The 2022 Victoria Fringe Festival is a wrap, and it’s almost a full return to form. This event ran from August 24 to Sept 4 and was well attended. I passed by many lineups while wandering Downtown Victoria at those venues that hosted, and the one big thing that changed, as a result of the pandemic, was the lack of seeing talents run from venue to venue to pass along flyers of their shows, and saying you must check it out. While there were fewer places hosting, that’s to be expected (assuming if they adhered to indoor health code regulations).
An internal change that not every patron is aware of is to buy tickets in advance (online or at the box office). I observed a few people were unaware, and instead of being turned away, were allowed to purchase at the door. I’m glad Intrepid Theatre was aware this situation may happen, and were prepared. I suspect further revisions will be in store to help streamline future events. And as the world transitions to accepting Covid-19 won’t go away, further tweaks will be made. All anyone can do is to be mindful in how things must now operate to keep everyone healthy and safe.
As a result, I didn’t attend as many shows as I used to. I’m also waiting for the return of fond favourites, acts from abroad which are touring elsewhere or couldn’t make it into Canada (due to travel restrictions). This year was noticeably more local. Due to the nature of how acts are chosen (by lottery), it’s always possible the international act didn’t get selected. The following is a list of shows I went to and posted a review on the brother site, otakunoculture.com
- Hollow Hound Arts Collective’s Ouroboros Winds Its Way Through Victoria Fringe
- The Sci-Fi Sampler is Everything a Nerd Wants
- Amit Solanki’s Spiritualarious is Back
And the list of which shows won awards can be found posted online. I’m debating if I want to visit Vancouver this coming weekend or next week to check out a few acts that didn’t make it to the island.
While Intrepid Theatre encouraged patrons to wear masks during the performance, what I found is that the ratio from masked to non is one for every ten. It’s safe to say everyone wants to put the pandemic behind. The onus is on the person rather than organisation on how to manage this situation, and honestly, I don’t blame anyone for going back to living the life pre-pandemic than post. I saw it when this city Greek Fest ran for two weekends (for nearly six full days) without too many issues.
Downtown, Harbour Blues ‘n Roots Festival (August 25-28) was rocking it and a bit up penninsula, the Saanich Fair (Labour Day Weekend) was bustling! I managed to check out a bit of everything that’s within my comfort zone. I can hum along to Katrina and the Waves’s song, “I’m walkin on sunshine,” than trying to find the cure for “The Summertime Blues” because this city was busy with plenty of activities to partake in.
Coming up next is Esquimalt Ribfest (Sept 9-11), Victoria Cheese and Meat Artisan Food and Beverage Festival (Sept 10), Rifflandia (Sept 15-18th) and The Art of Cocktail (Oct 15th)! The last days of Summer aren’t until late September, so it’s time to enjoy fun in the sun until the Harvest Moon comes.