Hello, and welcome to the Ottawa Fringe Festival! To read our statement on our commitment to accessibility at our festival, please visit our blog.
The Ottawa Fringe remains committed to supporting and presenting diverse, inclusive, accessible theatre, and to supporting our community of artists and patrons.
Our priorities are:
- to create safe and inclusive spaces
- to support all artists, and
- to promote equitable access to expression
We do this to help ensure that every story is told. How this looks, sounds and feels is different for every individual.
Accessibility is a commitment and an evolving process for our organization. This work is important, because it deepens, challenges and expands theatre, to make space for everyone.
On this page you will find:
- What is the Ottawa Fringe?
- Our Accessibility Mission statement
- What to expect at the Ottawa Fringe
- Access at this year’s Festival
- Who to contact for assistance
- Accessible Show Categories
- Shows with Transcripts Available
- Fringe Access Guide for the 2022 Festival
What is the Ottawa Fringe Festival?
The Ottawa Fringe is Ottawa’s largest and longest-running theatre festival. We provide a space where all artists can produce their work.
The Ottawa Fringe has no curator. This means that all shows are selected by a lottery draw to get a spot at the festival. Also Ottawa Fringe does not restrict artists’ content or shows. This allows you to experience lots of different kinds of work. For two weeks you can watch shows from Ottawa, nationally and internationally.
Fun fact: 100% of ticket sales go to the artists. Since 1997, we have paid out over $ 2 million to independent artists!
We have been working to address Access at our festival. When we first started out, “accessible” meant “affordable”. We have that part covered by keeping ticket prices and pin costs low. We believe that everyone has a right to enjoy theatre.
The festival organizers are committed to giving a platform to diverse voices and bodies on our stages. We also are working to ensure you feel welcome in our spaces. How? In 2020 to 2021, we worked with an Ottawa-local Accessibility Coach. This work focused on education for the staff and best practices in marketing, communications, artist liaison, and accessible show presentation tools… among others. Our journey to make our festival more accessible continues with staff attending workshops, and training, as well as welcoming ongoing feedback from audiences, like you.
But real talk: we’re still learning. And we’re probably going to make some mistakes. We want to get better and feedback from people like you is only going to make our festival better. Is there something you think we could be doing? Something we should stop or change how we are doing?
You can share your feedback with us in two ways:
- Anonymous feedback form. To submit through our google form click here.
- Email our Access Coordinator: [email protected]
If you have questions or suggestions regarding accessibility protocols while you’re at the festival, you can contact Drea (she/her). She is the Access Coordinator of the Fringe festival. You can contact her by email or in person during the festival. She will respond to all questions within 48 hours.
Drea’s self-description: She is a white woman with two-tone blue rectangular glasses. Usually, she wears her light brown, long curly hair down or up in a ponytail/bun. Often seen wearing a colourful scarf. She will also be wearing a staff Fringe lanyard.
Conversation starter: You can tell her anything to do with your pet(s) or ask her about her cat!
What to expect when attending the Ottawa Fringe
We are returning to an in-person festival this year. To attend the festival you will need to bring:
Ottawa Fringe requires you to wear a mask indoors at all times.
Exception: You may remove your mask briefly to drink water, or if at the indoor bar/snack bar you can remove your mask to drink and eat.
Ottawa Fringe requires you to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination (with a minimum of 2 doses). You will need to show your proof of vaccination the first time you come to see a show and before you get your fringe pin.
To attend the Fringe you will need to buy a Fringe pin. They cost $3 and support the Festival. Once your vaccination check has been completed we will provide your Fringe pin so that you can attend the full festival.
You can purchase tickets online by clicking on the show. To check out a full list of the shows please click here. Or in person at the venue of the show or at the Festival Box Office at 2 Daly Ave 3rd floor or LabO located at 10 Daly Ave.
Access at this year’s festival
This year at Ottawa Fringe we have several different ways to address your access needs. We have defined different categories to help you pick the shows that will best meet your needs.
The transcript or script of the show provides details about what the show will be like. If available, the shows will either share a copy of their script, while others will have an outline. The transcripts are available for free through the online box office and are for personal use only. If a transcript is not available the show page will indicate this.
Content notes provide more details about what to expect. These notes highlight elements of a performance that someone might want to know about to decide if this show is right for them, or to prepare them for seeing the show. These can include but are not limited to flashing lights, loud noises, violence, sexual violence, mental health themes etc. Notes will be available on each show’s webpage, as well as at the box office.
To learn more about the content notes click here.
These shows allow you to come into the show after it has started. Please check out the show page or ask the box office for details as to how late you can enter the show. Please note that this applies only to advanced ticket holders and you will be let in only after 7 minutes of the show.
In this access guide we outline more details about what you can expect from the access features, how to buy a ticket, how to watch a show, definitions and so much more. For the access guide please click here. The access guide is a Google document. If you require alternative formats please contact Drea by email [email protected]
|Attendant, Personal Support and Respite workers
We offer complimentary tickets to attendants, PSWs and Respite workers who are attending the festival with their clients. Please contact our box office to reserve your ticket by email [email protected]
We welcome all service animals in all our venues. If required there is some grass available at Arts Court in the courtyard on Nicolas and Daly or across the street in front of the Rideau Centre.
|Wheelchair and Scooter Accessibility
All of our venues are wheelchair accessible. For more information about how to get here, you can check out our access guide (link coming soon). Volunteers are available to assist with parking requests if you’d prefer not to use your wheelchair or scooter in the theatre.
What is a Sensory Backpack? These are small kits with a few tools to support people with sensory processing needs. These tools can be used to calm and/or stimulate the senses.
Box Office has two (2) backpacks available to borrow free of charge, to help make your festival experience as enjoyable as possible. You will leave a piece of personal identification with the box office staff and will get it back when you return the backpack. Backpacks are available by first come first served.
What you will find in the backpack:
We have recently instituted a scent-free environment for our staff and visitors. Please refrain from wearing perfumes, colognes, and other scented products during your festival visit.
|Audio Pre-show note
Shows that are Described will also have an audio note. These audio notes will tell you what the show is about, and provide some visual descriptions of the character(s) and set.
|Chill out space
This space is available for you to use throughout the festival from June 17-26 in between shows. You are invited to sit, lie down, stretch, breathe, stim and relax in these spaces. The chill-out space is located in Studio 1202 on the University of Ottawa side of the building.
Do you have questions about buying tickets or about the shows available this year?
Please contact our box office:
613-232-6162 x 100.
For Box office hours please visit ottawafringe.com/boxoffices
If you find a show inaccessible?
If you buy a ticket to a show and you discover that the show is not accessible to you, please contact [email protected]. We are more than happy to switch a ticket to another show that you will be able to enjoy.
Do you have questions about access at the festival?
Please contact our Access and Outreach Coordinator, Drea (she/her) by email [email protected] She will aim to respond to you within 24-48 hours.
Accessible Show Categories:
These shows rely on physical body expression for meaning. Speech and/or sounds are either not present or are used minimally. If they are used you will still understand the performance without them. These types of shows could be things like dance or clown shows.
Some people’s access needs require American Sign Language interpretation (ASL). This means spoken English is interpreted into ASL. These shows will have ASL interpreters who will interpret English into ASL during the show.
|Sensory Friendly Performance
These shows offer a more relaxed sensory experience. They have no sudden or loud sounds and lighting changes. You are encouraged to come as you are and move around, pause and stop the show, skip things, and be comfortable in your space. Please note that these performances may not have been designed with this in mind. And the standards may vary slightly.
|Described Performance and/or Storytelling
These shows can be understood from what is verbally described or said in the play. These shows are accessible through listening to the performers voices and sound cues and don’t need visual cues to follow the action or meaning of the performance.
Or these shows offer descriptions of visual details as part of the show by the performers or an audio describer. (If the show has a professional audio describer, the icon for audio describer will be posted in the show’s description.)
Accessible Show listings:
Below is an outline all of the shows that have indicated they are accessible under the various access show categories. Please note that we have been in contact with the artists so they understand the accessibility requirements of each category but Ottawa Fringe hasn’t vetted each show as this is an uncurated festival. If you have any questions about a show, with enough notice, we will try to contact the artists and get more information to support you in attending the show.
|(Re)tired Magical Black Man
Saturday, June 18th at 8:00pm
Monday, June 20th at 10:00pm
Tuesday, June 21st 8:00pm
Friday, June 24th at 5:30pm
Saturday, June 25th at 6:30pm
|The audience can self-select to be part of the Audience Participation moments. There will be scenes of Violence akin to A-Team / Fast & Furious (no blood or death).
Extended Content Note available here.
Monday, June 20th at 7:30pm
|Content Notes: There is cursing and some instances of sexual activities. The audience participation in this show is verbal only and there are protocols outlined at the beginning of the show to opt-out of participation should you choose. Please note there is one moment where there is the use of flashing lights.|
|Tango, to the Pointe
Thursday, June 16th at 10:30pm
Saturday, June 18th at 1:30pm
Sunday, June 19th at 7:00pm
Tuesday, June 21st at 6:30pm
Thursday, June 23rd at 10:00pm
Saturday, June 25th at 8:30pm
|Content Notes: Has flashing lights, sudden changes in light and bright lights.
To view extended content notes click here.
|Forget Me Not
Thursday, June 16th at 7:30pm
Saturday, June 18th at 10:30pm
Sunday, June 19th at 5:30pm
Wednesday, June 22nd at 8:00pm
Thursday, June 23rd at 7:00pm
Saturday, June 25th at 4:00pm
|Content Note: Mature Language and discussions of aging and death. No latecomers.
Extended content note link
|Speech From The Throne – Living With a Disability in Canada
Friday, June 17th at 8:00pm
Saturday, June 18th at 2:30pm
Tuesday, June 21st at 7:00pm
Thursday, June 23rd at 10:00pm
Saturday, June 25th at 2:30pm
Sunday, June 26th at 6:00pm
|Content Note: Mature Language, Sexual content.|
shows with transcripts available
Arts Court – Venue 1
Tango, to the Pointe
Forget Me Not – The Alzheimer’s Whodunnit
The F.R.A.N.C.I.S. Method
Generic Male: Just What We Need, Another Show About Men
ODD box – Venue 2
God, that’s funny
Hi, how are you?
LabO – Venue 3
Stevie Nicks is my girlfriend
Speech From The Throne – Living With A Disability
Arthur Bampot and the Case of the Kept Man
1201 – Venue 4
(Re)Tired Magical Black Man
The Beauty We Carry
Club SAW – Venue 5
Atelier – Venue 6
To view the Fringe Access Guide for the 2022 Festival, please click here.