Community Conversations

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Community Conversations

Calgary Fringe Festival Artist Services

Calling all fringe artists!

With the cancellation of live performing events and consequently the infrastructure on which many artist livelihoods were built, there has been much loss and grieving in our community—cyclical to some very exciting experiments, adaptations, advocacy, and resiliency.

The Calgary Fringe has previously announced that we cannot proceed with our 2020 festival. In light of that loss, we are now ready to ask: What can we grow instead this season?

To that end, the Calgary Fringe Festival will be hosting two community conversations in July to consult with artists as part of the long-term strategic planning of our artist services department, in addition to research around the particular and immediate challenges artists are facing during the pandemic—and more to the point, how the Calgary Fringe can help.

We are hosting these conversations and tending strategic planning of the artist services department on the belief that artist services (serving artists) is a core part of our organization, regardless of whether we are able to produce a festival.

The Calgary Fringe sees and acknowledges the labour and time artists will gift us by participating in these conversations. Our intention with these conversations is to better serve Fringe artists, and we will be reciprocal partners by taking on the labour of organizing, executing, and cultivating the initiatives rooted in these gatherings.

The community conversations will gather information around three fundamental questions for the Calgary Fringe Festival.

  • What is artist services?
  • What does it mean to serve fringe artists?
  • What does it mean to serve artists for the 2020 Calgary Fringe Festival?
  • We will unpack these questions on Zoom in a combination of large forums (general Zoom chat) and more intimate conversations (Zoom break-out rooms).

These community conversations will be facilitated by the Director of Artist Services, Savanna Harvey. Calgary Fringe Festival Director/Producer Michele Gallant will be in attendance. The sessions will be recorded and Savanna/Michele will be taking notes on behalf of the Calgary Fringe Festival.

If this style of community consultation is not your preferred method of sharing, please get in touch with Savanna to arrange an alternative form of exchange.

If you won’t be available for the community conversation but would still like to follow and participate, there is an option in the registration form for this. Select the option to be sent a recording of general Community Conversation. You are then most welcome to send Savanna your contribution to the conversation, as an asynchronous event participant.

Date: July 14, 2020, 6:00pm, 1.5 hours

This event is open to all interested artists, regardless of whether you have participated in the Calgary Fringe or not—although it will be helpful if you are familiar with our festival or the fringe generally, or if you have an interest in the larger infrastructure and culture of performing arts presentation, etc. Information gathered during this conversation will inform the Calgary Fringe’s future artist programs and service design. This community consultation is a vital component of building a long-term, community-centred strategy for the Calgary Fringe department of artist services.

The two core questions of this gathering will be:

  • What is artist services?
  • What does it mean to serve fringe artists?

Accessibility Notes

We are seeing if it is possible to bring in an ASL interpreter for the general conversation. If this is necessary for your participation, please let us know in the registration form.

  • There will be a room agreement to guide appropriate and generative discourse during the community conversations and maintain a respectful space for all participants.
  • Participants will be asked to state their name before speaking (this is beneficial to get to know one another, supports low-vision/blind/individuals without video access ex. telephoning in, etc.).
  • Participants will be asked to identify when they are finished speaking (helps prevent interrupting, accessibility practice for low vision/blind).
  • Any graphics and screen visuals will be described.
  • Participants will be invited to designate their names and pronouns in their Zoom nametag.
  • In the registration form, there is an opportunity to identify specific access needs. We will do our best to meet your access needs!

We will also hold space at the top of the community conversations to identify any access needs at that time, to be shared either openly or anonymously, as desired.

We will email registrants the Zoom meeting details, as this is a best practice in Zoom meeting security and keeps bad actors out of our space (Zoom bombing). If the registration form is a barrier, you are welcome to email Savanna

Thank you in advance for your insights and time!

For more information and to register, visit

For more information about the Calgary Fringe Festival, visit

The Calgary Fringe acknowledges that we live, work, and create on the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta, which includes the Blackfoot Confederacy (comprising the Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai First Nations), the Tsuut’ina First Nation, and the Stoney Nakoda (including the Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley First Nations). The City of Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III. We are grateful for this land and its peoples that host our festival and its local and international artists. The Calgary Fringe Festival celebrates and holds the values of story-sharing, equity, and community in the spirit of reconciliation.

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