The Fundy Fringe Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary

New Brunswick artist Scott Thomas performs with his son inside the BMO Studio Theater in Saint John, New Brunswick in this 2021 submitted photo. (Submitted: Fundy Fringe Festival)

Once a year, the streets of Saint John fill with music, drama and magic at the Fundy Fringe Festival. The search for this year’s performers began when Fringe organizers began planning for its 10th anniversary.

The Fringe is typically a week-long festival that features and supports a variety of local artists and performers.

To prepare for their next festival this summer, the organizers have launched a call for applications from performers of all mediums.

“If you’re a magician or a storyteller or a theater performer, dancer, musician, whatever, we’d love to have you at the Fringe,” said Drew Murdock, director of the Fundy Fringe Festival.

The Fundy Fringe Festival, formerly the Theater on the Edge Festival, is part of the largest collection of “Fringe Festivals” held across North America with the goal of creating an affordable space where everyone can experience unique performances.

Murdock said one of his favorite parts of the festival was being able to support local artists and give them the opportunity to perform in places and on stages that they might not otherwise have.

“We always reserve half of our artists for local talent. One of my My favorite thing is that we really celebrate local talent in Saint John, New Brunswick,” he said.

Drew Murdock, seen in this submitted portrait, is the director of the Fundy Fringe Festival in Saint John, NB (Submitted: Fundy Fringe Festival)

Although most festivals have a complicated selection process for their performers, including board members, votes, and submissions, the Fundy Fringe Festival is different.

Everyone is invited to apply. Participants are selected by lottery, which keeps the process without a jury.

“If your name comes out [of the hat]you’re in the festival,” Murdock said.

The festival lineup always includes a wide variety of performance styles as a result of this process. Murdock said after 10 years of the festival they had “pretty much” on their stage.

“I don’t know if there’s anything we didn’t have at the Fringe, but we’re always open to new projects,” he said. “You are a performance artist, we accept you here.”

The draw to announce this year’s lineup will take place on March 28.

Without knowing the lineup, Murdock said it’s hard to say what people can expect from the festival this year, but he’s more concerned about being able to hold the festival live and in person.

“Hopefully by summer our COVID protocols will be back in a place where we can all just celebrate together and have a fun time at the Fringe,” he said. “We hope the 10th anniversary can be something special or maybe our biggest best festival yet.”

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