Frigid! Magicians! World Congress! And more commas!
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Welcome Back!

The CAFF Fringe Summer Touring Circuit has started with some special occasions. The inaugural Windsor-Walkerville Fringe Festival kicked off the summer Fringe Festival season from May 6 – 15, 2016. Their first festival had 11 artists, 67 performances and a battle of 8 bands dueling for the $5,000 studio recording package sponsored by MetalWorks Studio. A Fringe song was written and, according to producers, everyone was covered in smiles. A huge CAFF congratulations to Windsor-Walkerville!

The Orlando Fringe is currently celebrating “25 Years Bold” until May 30th. The Orlando Fringe is the oldest Fringe Festival in the United States. Started by the Orlando Theatre Project and produced by Andy Anthony, Rick Kunst, and Terry Olsen, the Orlando Fringe has always been an unjuried festival where people can decide for themselves what they like, and what they don't. From such humble beginnings in 1992, the Orlando Fringe has grown to include more than 130 performances in its official new home, the Lowndes Shakespeare Center, a plethora of surrounding venues, an outdoor stage and festival site in Loch Haven Park, a Visual Fringe art program, and the very popular Kids Fringe programming. The Orlando Sentinel has created a series of articles to celebrate 25 years of the Orlando Fringe.   See it here.
And keep checking hashtag: #OFringe25 to join the 25th anniversary conversation.

Next up is Festival St. Ambroise Fringe de Montreal (May 30 - June 19), the London Fringe Festival (May 31 - June 12), the Ottawa Fringe Festival (June 16 – 26), and a new CAFF member PORTFRINGE from Portland, Maine (June 18 – 26). Keep watching our Twitter and Facebook feeds for more updates and CAFF festival highlights. 

FRIGID New York – CAFF’s winter festival

When we say “Fringe”, many of us think summer. That’s not the case for FRIGID New York – our member festival that happens every February in New York. Produced by the Horse Trade Theater Group, the FRIGID New York festival features 30 independent theater companies and over 150 performances each year.  According to FRIGID Artistic Director, Erez Ziv, 2016 was a “wonderful success.” They were able to match last year’s attendance which was their best year ever and donations were up significantly.

Most notable for Erez was the fact that, with the exception of an all-white rap musical, not a single cast of four or more actors was homoracial. This is something the Horse Trade Theatre Group insists on in their fully curated season, and it was so encouraging to see such progress materialize at FRIGID where the festival has no control at all over casting.

Fringes around the world survive on the blood sweat and beer of their superhuman staff and volunteers and according to Erez, this happened once again at FRIGID 2016. They are already getting ready for next year’s event they look forward to hearing about all the great successes coming this summer to a Fringe festival near you.

Artist Spotlight

How would you describe yourself?
A Canadian magician for hire and improviser/clown (mostly for free).
What drew you to magic?
As a child, wanting to have secrets, or to feel power over others. As an adult, the childhood fascination was still present, combined with a desire to perform or be on stage. Also the technical aspect: delicate movement of the hands and repetitive practice.
What's your typical day on tour look like?
Attempt to sleep. Stress and tweak show. Flyer. Worry I will fail. Set up show, too little time, too much stress. Go on stage. Enjoy and forget all problems. Pack up show. Feel suppressed despair or qualified satisfaction depending on how show went. Analyse show. Spend time with friends, stay out too late. Return to billet. Attempt to sleep.
What can you tell us about your new show?
It's a stylistic departure. Since I was very young I've been drawn to the ethical border of magic, specifically the world of the psychic medium, faith healer, etc. My connection to that world is largely through skepticism but I am also utterly compelled by the work that charlatans do. This show is about me diving into that world head first. It's still a big mystery to me how it will turn out, which is both a pleasure and a terror. The potential for failure is huge.
What's the best part about winning the CAFF lottery?
No stress over venues, which is invaluable. It also forces me to do something: I can't use the lack of lottery wins as an excuse.
Fringe, more than anything, is a deadline. That's possibly its greatest value to an artist.
Finally, what's one piece of advice you have for new artists on the tour?
Try to make friends. One of the most honest pleasures for me doing Fringe has been spending time with people whose work I genuinely respect and admire. Take advantage of that opportunity.

Save the Date!

The Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals (CAFF), and Festival St-Ambroise Fringe de Montréal/ St-Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival will be hosting the 2016 Fringe World Congress in Montreal, Canada November 16 – 18, 2016
What is the Fringe World Congress?
The Fringe World Congress is a formal gathering of representatives from Fringe Festivals across the globe. This three-day conference includes workshops, networking, sharing, and celebrating all things Fringe in the renowned Festival City of Montréal, Québec, Canada. This Congress will feature a showcase of North American Fringe artists and will be a fantastic opportunity to get to know other Fringe Festivals all in one place.
Who should attend?
Fringe Festival directors and organizers from festivals of all sizes are invited to attend this congress. The Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals (CAFF) and the United States Association of Fringe Festivals (USAFF) will be holding their annual conference in Montréal alongside the Congress. The Congress is also deliberately timed to coincide with the international marketplace CINARS - Conférence Internationale des Arts de la Scène.

Website and registration coming soon!

For more information about the 2016 Congress, please email:

Copyright © 2015 The Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals, All rights reserved.

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