A Fringe like no other!
Mandate: Our mandate is to educate and increase the public’s understanding and appreciation of the arts by providing performances of an artistic nature in public places and by providing seminars on topics relating to such performances; to provide instructional seminars on topics related to the performing, visual and multi-arts; to produce performing arts festivals for the purposes of educating and advancing the public’s understanding and appreciation of professional arts practices and to educate through participation in such festivals and related workshops; and to provide opportunities for professional artists of all artistic backgrounds and disciplines.
- To create a spectacle of exceptional proportions that brings community together.
- To provide artists with access to a professional arts platform.
- To provide audiences with access to provocative and exceptional artists.
- To provide artists with the tools needed to present their work.
- To establish unrestrained creative freedoms for our participants.
Mission: ON THE EDGE fringe is dedicated to the dissemination, production, and prosperity of independent arts and artists. We create a unique environment where the arts thrive through creation, innovation, and experimentation, providing a platform for development, presentation and engagement that contributes to the health and well being of our community and the Canadian arts economy.
ON THE EDGE Fringe Festival is a provincially incorporated not-for-profit. We are a proud member of the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals, World Fringe, and the SPARC Network. We have an ongoing partnerships with Proscenium Club, Zakide, and the Capitol Centre, and maintain a dedicated workspace in the heart of downtown North Bay.
In 2011, a group of like-minded artists began a journey to breathe new life into the art scene of North Bay, Ontario. Through several discussions and arts initiatives exploring and evaluating the needs of the local arts community, the artists discovered that there were few professional theatre opportunities in the region. When one of the artists attended a 3-day masters class presented by the Ontario Arts Council with Paul Gudgin, former Director of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the final pieces clicked into place and the group decided to establish North Bay’s first fringe theatre festival.
The first ON THE EDGE Fringe Festival was presented in August 2014 with the shared vision to create a platform where professional artists and audiences could come together for an outspokenly exceptional experience. The inaugural festival consisted of 9 shows in 2 basement venues over 3 days. Over the years, the festival has steadily grown in size and reputation from a small gathering of people in a few local basements to an annual 5-day festival with more than 1,000 attendees. In 2017, the addition of a multi-arts incubator, exhibition and performance art series, Duality, increased the festival’s engagement further, and in 2018 we implemented an annual summer training intensive for youth that includes the creation of a collaboratively developed performance work presented during the fringe festival each year. 2019 was another year of expansion for us with the creation of our curated professional theatre festival, the Sun Dog Theatre Festival, which is now held annually every March.
- 2014 – First annual ON THE EDGE Fringe Festival is presented in August by the Theatre North arts collective.
- 2015 – The Festival expanded from 3 days to 5, increased the number of venues and shows, and introduced Fringe Passes.
- 2016 – Theatre North incorporates ON THE EDGE Fringe Festival (OTEF) as an Ontario not-for-profit and disbands.
- 2017 – The Duality multi-arts incubator is introduced.
- 2018 – The summer youth training program is introduced. The youth develop and perform their own show, Dragged, in the Festival.
- 2019 – The first Sun Dog Theatre Festival is held.
- 2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic forces the cancellation of the Sun Dog Theatre Festival. The Fringe Festival and Duality are presented online.
- 2021 – The COVID-19 pandemic again forces the cancellation of the Sun Dog Theatre Festival. OTEF presents a pop-up Monologues Festival online in its place. The Fringe Festival and Duality are also presented online.