fringe festival guide
Every year, the City of Saskatoon in Canada hosts a lively summer event known as the Saskatoon Fringe Festival. This is a major arts based tourist attraction in Saskatoon's Broadway district with over thirty performers from Saskatchewan, Canada, and around the world producing more than 200 live and digital theatre performances in Saskatoon in a span of ten days.

The Nutrien Fringe is held in the Broadway area in Saskatoon with six venues for its temporary theatre. Operating for more than three decades, the Saskatoon International Fringe Festival has become one of Saskatoon's main attractions due to it's quality food, arts, and theatre performances.

What is the Saskatoon International Fringe Theatre Festival?

The Saskatoon Fringe, also known as the Nutrien Fringe, is an annual festival held in Saskatoon, featuring many in person theatre performances and hosting a number of performers from around the world. The Nutrien Fringe has been in operation since 1990 with great success, creating many different opportunities for local communities.

The Saskatoon International Fringe is held in July/August and over the years it has managed to build a solid reputation as one of Canada’s favourite Fringe tours. This festival is currently one of the best Fringes in North America based on the earnings from the food vendors, and street performances and art on and around Broadway Ave.

Each year, thirty-three slots are allocated to performing artists and divided equally between creatives from Saskatchewan, other parts of Canada, and around the globe. This fringe generates a lot of interest in the arts with up to 50,000 guests and 11,000 ticketed audience members.

the Saskatoon Fringe also attracts numerous food vendors, craft vendors, and buskers. The online applications for the festival are done in September every year and participants are chosen by lottery.
fringe festival

The History of Saskatoon’s Fringe Theatre Festival

The 25th Street Theatre was incorporated in 1974 first introduced the Saskatoon Fringe Festival in 1989. The first Fringe was held in Duchess Street as a touring Fringe Festival but it was moved to Broadway Ave in 1990 for its first full offering.

The festival enjoyed great success in its first year, with a total count of 6000 in-seat audience members.

In 1999, the 25th Street Theatre ceased production of their own shows due to financial constraints. Instead, they focused on the Saskatoon Fringe Festival which carried on in the same manner for the next ten years.

When the COVID-19 pandemic started in 2020, adjustments needed to be made on how the festival should be conducted. As a result, the Saskatoon Fringe had its first recorded digital theatrical performances with a small number of in-person performances and community events. The 2020 festival was temporarily dubbed the “This is NOT That” (TINT) festival.

Today, the Saskatoon Fringe has returned with live, in-person theatre performances along with a number of digital performances. More slots have been offered to local Saskatoon performing artists due to travel complications caused by the COVID pandemic.

Your Guide to the Saskatoon International Fringe Theatre Festival

The Saskatoon Fringe Festival offers an array of performances every year for you to experience. Come by and enjoy your fill of some of the best street food Saskatchewan vendors have to offer, and be entertained by the indoor and outdoor performers!

Each year, the Saskatoon Fringe on Broadway Ave is bustling with professional buskers, outdoor performers, craft vendors and artisans, musicians, and food vendors that make the event extra special.

The spirit of adventure is alive in Saskatchewan whenever the Fringe is in town. This is a great chance to try something new, make some new friends, and discover your authentic self all in the Broadway Ave area.

To find out the best places to eat on Broadway Avenue and performances that might appeal to you, we encourage you to socialize with some of the other guests at the fringe. Another tip if you’d like to enjoy the event: Put away your phone for a while and don’t be afraid to try something new!
saskatoon fringe

How to Get to the Fringe Theatre Festival

There are a few common means of getting to the fringe: biking, going by bus, or commuting by car.

For bikers, there's easy access to the fringe with bike valets ready to serve you. Your bike will be placed in a secure location and you can have it back when you’re ready to leave.

If you’d like to get there by bus, you can make use of either route 13 or 6. These routes give residents a means of entry to the Broadway area. The City of Saskatoon’s official website offers additional information on the same.

Though a car may provide convenience, parking slots in the festival area are limited. There are parking restrictions (two-block radius) set by the city, with parking passes provided by city officials to residents in the area.

When is the Theatre Festival?

The 2022 Nutrien Fringe Theatre Festival will be held from July 28 to August 6. On these July and August dates the festivil will be open on weekdays from 6pm to 10pm and from 12pm to 10pm on the weekends. This includes on public holidays.

The Festival Grounds

The 2021 outdoor festival grounds took place in three sites:

  • The Winery by the Refinery, on Dufferin Ave.
  • Street Beach, on 11th Street E.
  • The Kinsmen Fringe Family Fun Zone, in W. E. Graham Park

In-person theatre venues include:

  • The Refinery, 609 Dufferin Ave
  • The Broadway Theatre, 715 Broadway Ave
  • The Outdoor Stage, W. E. Graham Park

saskatoon fringe festival

Vehicle Parking

As previously mentioned, parking slots for the Fringe festival are limited. We advise using a different means of transport to avoid the hassle. However, if you find it necessary to use a car, here are some parking options:

Accessible parking. There is a designated parking area for the festival provided each year by the city.
Metered parking. Paid parking is available along Broadway Avenue and the fees apply during business hours and on Saturday.
Parking in the residential area. These parking spaces are reserved by the City of Saskatoon for residents within a two-block radius during the festival. To avoid getting a ticket, we highly recommend that you read the signage.

Final Thoughts

The Saskatoon Fringe Festival is a great event for adventure seekers looking for a new experience. It is a family-friendly event filled with fun,street performers, and thought-provoking performances hosted at dynamic venues such as the Broadway Theatre and Graham Park from artists all over Saskatchewan as well as national and international performers.

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