The 35th annual Toronto Fringe Festival has come to a close!
As disappointing as that might be for the thousands of Fringers across the GTA and beyond, the 2023 festival was an immense success, seeing more than 100 shows play in 16 venues over 12 days. Audiences swarmed into the city, snapping up more than 46,850 tickets in total and contributing over $40,000 in donations to Toronto Fringe’s donation campaign. In total, their current fundraising efforts have raised more than $118,000.
Over $500,000 will be returned to the artists thanks to this year’s ticket sales.
“The 2023 Toronto Fringe Festival was exceptional. What a privilege it was to witness the thought-provoking artistry and unbridled creativity that took to the stage,” said Jason Murray, chair of Toronto Fringe’s board of directors, in a press release. “Special thanks to everyone involved, including our sponsors, donors, audiences, artists, volunteers, Board, and staff. Collectively, our imaginations are reignited following this year’s fest and we’re reminded of the many reasons why this festival is so special.”
Not only did the festival feature a massive range of productions — dozens of which had sold-out shows, if not complete runs — but the 2023 festival offered a variety of free programming opportunities at their POSTSCRIPT Patio throughout the entire Fringe. From an Indie Fringe Mixer to the Stand-Up Comedy Night to a Canadian Citizenship Ceremony to the ever-popular Silent Disco, the Fringe’s auxiliary events at Tranzac Club were a hit.
This year, Fringe introduced two new initiatives, starting with its first ever launch party on July 4, which was hosted by Toronto’s own Pearle Harbour and headlined by Graham Scott Fleming. The 2023 Fringe Festival also introduced its brand new KidsFest Day Camp, supported by longtime Fringe donor Neville Austin, which provided children ages 4–11 with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of theatre with creative-based fun.
The new kids’ programming complemented Toronto Fringe’s regular youth offerings: Teen Fringe (in partnership with Edge of the Sky and supported by Neville Austin), TENT (sponsored by the RBC Emerging Artists Project), and the New Young Reviewers Program (supported by the Jon Kaplan Legacy Fund and published by Intermission Magazine).
2023 Toronto Fringe Festival Award Winners
North(519) Best of Fringe Festival, Presented by Theatre Orangeville
Fertility Slippers (Textures Theatre) and Our Little Secret: the 23&Me Musical (It’s Been Introduced)
Greenest in Fringe, Presented by Canadian Green Alliance
Frankenstein(esque) (Silent Protagonist Theatre)
The Second City Best Comedy Award
Ms. Titaverse (Tita Collective)
Spirit of the Fringe Award
Insert Clown Here (Parlous Theatre) and Featherhead (Birdbrain Theatre Collective)
Volunteers’ Choice Award
The Man with the Golden Heart (Chaos & Light)
2023 Patrons’ Picks
KidsFest — The Camp Campy Campfire Show (Stories by Dan)
Teen Fringe — Curious K Explores the Paleozoic (Kenton & Lise Productions)
Tarragon Theatre Mainspace — Blake & Clay’s Gay Agenda (Gay for Pay Productions)
Tarragon Theatre Extraspace — Frankenstein(esque) (Silent Protagonist Theatre)
Tarragon Theatre Solo Room — Emo Majok: African Aussie (Emo-tainment)
Al Green Theatre — CHOIR (Edge of the Sky)
Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace — Ms. Titaverse (Tita Collective)
Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace — ONE NIGHT ONLY (duhdumduhdum productions)
Factory Theatre Mainspace — Killing Time: A Game Show Musical (Mixtape Projects)
Factory Theatre Studio — The Bad Mitzvah (Salt Theatre)
Alumnae Theatre — Our Little Secret: The 23&Me Musical (It’s Been Introduced)
Tank House Theatre, Young Centre for the Performing Arts — Aliya Kanani: Where You From, From? (Aliya Kanani)
Aki Studio, Native Earth Performing Arts — Mail Ordered (Shanice Stanislaus)