Tuesday, April 9: Fringe North, the Arts Council of Algoma, and #upthearts festival are holding a drop in open house 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm at the Downtown Association offices 496 Queen St. East.

#upthearts, Aug 8-18, 2019 is a multi-arts festival: live theatre performances by local and international artists and free admission concerts and art activities for all ages, presented by the Arts Council of Algoma and Fringe North International Theatre Festival. 

Thursday to Sunday Aug 9-11, downtown will come alive with theatre, buskers, the annual Art Crawl, youth and adult graffiti contests, live music, dancers, drummers, and the Free Kids Fringe. Street closures are not needed for any #upthearts events.

It is the intention of the Fringe and Arts Council to deepen and better our collaboration with the DTA and its membership. upthearts festival will be moved from the Bondar Pavilion to downtown and will take place exclusively within DTA boundaries Aug 8-11. Fringe North theatre venues will be located along Queen St., Aug 8-18.

From Aug 14-18 #upthearts performances will take place at the Bondar Pavilion: Many activities previously staged at the Bondar are being moved downtown. The changes in festival format creates space for new events and activities and new merchandising and promotion opportunities for the DTA and its members. Fringe North is grateful for the goods in kind grant from the City of SSM annually which covers the costs of the Bondar, including tables, tents, chairs, clean-up. It has been our policy to pass on these benefits from the City to participating community partners, so these services would be free of charge to DTA members. For example, a new DTA merchandising event could be paired with the Arts Council annual Art in the ParkiníLot.

As an added benefit to this collaboration, many of the ideas put forward by the brilliant consultant hired by the DTA and City Planning, Roger Brooks, can be road-tested in 2019 at #upthearts. Fringes around the world are located in City cores and are renowned for their creative use of space such as pop-ups, black box venues, parking lots, and parks. Fringes in Canada are known as change makers for their substantial roles in promoting economic development through tourism, providing income opportunities for artists, and contributing to downtown revitalization. Fringes across Canada historically have had close association with the downtown associations in the cities that they are located in.     

Opportunities for collaboration are not restricted to the August festival dates. Most fringe festivals worldwide have year round operations. There are a multitude of examples and models of successful winter fringe events that Fringe North has access to. As a member of the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals (CAFF) and the World Congress of Fringe Festivals, Fringe North offers unique int