Zach Running Coyote and Justin Lanouette on stage in Kohkum & me
Zach Running Coyote and Justin Lanouette in Kohkum & me | Photo: Rew Armstrong, courtesy of the Calgary Fringe Festival

Calgary Fringe Festival

Get ready for the weird, wild, and wacky with anything goes theatre

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Location Various Venues 
  • Price $2 - $15
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Unexpected, uncensored, and unashamed, it’s time to get weird, wild, and wacky as the Calgary Fringe Festival brings a lineup of performances from around the globe to town for its 14th annual affair.

The festival plays host to local, national, and international theatre artists and companies including fringe circuit favourites, local talent, and new faces. From its home base in Inglewood to satellite venues at Arts Commons, Vertigo Theatre, and Lunchbox Theatre, all the acts are selected by lottery draw, or by a first come, first serve system.

“This is anything goes theatre,” says Festival Director and Producer Michele Gallant, in a statement. “There’s something for everyone! I always encourage patrons to take a chance and go see a show they would not normally choose for themselves.”

With a bit of everything on offer, you can find physical theatre to sketch comedy, improv to drama, storytelling to musicals, kids’ theatre to poetry—you never know what’s going to be the surprise hit. But if were where to take a guess, we’d put these shows on our not-to-be-missed list!

Here are our picks for this year’s Calgary Fringe Festival:

50 Fun Things

August 2 – 9, 2019
Alexandra Centre (922 9th Ave. SE)

Seth and Kelsey are testing out a theory—no matter what your situation in life is, there are always at least 50 fun things you can find to be done. A romantic comedy musical all about love, the possibilities hiding in everyday life, and the power of fun, Jeffery Hoffman and Karin Atkinson star in this light-hearted adventure.

A silly photo of Jeffery Hoffman and Karin Atkinson

Karin Atkinson and Jeffery Hoffman in 50 Fun Things | Photo: Courtesy of the Calgary Fringe Festival

Death – A Romantic Comedy

August 2 – 10, 2019
Alexandra Centre (922 9th Ave. SE)

A fringe circuit favourite, comic, poet, and psych nurse Rob Gee returns with this comedy about drinking, death, falling in love, and a missing pacemaker. Grab your tickets quick for this one, it’s bound to sell out.

Disparate Worlds at the End of the World

August 2 – 10, 2019
ArtPoint Gallery (1038 17th Ave. SE)

Created and performed by local artist Alisha VanWieren, Disparate Worlds at the End of the World takes place in a futuristic time where the world has been changed through natural disaster and technological overload. Though Kai wishes for excitement and stability, threats from south of the border challenge any stasis in her life and no one knows the exact nature of what is coming. Be sure to check out this intriguing show.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

August 3, 2019, 1:00pm
Alexandra Centre (922 9th Ave. SE)

What the heck is happening? The video production just went sideways and all kinds of mayhem is breaking loose! Will anyone survive the ensuing hilarity? Presented by the Alexandra Centre Society’s DramAntics Kids’ Theatre, see what happens next in this family-friendly production. Written, starring, and produced by the program’s young participants, this show is always a wacky highlight of the festival.

Kohkum & me

August 4 – 10, 2019
Motel Theatre, Arts Commons (225 8th Ave. SE)

In an age when Greyhound buses are extinct, a young man hops one to Vancouver, and meets an old Indigenous woman who claims to be Jesus. Kohkum & me is a virtuosic folk musical about identity and how the spirit world calls us home from The Rest of Us Theatre Co. Don’t miss it!

Another great way to check out the fringe is to make a day of it and just drift from show to show. You never know what you’re going to see and it’s a fantastic way to get outside your comfort zone. If you need help, just swing by the information booth located at the Alexandra Centre (922 9th Ave. SE). The volunteers are always quick with recommendations, directions, and more.

And don’t forget to get your fringe button before your first show! Think of it as your fringe membership. Each button is $5, assists with covering festival costs, and allows the artists to keep 100% of their ticket revenue.

The Calgary Fringe Festival runs August 2 to 10, 2019. Head to for the full schedule.