A statement from the Ottawa Fringe Festival

by Ottawa Fringe

July 8, 2019

Dear friends and patrons,

At the Ottawa Fringe Festival, we strive to create a space that is safe, and builds a sense of
community for the artists, volunteers, audience and staff.

First, we want to thank you for helping make the 2019 Ottawa Fringe the most successful ever,
both in terms of ticket sales and artist payout. We’re very proud of the way the festival has
grown over the past few years, and we’re looking forward to an even better year in 2020.

In keeping with the spirit of Fringe, we also need to address a serious issue that arose during the
festival that compromised the safety and security of the Fringe community. On the final weekend
of the festival, there were reports of a drug being put into two individuals’ drinks at the Festival
tent. When these issues were brought to our attention, we reported them to the Ottawa Police.

While we haven’t commented publicly on these incidents, we want you to know we are taking
them very seriously. To this end, we sincerely apologize if our handling of the issue to date has
caused any mistrust and disappointment in the community. We understand that it may take some
time to earn back your trust. We are reviewing our policies and carefully considering our
incident response going forward.

We also want to thank the members of the Fringe community for raising their concerns and
bringing these issues to our attention. We pride ourselves on making the Fringe a safe and
inclusive space for everyone, and are committed to doing better going forward to keep our
community safe and to do our best to prevent future incidents.

We would ask that you continue to hold us accountable. We welcome complaints and
constructive feedback at: [email protected]

We are already looking forward to undercurrents and Fringe 2020. We hope we continue to see
you there.

The Ottawa Fringe board and staff


  1. Comment Author Gravatar

    I guess there’s a statement buried here if you read past the brag about ticket sales?

  2. Comment Author Gravatar
    Lorna Cunningham-Rushton

    As one of the people who were involved in building the Fringe a long time ago, it’s wonderful to see what the Fringe is now and what it means to the public and to artists. Bravo.

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