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2020 Application Guidelines


Next year is the 15th annual Calgary Fringe Festival. It will run for nine days, from July 31st-Aug 8th, 2020. With close to 30 performing companies presenting more than 200 performances, this event is Calgary’s largest theatre festival, delivering $75,000 to participating artists in 2019.

As a proud member of the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals, we ensure that 100% of box office revenue goes into the pockets of its participants. We are committed to giving artists the opportunity to produce work in an inclusive, engaging and highly accessible 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 Calgary Fringe reserves the right to enforce necessary safety measures.

We are an unjuried, non-curated, open access festival where participants are drawn through a fair lottery process. Performance can be anywhere from 40 minutes in length to a maximum of 75 minutes.

Anyone can apply! There is a $30 non-refundable application fee due at time of submission. After the deadline, the lottery draw determines who is and who is not included in the Calgary Fringe lineup. If your name is drawn, you will be asked to pay the remaining participation fee of $670 at this time.

If drawn, your Calgary Fringe participation fee includes:

  • Your venue

  • Your technician

  • Your schedule

  • Your box office management

  • Billet accommodations if international of from out of province

  • Overall festival marketing

 You are responsible for (but don't need to know it all at once!)...

  • Your show

  • Marketing your show

Application process

The 2020 application deadline is December 6, 2019 at 5 pm MST.

All applicants must pay a non-refundable $30 application fee at the time of application. Applications that do not include the fee will not be processed.

You will receive a confirmation email within 24 hrs of applying. If you do not, please check your junk/spam folder first and if nothing is there, please let us know.

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

Each application must identify a producer. Once submitted, neither the producer name nor the theatre company name on your application can be changed. One person cannot act as producer for more than one application.

If accepted into the festival, you cannot transfer/sell your spot to another company.

How the lottery works

All complete applications received before the deadline will be entered into the lottery.

The Calgary Fringe lottery will take place on December 11, 2019 at the Village Brewery Tap Room. The doors will be open from 6:30 to 9 pm, with the actual draw itself taking place at 7 pm MST. Light snacks and the first round of drinks provided by the festival director! If you would like to attend in person, please RSVP to

Successful applicants will be invoiced for the remaining $670 participation fee following the public lottery. Unsuccessful applicants will be automatically placed on a waiting list.

All applicants will be notified via email of their acceptance or waiting list status no later than one week following the lottery.

Lottery results will also be posted on our website and social media platforms as soon as possible.


Venue assignments

If your application is successful, your show will be assigned to a venue that will be shared with four to five other shows over duration of the Calgary Fringe. Venues will be assigned with consideration of your technical requirements, but we cannot make any guarantees based on your requests. We do promise, however, to do our best to assign you a venue that is suitable for your show.

Festival scheduling

You must plan to be available for all nine days of the festival and two days prior as we cannot pre-determine when your first performance will take place. Availability up to two days before is for a technical rehearsal.

Each lottery drawn artist receives six guaranteed performance time slots over the nine-day festival, with a possible encore performance added on our final Saturday should your show be selected as one of our Best of Fest Venue Series winners.

Performance times will vary from day to day and venue to venue, but generally we schedule shows between 4:45 to 11 pm Monday to Friday, and noon to 11 pm on weekends.

Each company will receive a mix of matinee, early evening, prime time and late-night show times. Time slots will be assigned to best accommodate each group, with the final decision at the discretion of the Festival Director.

Please note: Artists participating in multiple shows assume the risk that schedules may overlap. The Calgary Fringe makes no guarantees it will be able to accommodate conflicts.

Festival/participant communication

Festival applicants will be informed via email no later than one week following the lottery as to whether their application was successful or if they are on the waitlist. We’ll also post results on our website as soon as we can.

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

Box office and ticketing

Tickets for all performances at the 2020 Calgary Fringe Festival will be priced at $12. As a charitable organization, we ensure artists receive the full ticket sale by applying a $3 service fee to each ticket, which helps cover the cost of the box office operations, software and online ticketing services. The end cost to patrons is $15 per ticket.

Artists participating in the Calgary Fringe Festival receive 100% of their $12 ticket price with the exception of a limited number of discounted 5, 10 and 20 show passes (aka SuperPasses), for which they will receive a percentage of the SuperPass price.

Fringe buttons: a fringe button is required by all patrons to enter any show at a one-time purchase cost of $5. As 100% of ticket sales go directly to the performers, it’s fringe buttons (and donations!) which help the Calgary Fringe grow and remain financially sustainable as a not-for-profit arts organization. Fringe buttons are available for sale online, at any box office, and from every venue.

Technical information

Tech requirements should be kept simple, as Calgary Fringe venues may be equipped with only basic lights and sound.

Each company will receive a maximum three-hour technical rehearsal in their assigned venue. Technical rehearsals will begin two days prior to the festival.

Be aware that daytime technical rehearsals will be necessary for most companies. If you know you have daytime conflicts during the tech rehearsal dates, please notify the Fringe as soon as possible.

Bring Your Own Venue (BYOV)

Disappointed you didn’t get into the Calgary Fringe, or you’re too far down the waitlist and not sure things will change in time? You can submit a Bring Your Own Venue (BYOV) application.

BYOV applications will be available in January 2020. Feel free to contact the Festival Director if you have any questions about BYOV options.

Additional questions?

If so, please contact:

Michele Gallant, Festival Director
Phone: (403) 451-9726