In Focus: Victoria Fringe Festival

tarinaphotoTarina White is an award-winning journalist who has written for print and digital media in Canada and abroad, including the National Post, the Calgary Herald, the Calgary Sun, the Victoria News,, The Cairns Post and in Australia. She lives in Victoria, B.C. with her husband and loveable lab and works as a freelance writer, editor and communications consultant. She volunteers her talents at Volunteer Victoria.


Miss Hiccup from Japan entertains with colourful comedy.

Miss Hiccup from Japan entertains with colourful comedy.

Thespians from around the world will descend on Victoria this month to entertain audiences with a wide variety of musicals, comedies, dramas and more.

With more than 200 performances over 10 days, the Victoria Fringe Festival is Vancouver Island’s biggest annual theatre event. It’s casual, cheap and accessible – a great way to see a lot of cool live theatre from around the world.

In its 27th season, Intrepid Theatre’s Fringe Festival is one of Victoria’s most popular and enduring summer traditions and offers something for everyone.

Returning this year after very popular runs in the past are international artists Miss Hiccup, a Japanese performer who entertains with physical humour of a clownish sort, and The Birdmann, an Australian part stand-up comic, part circus act.

Local favourites Paper Street Theatre, under the direction of Dave Morris, are bringing An Improvised Quentin Tarantino to the festival.

Vancouver’s Monster Theatre is bringing a new show to the Fringe after a sold-out run of The Six Wives of Henry the Eighth at the spring UNO Festival. This time around Bruce Horak is delivering Assassinating Thomson.

The Birdmann from Australia is part-comic, part-circus act.

The Birdmann from Australia is part-comic, part-circus act.

“These shows are in addition to all the other great artists and shows; it really is a terrific line up this year,” Intrepid Theatre production assistant Jenson Kerr says.

Fringe Festival is made possible by a dedicated team of volunteers, says Jenson, who is also the festival’s volunteer coordinator.

“The festival requires a small army of 250 volunteers to make it function,” he says.

“Since 100 per cent of the box office revenue goes back into the pockets of the artists, we rely on our volunteers’ amazing generosity and spirit to make things work.” 

Victoria resident Kat Campbell has volunteered at the Fringe Festival for more than 10 years.

“The Fringe for me is like a family, complete with supportive parents, loving siblings, and crazy in-laws who can’t stop puppeteering,” she says.

“I’ve met best friends, future employers and boyfriends, all the while having a fulfilling personal and artistic experience.”

Fringe volunteers assist with everything from the box office, technical support, promotions, the info kiosk and more. Volunteers enjoy complimentary snacks and drinks and also earn a pass to see a free show for every shift worked.

Volunteer orientation sessions will be held August 6 and 7. To sign up or to find out more, visit our volunteer page, call 250-383-2663 or email

WHAT: 27th Annual Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival
WHEN: August 22 – September 1
WHERE: Multiple venues throughout Victoria


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