Ottawa Fringe Festival: June 13-23, 2024

Application Guidelines BYOVs

The 2024 Ottawa Fringe Festival will run from June 13-23. With 40+ performing companies presenting upwards of 300+ performances, the Fringe is Ottawa’s largest and longest-running theatre festival.

Participating in the Ottawa Fringe Festival

The Fringe is committed to giving artists the opportunity to produce work in an uncensored, unjuried environment.  The only constraints on material or content are the consideration of legality and the health and safety of all those involved, including artists, staff, volunteers and audiences. The Fringe reserves the right to enforce necessary safety measures.

What is a BYOV?

A  BYOV (Bring Your Own Venue) is a venue or location that is not programmed via the Fringe Festival application lottery. Artists may choose to participate in the festival as a BYOV if their work is site specific, or if they were not drawn in the lottery but are still interested in mounting a production as part of the Ottawa Fringe Festival. BYOVs come with substantial financial risk to the producing company and can involve a considerable amount of additional work.

All BYOV applicants are encouraged to contact the Executive Director to discuss their proposal in advance of submitting. Please read through this page and the accompanying BYOV Spaces document before reaching out. 

Contact info

Alain Richer, Executive Director
613.232.6162 x101

Applying as a Bring Your Own Venue

Application and Acceptance Process

Applications will be accepted starting at 10:00 am on Friday, January 12, 2023. 

Applications will be accepted until 11:59 pm on Friday, February 16, or until all BYOV spaces have been filled.

The Ottawa Fringe Festival reserves the right to close BYOV applications at any time. Applicants are encouraged to submit as soon as possible.

All BYOV applicants must submit a $25.00 BYOV Application Fee, or their application will not be processed.

However, if you entered our 2024 Lottery, the Application Fee will be waived. Please note: applicants must apply under the same Producer and Company name in order for the BYOV Application Fee to be waived.

In their application, applicants will be asked:

  1. Your proposed venue
  2. A list of any other artists/companies you plan on sharing the space with (if applicable)
  3. Accessibility information – entrances, washrooms, seating, etc.
  4. Space to tell us anything else we should know about your show

We will follow up to request written confirmation of your venue rental/reservation (this can be a contract, letter of agreement, or email chains). Applications that do not include venue confirmation will not be approved.

Proposed venues should be within reasonable distance of the main Fringe site, about a 1km radius from Arts Court (but the closer the better). Venues judged to be too far away will not be accepted.

Proposed venues must be physically accessible and include access to an accessible washroom. Venues that do not meet the Fringe’s accessibility standards will not be accepted.

Preference will be given to site-specific work; after which other proposals will be considered.

Companies who are not proposing site-specific work must share their space with at least one other company. Alternatively, applicants can provide strong reasoning as to why they aren’t good at sharing in their project proposal.

BYOV applicants will be informed by February 26, 2024, if they have been accepted into the festival.

Submission of a BYOV application does not guarantee acceptance.

You may not submit more than one BYOV application to the Ottawa Fringe.

Please keep a copy of your application form.

If accepted, Fringe Festival staff will require access to your venue pre-festival, to ensure that the venue is safe for audiences, performers and volunteers and that it meets the accessibility standards of the Ottawa Fringe.

It is strongly recommended that all potential BYOV applicants contact the Executive Director in advance of submitting their application.

Fees and Withdrawal Policy

BYOV Application Fee

A $25.00 administrative fee. This fee must be paid at the time of your application, but is waived if you applied to the 2024 Ottawa Fringe Festival lottery.

Registration Fee

The 2024 Ottawa Fringe Festival BYOV fee is $575.00 (HST included). This fee must be paid within 10 days of your acceptance into the Festival.

Application and Registration Fees can be paid by debit, credit card, cheque, or cold hard cash.

Non-Sufficient funds

If your payment is returned NSF, you will have seven days to submit new payment PLUS a $30 processing fee PER failed payment.  After seven days, the applicant will be removed from participation in the Festival.

General Festival Info


All Festival performances will take place between June 13-23, 2024.

BYOV companies may schedule one performance per day, up to a maximum of 10 performances over the duration of the Festival (though we recommend 6-8).

All festival performances must begin between 5:00pm and 11:00pm Monday-Friday; and between 1:00pm  and 11:00pm Saturday-Sunday.

Each BYOV company will submit their own preferred performance schedule for approval, but the Ottawa Fringe reserves the right to edit, change, or completely schedule all performances in a BYOV.

All Ottawa Fringe Festival scheduling is at the discretion of the Executive Director.

Box office and ticketing

The Ottawa Fringe Festival will collect and remit all Box Office revenue on behalf of BYOV companies, as well as provide Box Office staff.

The Ottawa Fringe Festival will not sell advance tickets for outdoor BYOVs. All ticketing for outdoor performances will be at-the-door only.

Tickets for all performances at the 2024 Ottawa Fringe Festival will be priced at $12 plus applicable fees.

Artists participating Ottawa Fringe Festival receive 100% of their listed ticket price with the exception of 5/10-show passes, for which they will receive $10-$11 per redemption.

BYOV companies may set their own venue capacity, provided it complies with City of Ottawa public occupancy limits. Once your venue capacity has been confirmed it cannot be changed. Companies sharing a venue must have the same capacity. Venue capacity will follow all local and provincial regulations enacted to protect against COVID-19. BYOV companies will follow all Ottawa Fringe COVID protocols and any additional protocols set by the venue.

*Venue capacity will follow all local and provincial regulations enacted to protect against COVID-19. BYOV companies will follow all Ottawa Fringe COVID protocols and any additional protocols set by the venue.

Should a company sell more tickets than their stated capacity, the Ottawa Fringe Festival will not remit any revenue for tickets sold beyond this capacity. Further, the Ottawa Fringe reserves right to cancel all remaining performances of any company found to have changed their capacity mid-festival. 

Technical Support

BYOV companies are responsible for hiring their own venue technician and renting any necessary sound/lighting/video equipment.

Insurance and permits

BYOV participants are solely responsible for the safe operation of their venue. BYOV companies agree to absolve and save harmless the Ottawa Fringe Festival from any liability whatsoever in the event of accident or injury to performers or patrons.

The Fringe does not provide third party liability insurance for BYOVs. We recommend all BYOV companies obtain their own liability insurance. Fringe may request proof of insurance.

BYOV participants are responsible for ensuring lawful public use of their venue.


We will do our best to provide billeted accommodation for out of town performers. However, the Fringe does not guarantee billet placement. It is recommended that you arrange your own accommodation if possible.

Festival/participant communication

Email is the primary way the Fringe communicates with our participating companies. Producers will receive regular email updates from the Festival, containing important info about Festival policies, deadlines, events, opportunities, and the like. Please read them.

That’s all! You’re ready to apply! If you have any questions, send them to Alain Richer, Executive