by Amanda Logan
April 3, 2020
It is with great sadness that we announce the cancellation of the 2020 Ottawa Fringe Festival due to the ongoing uncertainty created by COVID-19.
The health and community impacts of the virus continue to evolve rapidly. In these circumstances, we are unable to provide a safe festival for our artists, staff, patrons, and volunteers. With no certainty as to when social distancing practices, physical isolation measures, and restrictions on public gatherings will be lifted, artists are unable to rehearse; our performance venues are closed indefinitely; and staff cannot adequately plan for a festival when the situation changes daily. Simply put, we can no longer produce the Ottawa Fringe Festival we know and love.
The Ottawa Fringe Board and staff have not made this decision lightly, or without acknowledging the impact it will have on Ottawa’s artistic community – financially, emotionally, and creatively. All artists scheduled to appear in this year’s festival will have their fees refunded and participation deferred to 2021. Core staff will continue to work and be available as a (virtual) resource to artists in need of assistance.
Ottawa Fringe is committed to Ottawa’s artists. Please reach out to our festival staff with any questions or concerns you may have at this time. While we are unable to produce a festival in 2020, we will use the downtime as well as the financial and human resources freed up by the cancellation to support local theatre creators. We’ll have more details on these initiatives in the coming weeks.
Despite COVID-19, our artists will continue to create and our community will continue to thrive. We are looking forward to the 11th undercurrents: theatre below the mainstream festival, scheduled for February 10-20, 2021. And of course, the Ottawa Fringe will return June 17-27, 2021.
You can be sure that as soon as we’re allowed to open our doors again, we will. We love the festival, its artists, patrons, and volunteers. Despite the days getting longer, June will certainly be a little darker without the Fringe.
Thank you for your support and understanding. Please stay safe. We hope to see you again soon.
Ottawa Fringe Board and Staff