Intrepid Theatre has cancelled its upcoming edition of the Victoria Fringe Festival, which was set to begin Aug. 26.
More than 300 theatre artists from across the country were booked to appear at the Victoria edition, one of the oldest festivals of its kind in Canada. The cancellation was due in part to difficulties from provincial government protocols surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic that limit public gatherings of more than 50 people.
Plans to stage an abridged version with local artists have also been scrapped. “We have been working hard to find ways in spite of COVID to honour Fringe and create a platform that would be viable and safe for artists and audiences, but are increasingly seeing that despite our best intentions, continuing with Fringe this year is not possible,” Intrepid Theatre, which produces the event, said in a statement.
Last year, during its 33rd edition, more than 20,000 people attended the alternative theatre festival, which offered more than 250 performances over its 12-day run. Though organizers deemed the cancellation “necessary,” Intrepid Theatre said in a statement it will use its time away from the stage “to critically analyze our operations and take great care to recognize our blind spots, our weaknesses, and systemic failures.
“In many ways, having this pause in our festival season is a vital part of the journey of creating meaningful, equitable change in our sector, and in our organization, and to break down barriers for Black, Indigenous and POC artists and community, as well as for Trans, Two-Spirit, Queer and disabled artists and community.”
For more updates, visit intrepidtheatre.com.