2010 FESTIVAL REVIEW
Photos courtesy of our contributors to the Vancouver Fringe Festival Flickr group: Thorsten Gohl Vanessa Griffiths Lachlan McAdam Gala Milne Skot Nelson
Graphic design by: Maria Simpson
: S T N E T N
2010 Festival Review.......................................... 2 Sponsors........................................................... 4 New Initiatives................................................... 6
Mac Station iPad contest giveaway Expansion of Buzz Boards More Ad Space TV Commercial Opening Night................................................... 8
Fringe Bar........................................................ 11 Awards Night................................................... 12
iPhone App...................................................... 14 Talks & Workshops.......................................... 15 Food Bank........................................................ 15
Fringe Impact................................................... 16 Website & E-newsletters Plans for 2011
UNITING TALENT W 2010 Festival Review >>> What a Festival!
We staged 654 performances of 82 shows for an audience of 31, 262—that’s an increase of 39% over last year! We launched a new outdoor music stage and boy did we party (even in the torrential rain!). Reports from everyone were that the quality of the shows was excellent and the numbers tell that story. We saw a 26% increase in our memberships and a 51% increase in box office revenue paid out to artists! Supporting our artists is what we do, so we’re really happy with that number! So what made such a colossal difference, everyone asks? Really, it was the stability of several very good years and the support of our entire community, particularly our sponsors! We were able to restructure our volunteer program and build a new internship program at the Fringe. This meant we had the staffing levels that we needed to ensure the volunteer program ran like clockwork and that we were able to launch new initiatives like an expanded social networking initiative and a new iPhone app! Everyone pitched in to make this year’s Fringe a people powered success.
We welcomed more Bring Your Own Venue shows than ever before including two shows on a fire escape and one on board a bicycle built for four! A troupe of teens took the Fringe by storm with their performance of the Broadway musical “13.” With the hype of television’s “Glee” behind them they were the Festival’s top grossing show and even won the audience choice Public Market Pick of the Fringe award. As always, the program was full of surprises large and small. Together they all made up the wonderful diversity of the Festival.
WITH OPPORTUNITY 3
s e s c w n o rma h S o 2 f 8 Per dees n 4 9 e 0 5 t 0 6 At s over 2 2 e e 6 s d p n i 2 e h t , t s s r a e e 1 u n b 3 crease i in mem ts’ reven In e is t s r % a a 39 Incre e in s % a e 6 r 2 c n I 51%
THANK YO U!
CMHC Gra nville Islan d, Mac Station, C TV, McAu slanSt. Ambr oise, Van couver 24Hours, Mark Ant hony Group (Wil d Horse C anyon), Speedpro Imaging, Agro CafĂŠ, Cami no, Hatch C reative Group, In dustry Im ages, Dockside Restaura nt & Brewing C ompany, O rigins Organic Co ffee, CiTR 1 01.9fm, Nate Organ ics, Blenz C offee, The Aquab us and Yelp !
<<< SPONSORS Fringe Festival sponsors play an important role in contributing to the success of the Festival. Cash donations and increased in-kind donations from our sponsors supported Festival operations and added to the Fringe’s success as British Columbia’s largest theatre festival. We recognized sponsors at each venue, on our website, in our program guide, and through our marketing, especially our e-mail based marketing to our huge database of patrons (now over 24,000 strong!). A big thanks to our returning sponsors: CMHC Granville Island, Mac Station, CTV, McAuslan-St. Ambroise, Vancouver 24Hours, Mark Anthony Group (Wild Horse Canyon), Speedpro Imaging, Agro Café, Camino, Hatch Creative Group, Industry Images, Dockside Restaurant & Brewing Company, Origins Organic Coffee, CiTR 101.9fm, Nate Organics, Blenz Coffee, and The Aquabus! Every 2009 sponsor returned in 2010 and the majority of them significantly increased their commitments! We’re so proud of this clear and strong vote of confidence. Their renewed support makes us feel like one big happy family! Such continuing investment also provides crucial stability that is integral to the ongoing health of the Festival. Our new sponsor for 2010, Yelp, is an online customer review site, which we know will fit in with the word of mouth culture of the Festival and will Yelp our success out to the rest of the world in the years to come!
<<< NEW INITIATIVES The exciting thing about working with returning sponsors is having the opportunity to improve initiatives or develop new ones that help enhance Festival life for our patrons, artist, and volunteers. Some of our new initiatives this year included:
Mac Station iPad contest giveaway
Patrons entered this exciting new contest by tweeting, tagging on facebook, and more traditional means! It generated a lot of buzz and one lucky winner.
Expansion of Buzz Boards
Through our partnership with Speedpro Imaging we install temporary window covering that patrons are encouraged to write on as a means of spreading festival “buzz”. The initiative was so successful last year, this year we spread it from one venue to seven!
More ad space
When we asked Vancouver 24Hours if we could have a few earlier ads to promote our ticket sales launch, they doubled their donation of ad space. Wow! These ads helped promote our new iPhone app, our Opening Night, our program guide and ticket offers!
A TV commercial!
With a little help from some friends including a clown, a producer, a videographer, and CTV, we created our first ever TV commercial that aired on CTV as well as on large outdoor screens downtown. All for free! Now that’s leverage. You can even see it on YouTube if you missed it!
G N I N OPE he Opening Night is the Fringe Festival’s premier fundraising event. It’s also T the spark that ignites the Festival as a whole! The audience enjoyed nibbling on tasty hors d’oeuvres from Dockside Restaurant, the Keg, and Cats Social House, sampling wines from Mark Anthony Group, and bidding on a wide range of silent auction items (including art work, spa packages, tickets for cultural events, and more). Then CTV reporter and sports anchor, Jason Pires, welcomed the audience to the night’s entertainment — the live auction and 2010 Festival previews! We revamped the event by moving it to Performance Works on Granville Island. The venue provided the perfect casual and crazy atmosphere we wanted. The crazy part came from emcee and auctioneer David C. Jones. Audiences loved him so much as our 2009 auctioneer that we made him emcee for the entire 2010 event, and boy did he run with the ball! The evening included guest appearances from Vancouver’s best actors and directors and even a special appearance by Tommy Chong, whose daughter Precious Chong had a show in the Festival! In total, the night raised over $20,000 for the Fringe!
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0 1 0 2 , 7 R E B M SEPTE
<<< ST. AMBROISE FRINGE BAR AT AGRO CAFÉ & The Wild Horse Stage
The place to be before, after, and between shows this year was at the St. Ambroise Fringe Bar at Agro Café. In its second year at Agro Café the bar really hit its stride this year. Wild Horse Canyon’s increased sponsorship commitment helped us to nudge our music stage outdoors and turn it into a mini music festival! We programmed a fantastic array of local talent from bluegrass to hip hop to keep the party going every night and add to the amazing atmosphere of celebration. Here’s to the first year of the Wild Horse Stage!
FRINGE A NIGHT 12
The second annual Fringe Awards Night closed the Festival and included the naming of winners of the Public Market Pick of the Fringe and other awards. Annual awards included the coveted Cultchivating the Fringe Award and the Joanna Maratta Award. Both of these awards help develop new work from emerging artists.
…it has allowed me the unconditional support needed to grow as an artist. When I started doing the Fringe I was an actor and now I’m also a producer, a director, and I’ve even started writing.
~M arisa Smith, whose show Wicked Shorts won this year’s Cultchivating the Fringe and Joanna Maratta awards
This is the type of effect we’re aiming to have with our awards. We’re so excited to continue to develop sustained support for inspiring young artists like Marisa.
AWA R D S SEPTEMBER 19, 20 10
iphone app >>>
Powered by xomo, a world leader in smart phone app development, we launched a new iPhone app complete with GPS map of the Festival, favourites tab, venue and daily schedule, as well as social media plug-ins. Downloads of the app ran to 829 people, who used it to guide their Festival experience. Of these users, 48% opened the app more than nine times, with some users opening it up to 200 times! We got lots of rave reviews from Festival goers like these: “I picked up my iPhone and on your site found a handy mobile [F]ringe guide. I downloaded it and in doing so discovered one of the coolest, easily accessible apps ever!” “It told me what shows were playing at the time based on my proximity to a venue. I jumped on my bike and checked out 2 plays that evening. I perused the app between shows and decided to see more the next day.” “I put an invite out on facebook inviting friends to join me. The next day one friend was near the drive and joined me at Havana. She had been meaning to go to the [F]ringe, but never made it until the mobile app made it easy.” “On leaving Havana, I checked my phone to find 2 other friends who had been meaning to attend the [F]ringe had responded to my invite. We all met up and browsed my mobile guide together, picking 2 more shows that evening.” “The shows were so good that one of my friends and I decided to return the next day. The next morning as my friend and I were meeting to leave, my roommate inquired into what we were doing. I showed her the mobile app and she decided to join too! We saw 2 more shows.”
“Your mobile web app ended up bringing 5 new folks to the [F]ringe, who watched 7 shows. We bought 16 tickets in total.”
<<< Talks & Workshops
We greatly expanded our artist talks and workshops component this year as a means to promote artistic dialogue and open up the creative process to audiences. We were pleasantly surprised to have all the Talks and Workshops full to the brim. Topics ranged from cultural exchange to Fringe touring to career development. We even had someone doing her PhD on clowns attend our first ever Clown Conference! No kidding!
<<< Food Bank
When we asked Origins Organic Coffee how we could best recognize their sponsorship of the Fringe, owner John Sanders suggested a contribution to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. Fringe artists jumped on board, donating over $1,900 of their hard-earned ticket revenue through our Food Bank Shows program. We also collected Food Bank donations from our Awards Night audience to add an extra $450 to the total. The Food Bank can leverage three dollars of food for every dollar donated, meaning that we helped raise over $7000 worth of food!! An added benefit was the awareness raised through the marketing around these shows.
pp, a e m o s e w Thanks! A eting. I am k great mar e app on my h keeping t next year :-) phone for
E G N I FR <<< WEBSITE & E-NEWSLETTERS According to Klout, who measure the online influence of social media:
“Your followers rely on you, not only to share the relevant news, but to give your opinion on the issues. People look to you to help them understand the day’s developments. You understand what’s important and what your audience values.”
In 2010, we added social networking widgets to better integrate all our Web presence. Vancouverfringe.com is regularly updated and we’ve clocked over 105,000 unique visitors and 200,000 visits in the past year, with 27,000 visiting the site in September 2010. Our e-newsletters are sent out to a list of over 24,000 people and we have an average open rate that is above industry standards. Each newsletter we send out (monthly, with more frequency just before and during the Festival), not only includes sponsor logos but also sponsor profiles. We highlight the latest news from our sponsors, their history as an organization, or their involvement with the Fringe, and include links whenever possible so that our patrons can get a more in-depth understanding of our sponsor community. As usual, the Fringe receives a huge amount of unpaid media in addition to our purchased and sponsored ads. This year, a conservative estimate puts the Fringe unpaid media value at almost $80,000. That doesn’t include the online versions of media, online review sites, blogs, or social media impact. One measure of social media impact is through the web-based service Klout, where we are classified as a Thought Leader in our industry.
T C A P IM 17
PLANS FOR 2011 >>> In 2010 we underwent an in-depth planning process to re-evaluate our mission, vision, and strategic plan for the next three years. We’re excited and already working on some of the priorities like expanding the Festival outdoor presence on Granville Island! We invite you to join us in the continued growth of this marvelous little festival! We’re open to your ideas for the 27th year of the Vancouver International Fringe Festival and we welcome your investment in our Vision of “Theatre for Everyone.” In the coming months we’ll be shaping our 2011 plans, so have your ideas ready!
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