Low Vision Friendly Fringe!

VocalEye is thrilled to partner with the Vancouver Fringe Festival to make their annual event more accessible for people in the blind and low vision community. “Theatre for Everyone!”

The Vancouver Fringe Festival runs for 11 days (September 8 to 18) with more than 700 performances in 21 venues, most of them in the Granville Island and Commercial Drive neighbourhoods. Venue Locations

VocalEye’s consultation with the Fringe last year was all about finding ways to make the whole festival more accessible to people with low vision. Here is a breakdown of this year’s accessible services:

2-for-1 Companion Rate: Regular ticket price is $14. People with vision loss may bring a sighted companion for no extra charge. Please book your tickets through Chelsee at the Fringe Box Office, 604-762-5294. Be sure to mention VocalEye. Save even more with a Frequent Fringe passes: 4 shows for $40, 10 shows for $90 or a marathon 30 shows for $270. Quantities are limited. Also check the schedule for half-price performances.

Free Fringe Memberships for VocalEye members: A Fringe membership is required to attend any show. Regular price is $5 and these memberships will be provided free to VocalEye members. You will need your to present your Fringe Membership with your ticket (printed or electronic) at the door.

Priority Seating: Most of the seating is general admission, so please let the ushers know you require priority seating and they will let you in first to choose your seats.

One described performance: CARRY ON: A Musical, is the one and only production that will be described live at the Fringe this year for audience members with vision loss on Wednesday, September 14 at 7:15 pm at the Firehall Arts Centre.

Low Vision Friendly Shows: Since we can’t describe all 70+ productions in the Festival, we’ve come up with a list of “Low Vision Friendly” performances recommended as suitable for viewing without description. You can view this Low Vision Friendly list in one of 3 formats:

  1. online
  2. Excel spreadsheet
  3. pdf Part 1pdf Part 2

You’re not restricted to the shows on this list. You can attend any show in the Festival and receive the same accessibility benefits. The full Fringe Guide is available online in pdf format and print copies are available at Blenz coffee shops in Vancouver. Please note: Low Vision Friendly shows will NOT be described. 

For more details on the shows themselves, check the Vancouver Presents “Fringe du Jour” articles, which previews a Fringe show a day, most of them on our Low Vision Friendly list.

KickAss Reviews: Last year’s low vision consultant, Deborah Fong, made it out to more than a dozen shows and almost as many venues with a Fringe Festival KickAss Pass. Her reviews and recommendations were so useful, we’ve invited her back this year to do the same. We’ll publish her reviews here and on Facebook and Twitter. We’re running a contest for next year’s KickAss reviewer, check the details below.

KickAss Contest: We’re looking for next year’s KickAss reviewer! The winner of the contest will receive a KickAss Pass to the Vancouver Fringe 2017, that’s unlimited free admission for you and a guest to review as many shows as you can next year. Only VocalEye members with vision loss are eligible to enter. Here’s how:

  1. attend a Fringe show
  2. write a short review of that show including the date and time you attended
  3. send it to us: info@vocaleye.ca
  4. rinse and repeat!

Each review gets 1 point with bonus points for submitting within 24 hours. The person with the most points wins the pass. Deadline for entries is September 20, 2016.

VocalEye memberships are free to any adult with vision loss, 18 years of age and older. Please call us for more information, 604-364-5949.

We hope these accessibility initiatives will make it easy and affordable for you to grab a friend and have a Fringetastic time! Let us know what you think!