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James Allum, MLA Fort Garry - Riverview
July 15, 2013

Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival

The Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival has been an important part of theatre culture in Manitoba since 1988. Founded as part of the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, the Winnipeg fringe festival is the second largest event of its kind in North America. Every July, the Fringe welcomes theatre companies from all over the world to perform for our wonderful Manitoba audiences for 12 straight days.

This year's festival will begin Wednesday, July 17. It will run until July 28. With 169 plays, musicals, comedy, improv, drama, dance and more, Winnipeg becomes a hub of artistic expression where creativity and imagination flourishes. In addition to indoor productions throughout the Exchange District, Old Market Square also hosts entertainment at the outdoor stage.

Celebrating arts and culture is an important part of creating a lively and diverse province. That's why our government believes in the value of supporting arts and cultural festivals like the Winnipeg fringe festival through Manitoba Major Arts Festival funding.

The fringe festival does a great job of encouraging people to participate in a flurry of activities offered over the 12 festival days and nights. Last year's fringe festival was the biggest to date, selling more than 100,000 tickets and breaking many attendance records. Utilizing the space of 32 venues, over 1,400 performers entertained spellbound audiences. Not only is the Winnipeg fringe festival for adults, it is fun for the whole family. Approximately 7,000 young fringers participated in kid-friendly activities last year.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank all those involved–the staff, volunteers, stage crew, performers and especially the audience – for making the fringe festival a success year after year.

I encourage all members of the Legislative Assembly to find the time to escape the sometimes bleak, occasionally absurd, political theatre of this Chamber and enjoy all the imagination, creativity and originality that the fringe festival has to offer. Thank you.