Surrender to the onslaught of Fringe artists! With over 700 performances from 89 shows, live music and DJs on the free, outdoor Wild Horse Canyon Stage, and a multitude of special events, the Vancouver Fringe Festival is taking over this September. “Resistance is Futile” on September 6, the Festival’s Opening Night, with bombardments from select Fringe shows. The blitz continues during the Festival from September 8 to 18, and the invasion concludes with the Public Market Pick of the Fringe and the Pick Plus, September 21 to 25.

The Fringe is comprised of un-juried, un-censored productions that are literally drawn from a hat! This means that the theatre you surrender to at the Fringe is filled with emerging artists and seasoned veterans in traditional and experimental work alike.

The Festival’s seven Mainstage venues are centered on and around Granville Island. Bring Your Own Venues (BYOVs) can be found on Granville Island and in East Vancouver venues such as the Firehall Arts Centre, Havana, the Cultch, and the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Gardens.

New this year is the Fringe Onsite Program. These 12 site-specific shows have been developed especially for the Festival and will be staged in nooks and crannies on Granville Island

Tickets are $12 for weekend shows (Friday-Sunday), and $10 for weekday shows (Monday-Thursday). The Fringe will once again offer half price tickets to select shows. Tickets can be purchased at or at the Fringe Box Office tent, located outside 1398 Cartwright Street on Granville Island (in the parking lot next to the Waterfront Theatre).

Show descriptions can be found at 

Bruce Horak will perform This Is Cancer as part of the Opening Night.

Opening Night: September 6

On Tuesday, September 6, “Resistance is Futile” at the Fringe Festival’s Opening Night. The indomitable David C. Jones, twice named the Georgia Straight’s People’s Choice for Best Comedian in Vancouver, will play host while Elias Arjan, performance auctioneer, will encourage audience members to bid in the live and silent auctions. There will be over $15,000 worth of amazing items and experiences up for grabs including a stay at the chic Opus Yaletown Hotel and private training sessions with Le Physique Personal Training Studio. Opening Night will also showcase vignettes from Houdini’s Last Escape, Smile, Oh, That Wily Snake!, Big Shot, and This is Cancer.

*NEW* Fringe-For-All: September 8

New this year is an event encompassing the chaos everyone loves about the Fringe. This fast and furious preview event will be hosted by Toby Berner, winner of the Canadian Comedy Award in 2008 for Best Sketch Troupe with his group, Canadian Content. Every Fringe artist will get a chance to perform the best two minutes of their show in hopes that they’ll get circled in program guides.

Susinn McFarlen’s Since You Left Us, will be performed at the Firehall Arts Centre this year.

89 Shows!

The Fringe is even bigger with 89 shows! Fringe favourite Chris Gibbs returns with Like Father, Like Son? Sorry., a hilarious exploration of Gibbs’ newfound fatherhood. Teen sensations, Awkward Stage Productions, put a new spin on Smile: The Musical with puppets and teenage girls vying for a crown. Homeland explores themes of home via a multimedia experience using theatre, dance, and documentary film. And Bruce Horak brings cancer to life in This Is Cancer, a satirical looks at a disease everyone is afraid of. The Fringe is also proud to announce that there are 19 shows on Vancouver’s East Side!

Nita Bowerman in the site-specific show, wreckage.

*NEW* Fringe Onsite Program

The Festival’s love affair with site-specific theatre is official. For the first time the Festival has gotten involved in the development phase of theatre while maintaining the principals of the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals. Twelve Fringe Onsite artists were chosen on a first come, first served basis and mentored by Kendra Fanconi, the Producing Artistic Director of the renowned site-specific theatre company, The Only Animal, in the creation of site-specific pieces debuting at the Fringe. Shows take place in unusual locations on Granville Island including the Waterpark (The Other Side), Sculpture Grove (Willow’s Walk and Rove), and under a dock by the False Creek Ferries (wreckage).

Sounds from the Fringe on the Wild Horse Canyon Stage at the St. Ambroise Fringe Bar at AGRO Café

The Fringe is proud to announce Sounds from the Fringe, a music festival within the Fringe! There’ll be live music and DJs on the free, outdoor Wild Horse Canyon Stage every night of the Festival. From the Afro-funk grooves of Miami Device to the chamber-pop melodies of The Ruffled Feathers, there’ll be music to suit all tastes. Plus comedian Sarah Bynoe brings her storytelling/reading talents (and those of her funny friends) to the stage three times. The St. Ambroise Fringe Bar at Agro Café is open to everyone and it’s a great place to meet Fringe artists and Fringe goers too!

*NEW* Jacques and Awe: September 10

In celebration of his 25 years of Vancouver Fringing, Jacques Lalonde has created a special show featuring his best moments from Fringes past including hits A Closer Walk with Jean Chrétien, Knuckhead Fever, and many more! Don’t miss out on this once in a lifetime Fringe experience.

Forums and Workshops

Forums and workshops are back! Learn how to make a puppet with Monster Theatre’s Tara Travis and Awkward Stage Productions’ Sandra Herd and Debbie Wiecke at the Puppet Magic and Making workshop. Train to twirl your pasties at the Intro to Burlesque with Razzle Tassel Productions. Partake in secret discussions in The Secret World of Magic with magician Travis Bernhardt and Christropher Bange of Houdini’s Last Escape. Poetry in Performance, Real Time Reviewing, and Risky Business are just some of the other forums and workshops. Most are free and all are open to the public. Visit for dates, times, and locations.

Nicole Dextras’ fish made of leaves, entitled “Stream” will be part of the Art Is Land Exhibition.

Art Is Land Exhibition

Visual art makes its first appearance at the Fringe! The Art Is Land Network has created 11 Land Art installations on Granville Island that will be on display during the Fringe. These include a river of leaf fish in Nicole Dextras’ Stream, brightly coloured sand connecting trees in Pierre Leichner’s Connected, and a large pair of wings made from stitched maple seeds in Robin Ripley’s Samara. Plus the artists will lead walking tours exploring the installations and on September 18, the Ocean Flotilla boat launch will set off a thousand paper boats with messages of hope.

Food Bank Donations!

The Fringe has partnered with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society (GVFBS) to help feed the 25,000 people who visit Food Bank depots weekly. Fringe artists, who keep 100 per cent of their regular box office revenue, will donate a portion of their sales from select shows to the Food Bank. Look in the Fringe program guide to find which shows are designated Food Bank shows. Plus, the way into the Fringe Awards Night is by making a cash donation to the GVFBS.

Fringe Awards and Closing Night Party: September 18

Not only will the Public Market Pick of the Fringe Awards be announced, but Awards such as the Cultchivating the Fringe Award, the Joanna Maratta Award, and the Talk of the Fringe Award return to help the Fringe’s emerging artists take their work to the next level. The Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company comes on board this year with The Fringe Playhouse Award. One special show will be rewarded with a spot in the Playhouse’s upcoming season. The Awards will be held at Performance Works with an after-party at the St. Ambroise Fringe Bar at AGRO Café.

Chris Gibbs will give a special performance of his show, The Power of Ignorance, on Sept. 21.

Public Market Pick of the Fringe and the Pick Plus: September 21-25

Presented by the Granville Island Public Market, the Pick of the Fringe is the last chance to see the hottest shows of the Festival. Audiences rate the shows they see. The top 10 make up the shortlist for an esteemed panel of judges to choose from. The Fringe will also host the Pick Plus: four special fundraiser performances. Chris Gibbs will return as Vaguen, Master of Ignorance in the Power of Ignorance, September 21. Martin Dockery performs the Vancouver premier of his hit The Holy Land Experience, September 22. Monster Theatre will present a special showing of The Shakespeare Show or; How and Illiterate Son of a Glover Became the Greatest Playwright in the World on September 23. And Fringe God, TJ Dawe brings back his critically acclaimed show, Slipknot to the Waterfront Theatre on September 24.

To see what the 2011 Vancouver Fringe Festival has to offer, visit or pick up a program guide at Blenz Coffee locations. See you at the Fringe!