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Okanagan residents gear up for the Kelowna International Fringe Festival

It’s a theatre lovers' dream, and “Summer of The Fringe” is sure to wow crowds from across the Okanagan this summer.

New Vintage Theatre’s annual Kelowna International Fringe Festival will be bringing in 28 different acts from performers across North America for seven full days of spell-binding drama.

Following suit with other Fringe Festivals across the globe, these performances are an uncensored opportunity for actors, directors and musicians to offer new and cutting-edge shows without limitations.

Many of this year’s performers will have toured cities throughout the country with Kelowna as their last stop on the Fringe circuit.

"We're so excited you’re here to celebrate the arts with us. Whether this is your first Fringe or you’re a frequent Fringer, we hope that this year’s festival is something you’ll remember fondly for years to come," said Kimberly Billinton, the Fringe Festival Organizer.

Shows this year will range from comedy to drama; one-person to large-scale musicals and everything in between.

Local stars featured include favourite musicians Anna Jacyszyn with Can I Sing A Song For You-Songs and the stories behind them and Josh & Bex with their show Everything Everywhere, along with tributes to Sarah McLachlan by Niki Martinus and Peggy Lee by Nicole Kraft.

If you’re a fan of comedy, there are two hilarious new parodies making the rounds this year. One about the '007' movies called ‘Special Guest’ by Jeremy Beaulne, another about phony ghosthunters called ‘Screamish’ by Erin Hazelhurst.

Looking for some fast-paced action, dance shows include pop hit Footloose-The Musical, and a more contemporary movement is showcased in a provocative piece by Evolve Collective called Re: Collection.

The highly anticipated Black Cat Cabaret also returns to New Vintage Theatre as the opening of the festival. Watch six 10-minute plays from local directors, at the end, the audience gets to vote for their favourite. The author of the winning play will then be awarded $500 after the festival.

"In these ever-changing times for artists, having people see their work is more crucial than ever. So please take the time to safely get involved however you can,” said Lucy Eveleigh, President of the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals.

“You are ambassadors for these artists, and your support has a meaningful effect on their careers."

With so many shows to choose from this year, you can score your tickets to each show early with prices ranging from $13 to $20.

Those who are attending shows this year will also need to make a one-time purchase of a Fringe pin, which must be worn upon entry to any of the venues with the exception of the food truck area and children attending Kids Fringe with a “pinned” adult.

"By proudly wearing your bear and sitting in our audiences you are not only supporting the artists you see, but a worldwide movement that believes in the democracy of performance and the motto of New Vintage Theatre - “theatre for all,” explained Bonnie Gratz, the Artistic Director for New Vintage Theatre.

The Kelowna International Fringe Festival runs from Aug. 29 to Sept. 4 and more information about tickets and shows can be found online here.

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