by Patrick Gauthier
June 28, 2009
While Executive Producer of the Ottawa Fringe Festival for the past four years, Kevin Waghorn has been involved with the Fringe for much (much) longer, starting as a stage manager for local and touring companies – in one year SMing seven productions in a single festival – before coming aboard temporarily “just to help out” and eventually taking over in 2006.
When he was appointed Executive Producer, Ottawa Fringe attendance had spiked at 9,000. In his four years on the job, the Fringe has seen attendance rise every year, and is expected to top out at over 13,000 in 2009.
And while Kevin describes much of his job as “pulling names from a hat”, he is responsible for the recent growth and maturation of the festival, turning the Ottawa Fringe from a second-string festival into one of the most popular destinations for touring artists from around the country, the continent, and the globe. As with attendance, festival applications have risen every year since Kevin has been on the job, and he has increased (along with recently departed General Manager Heather-Marie Scheerschmidt) grants from municipal, provincial and federal sources more than 75%.
Kevin can also claim the small changes to the way the Fringe has been run among his accomplishments: increased efficiency in scheduling; the reconfiguration of the Fringe Courtyard to a more open and inviting space; and opening relationships with the business community, among many others.
Without a doubt, the Ottawa Fringe Festival’s profile has been raised dramatically in both the local and national theatre communities, thanks to his effots.
And though stepping down in order to take on increased responsibilities at the Great Canadian Theatre Compnay (where he serves as Facility, Office, and Company Manager), Kevin will still be with the Fringe, returning in 2010 as Production Manager.
Old Man Waghorn just can’t stay away….