Montreal Fringe Festival
(St. Ambroise, 1991)
There is nothing I’ve felt in the arts that has inspired the same buzz in me and my surroundings as the Montreal Fringe has. My first experience producing, directing, and performing independently in Montreal was due to the Montreal Fringe, and I was only a teenager at the time. The festival has been the catalyst for the careers of many Montreal artists. I’ve made countless friendships and bonds, as well as drinking buddies and pretend-rivals. My eyes have been enraptured by spectacular performances, my mind has been prodded by pieces that ask greater questions, my belly full of laughter at original comedies, and my heart filled with camaraderie and love for the stage and its inhabitants. Due to its location, participants, and audience members, the Fringe feels quintessentially Montreal, and as a native anglophone Montrealer, every other fringe festival I’ve been to has just felt […] wrong. This year's lack of a physical festival muted some of the Montreal magic that is inherently tied to this festival, and has left a gaping, Montreal-shaped hole in my heart.