St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival celebrates 30 years with a hybrid festival of on-demand and in-person performances with a sprinkle of nostalgia

June 1-20, 2021

MainLine Theatre invites Montrealers to kick off their summer with the 30th anniversary edition of the St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival taking place from June 1-20, 2021. Celebrate 30 years of artistic creation without limits at this hybrid festival of in-person shows at five venues and on-demand performances available on the new FringeTV web channel. Get your fix of theatre, dance, music and more with tickets on sale now and the full festival lineup to be revealed on June 1.

“It’s going to feel a little different with reduced capacities in venues and safety protocols in place, but it’s still the FringeMTL we love and adore,” says MainLine Theatre’s Executive and Artistic Director, Amy Blackmore. “Our unwavering devotion to five driving principles [see below] is what defines us. We are fully committed to diversity, community and artistic freedom. It’s the kind of festival where anyone can do anything. An experimental playground for artists and an environment where everyone is welcome.”

Fringe FestivalAmy recently met FringeMTL founders Kris and Nick Morra for the first time on World Bee Day (May 20) during a recording for the new FringeMTL podcast: The Fringebuzz Lab. Episodes will be released weekly starting May 25 on Tuesdays (in French) and Thursdays (in English). Available on iTunes and Spotify.

“For me, Fringe is the democratization of theatre in the arts,” said Nick Morra. “It’s a direct connection between the artist and the audience. There’s no curation, there’s no jury – that’s very important with the Fringe. It has to be accessible to anyone and everyone, and that’s its beauty. It’s kind of unique in that way.

“This was especially true in Montreal because, before the Fringe came along, it was a very vibrant arts scene but it was very hoity-toity… Robert Lepage and lots of, you know, very high level theatre and other events, nothing like this at all. It was tough for young people to break in or to make a mark. I think our initial application fee was, like, 200 bucks, and then you put a show together, you come in and you keep all your money. And that just levels the playing field, democratizes theatre.”

“Fringe, for me, is letting people know that theatre can happen anywhere at any time,” shared Kris Morra. “In crazy venues, outside, with poor lighting – that didn’t matter. The Fringe is a place where people are included. It’s a place where you’re safe to share your opinions about things. It’s a place where you can experiment and try new things. Fringe for me is a community, and it’s important to them. I’m thrilled to hear that it stayed that way.”

The Fringebuzz Lab hosted by Sarah Deshaies and Véronick Raymond features an all-star lineup of alumni from the Fringe community including: Tranna Wintour, Maryline Chery, Sarah Berthiaume, Olivier Arteau, Frannie Holder (Random Recipe), Kahlil Ashanti, David Laurin, Patrick Goddard, Francine Grimaldi, Pat Donnelly, Mike Payette, Elsa Bolam, Alison Darcy, Rick Miller, Jocelyn Sioui, Johanna Nutter, Jamie O’Meara, Muriel De Zangroniz (Toxique Trottoir), Mado Lamotte, Jean-Philippe Baril Guérard, and festival founders Kris and Nick Morra.

Festival highlights

  • Digital Fringe-For-All, June 1, on Facebook live and FringeTV.
  • In-person performances. June 10-20. Five venues, 30 local companies, 154 performances.
  • On-demand content available on FringeTV, June 1-20.
  • Selection of This is Not a Fringe and Bouge d’ici Encore content on demand on FringeTV, June 1-20.
  • Special events and livestream performances to be announced!

FringeMTL is guided by five unique principles centred around diversity, community and artistic freedom.

  • No curation! Artists are chosen by lottery or first applied, first accepted or another equitable method.
  • No censorship! Artists have the freedom to present anything they want.
  • Accessibility to artists and audiences! The Fringe provides an easily accessible opportunity for all audiences and all artists to participate by keeping prices low and reducing barriers.
  • Artists keep their money! 100% of ticket price is paid to the artists you see on stage.
  • The Fringe is committed to promoting and modelling inclusivity, diversity and multiculturalism, and will endeavour to incorporate them into all aspects of our organization.

For more information and to purchase your tickets visit:

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