Fringe Ready to Charm with Local & International Acts

The Saskatoon Fringe Festival will delight audiences with wide ranging theatre performances. (Nolita Studios 2019)



After a couple years of pivots, that ensured the show would go on, the Saskatoon Fringe returns to the city this week with a warm, welcoming embrace. This year’s festival is all about getting back to the atmosphere that has attracted audiences for more than 30 years.

“They need to get their hands on it, be involved and connect directly with the artists. That’s the Fringe’s specialty.”

“Come for the plays, stay for the fun,” says 25th Street Theatre’s Artistic & Exec. Director Anita Smith. (Erin Crooks)

“A community without art isn’t a community. It’s less vibrant, joyful and connected,” says Artistic and Executive Director Anita Smith. “For our community to recognize the contribution and value of art, they need to get their hands on it, be involved and connect directly with the artists. That’s the Fringe’s specialty.”

The Saskatoon Fringe is proud to welcome international artists like South Africa’s Erik De Waal back to the stage after a two-year pandemic hiatus. He’ll be joined by other artists from places like Sweden, England and the United States. Combined with local and national artists, there are 18 in-person plays to choose from. There’s something for every age and taste. For those who can’t attend a performance at the Refinery, Broadway Theatre or Cosmopolitan Seniors’ Centre, 10 digital performances from all over the world will be available online.

The Fringe draws audience members up close and, sometimes into, the show. (Danger Dynamite 2019)

The street buskers are back including viral video star Spandy Andy and Fringe favourites the Undead Newlyweds. The 50+ acts will perform along 11th Street and in W.E. Graham Park behind Victoria School, delighting the audience with music, juggling, acrobatics and tons of audience participation.

The Fringe is known as a ticketed, theatre festival but it’s so much more. From the carnival games to the crafting in the Collaboration Station and the community art projects there’s plenty of entertainment that’s absolutely free. Three outdoor stages throughout the street festival will feature performances by artists like rapper Eekwol and Sounds of Afghanistan. For Smith, a successful festival means everyone can be a part of the fun.

“I used to go to the Fringe and feel like I was just being asked for money all the time and not sure what I was getting in return.” Smith explains, “Now the Fringe is about connecting artists and community, we are committed to being accessible. It’s not glitzy but it’s fun. The art, the atmosphere, the time spent together listening to a story or music. That’s what memories are made of.”

Organizing a festival this size and scope is not an easy business within the current recession climate and 25th Street Theatre is grateful for all its donors and sponsors. The team is asking those who can, donate to keep this summer tradition alive.

“Many of our events are free to the community but it’s not free to us,” says Smith. “The reality is if everyone gives a dollar to the Fringe, it makes a huge difference to our organization. Art is what lights up our lives and with the community’s help, we are committed to doing just that.”


Saskatoon Fringe Festival 2022

July 28 – August 6

Various Venues  (Nutana)

For all the details and ticket info, here’s the link.