists will be invited to participate in an open Q&A dialogue at the end of each performance with the FRINGE U graduates, with the goal of providing further critique and feedback to assist the artists in further workshopping and development of their work. All shows would also be live streamed and pre-recorded, with a copy of the recording given to the FRINGE U graduates for personal use (eg. future online presentations and promo reels). The first FRINGE U Showcase Weekend will take place October 2021, exact location and dates as yet to be determined.

In a regular year, FRINGE U will take place three times a year (Jan-Mar, Apr-June, Sept-Nov). FRINGE U will be offered as a full scholarship programme.

The FRINGE U Showcase Weekends will take place three times a year as well (Feb, June, Oct). FRINGE U Showcase Weekends are part of the students’ scholarship, with venue, full tech and box office/Front of House support provided by the Calgary Fringe, with all ticket sales going right back to the artists.


The Calgary Fringe highly values equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. We are committed to meaningful change and are currently working on ways to address the equity imbalance within our organization and within our city. One such step is in the creation of the IBPOC / Equity-Seeking Artist Category in our 2021 Calgary Fringe Festival as a start.

We continue to listen, to learn, and to grow – and continually renew our commitment to building a better, more equitable system that actively combats racism.


Thank you for your continued support in these difficult times. Until that happy day when we can all congregate together once more, please continue to stay safe and be well. We know it’s been a long haul, and we’re sure you’re as tired of the pandemic as we are and dearly want things to return to normal. But we’re not out of it yet. Please take care of yourselves and of each other. Follow all health and safety guidelines. Be kind to your fellow humans. Be patient and understanding – everyone is trying their best in these difficult times, and we can sometimes lose sight of that because we ourselves are feeling stressed and missing being with our loved ones too. It’s HARD! We get it. Know that you are all loved. Hang in there! We’ll make it through this thing yet!

– Much hugs from the Calgary Fringe Team


Michele Gallant, Executive Director & Producer

More information can also be found on our website at