On This Page

  • What is the Ottawa Fringe Festival?
  • Access Mission Statement
  • Our Land Acknowledgement
  • What to Look For
  • Ticket Information
  • Access Policies
  • Sensory Backpacks
  • Pre Show Announcement
  • Venue Access Guide / Transportation
  • Accessible Washrooms / Chill Out Spaces
  • Access-friendly Performance List

What is the Ottawa Fringe Festival?

The Ottawa Fringe is Ottawa’s largest and longest-running theatre festival. We provide a platform for all artists to produce their work. We are  striving to make the festival as accessible as possible for artists and audiences.

The Ottawa Fringe has no curator, meaning that all the shows at the Fringe are selected via a lottery, and have no restrictions placed on the content of their performances.

We return 100% of ticket sales to our participants – every dollar spent at the festival goes directly to the performers. Since 1997, we have paid out over $2 million to independent artists.     


Mission Statement

Hello, and welcome to the Ottawa Fringe Festival!

Accessibility is central to  Fringe theatre. When we first started out, “accessible” meant “affordable”. We’ve got that part covered: we keep our ticket prices low and offer free programming to make the event as inviting as possible for our audiences.

But 23 years later, accessibility has taken on a new meaning, and in the spirit of the Fringe we’re working hard to make sure everyone has the opportunity to participate in our festival. Over the past few years we’ve been working to ensure all our venues are physically accessible and now we’re focusing on creating a Fringe that is truly accessible for all needs.

But real talk: we’re new at this. We’re still learning. And we’re probably going to make some mistakes. That’s okay. We want to get better, and feedback from patrons and the community is only going to make our festival better. Is there something you think we could be doing? Something we should absolutely not be doing? Let us know by reaching out to us through email: brittany@ottawafringe.com.


Our Land Acknowledgement

Ottawa Fringe acknowledges the privilege to be operating and performing on the unceded traditional territory of the Algonquin Anishinabeg. We recognize the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island who had been thriving on this land for centuries. We also recognize Canada’s history of colonization and the ongoing violence against Indigenous peoples and their culture. As guests on this land, we promise to walk gently and with respect.

To the past, present and future caretakers of Turtle Island, Chi-Miigwetch.


Pre-Show Announcement

In all venues a pre-show recording will be played before the show begins.

A plain text version of the pre-show speech is available below:


Need Assistance? Here’s Some Things to Look For

Our friendly Volunteers are here to point you in the right direction!
You can identify them by their grey t-shirts with blue block writing that says “VOLUNTEER” on their back. 

[Image Description: There is a caucasian male with short brown hair wearing a grey t-shirt with ‘Volunteer’ on the back in Blue block font.]

This is Patrick, he’s the Festival Director!

He’s a nice guy.

[Image description: he is a caucasian cis-male with short brown hair and a beard, he is wearing a red/blue plaid long sleeve button up-shirt.]

Festival Staff will be wearing this Lanyard.

[Image description: a black lanyard with red words reading “#OttFringe” attatched to a name tag that reads “Fringe Staff” on a grey background.]

This is the Festival’s main Box Office.

[Image description: A large black desk on the corner of the wall. There is a large television screen behind the desk. There are two staff, one seated and one standing smiling, ready to assist you!]

Tickets

There are three options for purchasing Fringe Festival Tickets:

  1. Advance Tickets Online (https://ottawafringe.com/boxoffices/) or by phone (613-232-6162 x 205).
  2. Advance Tickets can be purchased in-person by visiting the Festival Box Office, located in Arts Court (2 Daly Avenue). Take elevator B to floor 2, exit the elevator and the Box Office is straight ahead.
    * If you have accessibility questions or requests we recommend coming to the Festival Box Office.
  3. In-Person Ticket Purchase at any of the venues. Cash only.

Fringe Festival Pins

A Pin is needed to go to any Fringe show at the Festival. Because Fringe gives 100% of the ticket sales to the artists, the pin purchase supports Fringe and helps keep the Festival growing. They are a one-time purchase.  Pins are for purchase for $3.00 at all Festival Box Offices. There are three designs that you can choose from, pictured down below.

Fringe Festival Pins

[Image description: On a grey background there is a pink business card with purple writing reading “SUPPORT THE FRINGE”, the three circular pins are fanned out. The top pin has a pink background, there is a squished eyeball that is like a flying UFO with purple writing reading “I WANT TO BE THERE”. The middle pin, has a purple background, there are pink shadowed skyscrapers with the words reading “I AM THERE”. The bottom pin has a grey background, there is a grid of eyeballs with the Fringe logo at the top.]

There are also two other types of pins that are available for purchase this year at the fringe. You can get these at the Festival Box Office.

There is the “Lifetime Pin” which cost $12.00

[Image description: On a grey background there is a pink business card with purple writing reading “SUPPORT THE FRINGE”, the pin is attached to the card on the right-hand side, it is a circular enamel pin, depicting a white eyeball with a pink iris.]

There are also pronoun pins which cost $3.00

[Image description: On a grey background, there are four pins on pink business cards with purple writing reading “SUPPORT THE FRINGE”, the circular pins are attached to the cards. All the pins are teal, with a Fringe logo on the bottom. The top pin has a white rectangle for you to fill out your own pronoun choice, the second pin has the pronouns “SHE/HER” written on it, the third has the pronouns “HE/HIM” written on it, and the fourth pin has the pronouns “THEY/THEM” written on it.]


Access Policies: Some Important Things To Know

  • No Late-Comers

Make sure to plan your trip so you have enough time to get to the venue and buy your ticket before the show’s start time.

  • No Re-entry

You are welcome to leave a performance at anytime but we do not allow re-entry. Please understand that this policy is out of respect for our artists.

  • Guide Dogs

Guide dogs are welcome in all our venues.

  • Wheelchair & Scooter Parking

All venues have reserved space for parking. Please come early or call in advance to make requests. Volunteers are prepared to assist with parking requests.

  • Attendants/ Personal Support Workers/ Respite Workers

Attendants are welcome and we offer complimentary tickets. In order to reserve tickets together please arrange in advance with [email protected], or call: 613-232-6162 x 205.


Sensory Backpacks

What is a Sensory Backpack? These are small kits with a few tools to assist children and adults with sensory processing difficulties; tools can be used to calm and/or stimulate the senses.

Ottawa Fringe has three (3) backpacks available to borrow at the main Festival Box Office, free of charge, to help make your festival experience as enjoyable as possible.

Please bring a piece of personal identification with you. Backpacks are first come first serve.

What You will Find in the Backpack:

  • Fidget toy
  • Soft toy
  • Ear defenders
  • Water bottle

Venues Access Guide

The Ottawa Fringe grounds are all conveniently located a 1 kilometre radius of Arts Court and the Rideau Centre. The Festival is located close to the Transitway and several local OC Transpo stops. For a general festival map click here: https://ottawafringe.com/venues/.

Transportation

Need assistance planning your trip to Arts Court and the surrounding Fringe grounds?

OC Transpo Travel planner: www.octranspo.com/ottawa-destinations/arts_court

For Para Transpo, request to be dropped off at 10 Daly Avenue. Click here for more information: http://www.octranspo.com/en/para-transpo/booking/

Festival Box Office

To get to the main festival box office, we recommend entering through the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG), located at 10 Daly Avenue.

To enter the OAG, press the automatic door open button on the right side and again on the right side for the second double door. The doors will open towards you.

Enter the OAG, the elevator is behind the stairs. Go past the Welcome Desk on the left hand side, then turn left, and the elevator is to the immediate right. You are on floor Zero, or Lobby level. Press the button on the left to cue the elevator to open. Enter and press floor 3 (top button). Exit the elevator and turn left. Follow the hallway and go through the double white doors, you are now entering Arts Court. On the right is the main box office.


Chill Out Spaces

This year we don’t have a designated quiet space (this is something we are working on for next year), but there are spaces in Arts Court and the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) that you can go to “Chill Out” and take a breather from the hustle and bustle of Fringe.

  • Arts Court Black Box Studio. Located on the 2nd floor of Arts Court, 2 Daly Avenue Take elevator B, press the button for the top floor. Exit the elevator and immediately turn right. Enter the studio through the double doors on your left. The doors open towards you. There are couches, tables, and chairs in the room.
  • Jackson Cafe. Located in the Lobby of the OAG, 10 Daly Avenue

There is a small cafe offering coffee, tea and other beverages; as well as sandwiches and snacks.

  • Sky Lounge. Located on the 3rd floor of the OAG, 10 Daly Avenue

Take the elevator to the top floor. Exit the elevator and turn right. There are white couches in the hall. You can also sit outside on the patio (patio doors are to your right, they are slightly heavy and open towards you.)


Accessible Performance Listing

This list is compiled by performers who have highlighted how their show could be accessible.  

ASL and/or Visually Accessible
Patrons who are Deaf or hearing impaired can follow the show through either ASL interpretation or through visual storytelling. Verbal and sound cues are not imperative to understanding the performance.

Destiny, USA
Produced by Convection Productions
https://ottawafringe.com/shows/destiny-usa/Notes: Comedy, Drama, Storytelling. Integrates ASL (featuring deaf actors) and closed captioning.
Worldly Women
Produced by Dance Fachin
https://ottawafringe.com/shows/worldly-women/Notes: Dance, Drama
The Key to Time Travel
Produced by allisoneb
https://ottawafringe.com/shows/the-key-to-time-travel/Notes: Dance, Drama, Sci-fi

Described Performance and/or Storytelling
Patrons who are blind or have low-vision may be able to enjoy the show through their auditory sense. Patrons will understand what is happening onstage by listening to the performers voices and sound cues, they do not need visual cues to follow the action or meaning of the performance.

Ingenue: Deanna Durbin, Judy Garland and the Golden Age of Hollywood
Produced by Melanie Gall Presents
https://ottawafringe.com/shows/ingenue-deanna-durbin-judy-garland-and-the-golden-age-of-hollywood/Notes: Historial, Musical Solo
I Am the Most Unfeeling Doctor in the World (And Other True Stories From the Emergency Room)
Produced by Melissa Yuan-Innes
http://ottawafringe.com/company/melissa-yuan-innes/Notes: Comedy, Drama, Solo, Storytelling
I Think I’m Dead
Produced by Al Lafrance
https://ottawafringe.com/shows/i-think-im-dead/Notes: Solo, Storytelling
The Date
Produced by Phybee
https://ottawafringe.com/shows/the-date/Notes: Comedy, Drama, Musical
The Walk in the Snow: the True Story of Lise Meither
Produced by big word performance
https://ottawafringe.com/shows/the-walk-in-the-snow-the-true-story-of-lise-meitner/Notes: Solo, Storytelling

Sensory Friendly Performance
Some patrons benefit from a more relaxed sensory experience and casual environments. These performances have minor technical elements (no startling sound or lighting cues), relaxed movement and noise.

The Date
Produced by Phybee
https://ottawafringe.com/shows/the-date/Notes: Comedy, Drama, Musical
Tornado Troubles
Produced by Bree Free Entertainment
https://ottawafringe.com/shows/tornado-troubles/Notes: Concert, Solo, Stand-up
Magnificence
Produced by Doctor Keir Co.
https://ottawafringe.com/shows/magnificence/Notes: Solo Storytelling