Posted on the Fringe Edmonton site on Monday April 13, 2020.
DearFringeFamily;It is with a heavy heart that we announce the cancellation of the 39th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival.
“Our priority is the health and safety of all Fringers, and the ongoing COVID-19 crisis demands we take extreme measures.”
The decision to cancel is difficult, emotional, but necessary.As a public gathering place where creativity thrives all year long, we do not make this decision lightly. The realities of the pandemic are changing daily.Currently, there is no clear timeline on when public gathering restrictions, social distancing practices, and self-isolation measures will be lifted. Theatre is a collaborative and social art by nature – it’s incredibly hard for artists to prepare for shows, and for our team to plan for Festival when so much is still unknown.And so, in the interest of protecting the health and safety of our community,we made the decision to do our partand help provide frontline workers every possible chance to contain the pandemic.If we could, we’d give every frontline worker a standing ovation.
We must work together to prioritize public health. We care about our community, and we are committed to doing what is necessary to protect the health of that community so we may ensure it returns stronger than ever.
We will fringe again, and we look forward to celebrating the 40thEdmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival August 12 – 22, 2021.
As a charitable organization stewarding an international event with far-reaching impacts, we know this decision will have a ripple effect. We are working with our board, staff, artists, volunteers, sponsors, vendors, and many partners to provide supports as we shift our priorities towardreopening the doors of the ATB Financial Arts Barns as soon as it is safe to do soandchampioning our creative community.
Our hearts are with our creative community. Countless cultural sector careers have been put on hold because of the pandemic. Artists, you are at the heart of everything we do. To the performers, playwrights, directors, designers, technicians, stage managers,producers, and many others who help make theatre magic happen:we stand with you.
From a March 20, 2020 social media post; Staff meetings look a little different these days. Spreading love and laughter in what has been a difficult week. Especially thinking of our sibling Festivals @OrlandoFringe & @Tampa_Fringe. We’re all in this together, Framily! With love, the #yegfringe Team. Photo Courtesy/Edmonton Fringe Festival
Our thanks to our volunteers. Your commitment and love of fringing keeps us going. We could not do what we do without you, and we look forward to bringing our Fringe Family together again soon.
To our funders, sponsors, and donors: thank you for your support, generosity, and understanding as we navigate this truly extraordinary time. We’re all in this together.
Our vendors, artisans, buskers, and partners help bring our site alive.We can’t wait to bring the bustling joy of Festival back to the heart of Old Strathcona in 2021. Thank you for being an integral part of the Fringe experience.
It’s hard to imagine a summer without our beloved audiences. Audiences make fringing possible. You keep storytelling alive. Thank you. Your seat will be waiting for you as soon as our theatres open again.
The KidsFringe brings in thousands every day during the annual Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival, which is now cancelled for 2020
We exist because theatre exists. And theatre will play an important role in healing as we learn to process and understand the impacts of this pandemic.
We will adapt. We will continue to be home to creativity, risk, craft, and community. And we will open our doors as soon as it is safe for us to gather again.
Take care of yourselves and each other.
The Edmonton Fringe Team
To try and help the travelling artists that will be hit very hard in 2020 the Edmonton Fringe has set-up a way to donate;
If you’re able and moved to give today, this week, or even in the future, please know your financial support will help us help artists as we grow through this difficult time. All donations will receive a charitable tax receipt (and our unending love and gratitude!) Click on the photo
Click on the photo to go to the Fringe performers donate page. Photo Courtesy/Marc J Chalifoux/Edmonton Fringe Festival
Alberta’s Distinguished Artist Award Recipients Announced
(Calgary, AB) The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards Foundation is pleased to announce that artist Faye HeavyShield (Blood Reserve, Kainaiwa Nation, AB), writer and filmmaker Cheryl Foggo (Calgary, AB), and dance choreographer Vicki Adams Willis (Calgary, AB), have been selected to receive the 2021 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Distinguished Artist Award.
Arlene Strom, chair of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards Foundation said, “Albertans can be proud of these three whose contributions have pushed the boundaries of art to reflect Indigenous identity and expression; present a more inclusive and diverse view of Alberta’s history; and define the province as a beacon for jazz dance artists. Each has contributed immeasurably to the development of the province’s artists, arts communities and expanding art disciplines.”
Faye HeavyShield, Visual Arts
Over the past 30 years, Faye HeavyShield has been one of Canada’s pre- eminent artists within Alberta and the Blackfoot Confederacy. Currently living on the Blood Reserve in southwestern Alberta, Faye studied at Alberta University for the Arts in Calgary.
Honouring her Kainaiwa (Blood) Nation, the striking landscape they dwell within and the Blackfoot language which she speaks, Faye HeavyShield’s legacy of three-dimensional art and sculpture including recent installations incorporating photography and delicately constructed paper figures make her a senior figure in the artistic and cultural renaissance of Indigenous nations in the country.
“…My art is a reflection of my environment and personal history as lived in the physical geography of southern Alberta with its prairie grass, river coulees, and wind and an upbringing in the Kainaiwa community. I would say the environment is an extension of myself because it’s always been there, from the time I was a child. It was one of the first things that I saw and smelled. I consider it a part of me. The landscape is an extension of the body because we’re dependent on it, and to flip that, the landscape is dependent on us…” Faye Heavyshield
Beyond her personal practice, Faye is actively involved with her community by working with youth through art programming and creating cultural connections for children in care.
Cheryl Foggo, Playwright, screenwriter, film maker, author
Creating a more inclusive and diverse view of Alberta’s history through her plays, films, books, articles and multi-media presentations has been Cheryl Foggo’s life work. Profiled in Who’s Who in Black Canada and the recipient of the 2008 national Harry Jerome Award for The Arts, Foggo has applied her talent as a researcher and writer to uncovering the compelling but overlooked stories of Alberta’s Black settlers and
cowboys. Most recently, the award winning National Film Board feature- length documentary, John Ware Reclaimed (2020), highlighted an earlier thriving Black community in the province often left out of the history books.
Her seminal, autobiographical book, Pourin’ Down Rain: A Black Woman Claims Her Place In The Canadian West, is a powerful narrative of Foggo’s ancestors’ journey from enslavement in the United States to Western Canada. The book, first published in 1990, received the distinction of a special 30th anniversary reprint in 2020. Her books for young people: Dear Baobab, I Have Been in Danger and One Thing That’s True have garnered many commendations between them, including One Thing That’s True being short-listed for the Governor General’s Award. In addition to her books, Cheryl Foggo has published prose in more than 40 journals and anthologies.
Two new productions of Foggo‘s plays are scheduled in 2021 with the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton and the Urgency Collective in Calgary, and her short play The Sender is currently available through Toronto’s Obsidian Company’s 21 Black Futures Project. As a cultural activist, mentor and volunteer she advocates for writers and Black artists.
Vicki Adams Willis Performing Arts: Dance
Vicki Adams Willis
Vicki Adams Willis has changed the face of jazz dance in Alberta and Canada. A co-founder nearly 40 years ago of Decidedly Jazz Danceworks (DJD), she is foremost a teacher and choreographer of more than 35 original productions. She is recognized as a true leader in the world of jazz; an acclaimed ground-breaking choreographer who created one of the most unique jazz dance companies in the world, and the key person to ensure Calgary, Alberta as a viable dance centre for serious jazz artists. She has helped to change the very course of the jazz dance art form by influencing students, dancers, musicians and audiences with her strongly researched and brilliantly creative work.
Jazz dance is a misunderstood art form. Born of African parents and of the Black American experience, Vicki Adams Willis acknowledges herself as a guest in this form and has demonstrated her deep understanding of, and utter respect for, the authentic roots and history of jazz through her research, teaching and choreography. The company she co-created in 1984 – Decidedly Jazz Danceworks (DJD) has gained international recognition. It has been referenced in articles, dissertations, anthologies and, most recently, in an award-winning international film: Uprooted–The Journey of Jazz Dance, which had its Canadian premiere at the 2021 Toronto Black Film Festival.
“..These three ground-breaking women have offered important contributions to the arts in Canada. Their creativity has brought new light to their respective disciplines and created countless opportunities for us all to learn, grow and explore fresh ideas. Artists like this are essential to the vibrancy of our communities and we are truly fortunate to have them as cultural leaders in our province and country as a whole…”
Her Honour, the Honourable Salma Lakhani, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
The laureates will each receive a handcrafted medal, a $30,000 award and a two-week residency at the Banff Centre’s Leighton Artist Studios. The awards patron, the Honourable Salma Lakhani Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, will present the awards at a celebration hosted by the Community of Lac La Biche and Portage College, Lac La Biche campus, at an awards event June 10 and 11, 2022.
The awards are funded through an endowment established with private donations and gifts from the Province of Alberta and Government of Canada. The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta serves as honorary patron of the awards. Since its inception, 23 Distinguished Artists and 63 Emerging Artists have been recognized across Alberta with this significant honour. See details at artsawards.ca
The 2021 Distinguished Artists were chosen from nominations received and reviewed by a jury of experts overseen by the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Jurors for the 2021 Distinguished Artist Awards were Mary-Beth Laviolette, visual arts curator and author; John Estacio, 2017 Distinguished Artist and JUNO nominated composer; Seika Boye, scholar, writer, artist and Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, Centre for Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies; Jordan Abel, Nisga’a writer from Vancouver and Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta teaching Indigenous Literatures and Creative Writing.
Click to learn more about the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards Foundation.
Lac La Biche County and Portage College have been making plans for a community celebration to honour three new 2021 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Distinguished Artists. Given the ongoing COVID-19 related challenges of convening in person, Portage College, Lac La Biche County, and the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards Foundation have moved the celebration to June 11, 2022.
This change has provided a new opportunity: for the first time in the Awards’ history, the host community of Lac La Biche County will celebrate both the 2021 Distinguished Artists and up to 10 new 2022 Emerging Artists.
Her Honour Salma Lakhani, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, says she is looking forward to honouring the Distinguished and Emerging Artists next summer in Lac La Biche.
“I appreciate the tremendous work that the community has already invested into this special celebration, and I know that the 2022 awards will be well worth the wait. In the meantime, I offer my heartfelt thanks to all of the artists, administrators and patrons across Alberta for everything that you are doing to keep the arts a vibrant part of our lives and our communities during this extraordinary time.”
The organizers look forward to hosting this prestigious event and showcasing Alberta’s diverse arts scene. Their June 2022 plans include opportunities to chat with artists, outdoor community celebrations featuring an Art Walk and Market, art classes and demonstrations, an artist retreat, and a celebratory awards gala.