Chilliwack Fringe Festival set for 2017

The Chilliwack Fringe Festival, presented by Chilliwack Players Guild, will feature 12 performances over five days

“We especially want to bridge the gap that occurs between the involvement in school and youth productions

“We especially want to bridge the gap that occurs between the involvement in school and youth productions

There’s a new fringe festival starting in B.C., and it’ll be right here in Chilliwack.

The Chilliwack Players Guild announced that the first ever Chilliwack Fringe Festival will take place here next spring.

“Like fringe festivals across the country, the Chilliwack Fringe will provide opportunities for theatre groups from the local community, the Lower Mainland, and from all corners of the province to present their work in a non-competitive, celebratory theatre event,” said festival curator Ian Fenwick during the announcement at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre Tuesday.

The festival will feature 12 performances from May 3-7, 2017 in two theatres — the Rotary Hall Studio Theatre in the Cultural Centre and the Chilliwack Players Guild Hall.

“The Chilliwack Fringe aims to present a wide range of theatre from edgy-experimental, newly-created work, to established contemporary and classical plays, to plays for young audiences with the goals of creating greater understanding of, and engagement with, the diversity of theatre practised throughout British Columbia and beyond,” said Fenwick.

“We especially want to bridge the gap that occurs between the involvement in school and youth productions, and participation as young adults.”

Developing and mentoring emerging talent will be key to the sustainability of the festival, as will the partnering of sponsors and arts patrons to develop a supported financial framework, said Fenwick.

For the festival to be viable, “it’s all about the audience,” he adds. The guild will be offering “affordable” tickets at $10 per show, or $60 per festival pass.

Most shows will play for about an hour and then another show will begin 30 minutes later. Each production will be presented four times throughout the five-day festival. Performances will run simultaneously in both theatres.

Three of the 12 theatre spots will be reserved for the guild to ensure local shows, said guild member Clint Hames.