It is now Wednesday July 17th and it is the start of the 2019 Winnipeg Fringe. I know all of you Fringe Fanatics have already been working through your Programs marking your favourites and other shows that you want to see. I was looking at mine and noticed a few new icons for services available at the various venues. They now mark the ones that have restrooms, food and/or adult beverages for sale, and air conditioning. That last one threw me for a little while as the icon looked to my bleary eyes a little like a microwave at first. We have updated our Online Schedule for 2019. You can click on a date and the shows that are on that day will be listed by start time so you can plan your Fringe day. We even have over 20 SSP’s to peruse which are also helpfully listed below.

What’s New at the Fringe—There are a few new things to be aware of that are new and/or different this year. One of the biggest changes has to do with the Pantages Playhouse not being available (as it was up for sale). The Fringe has created two new venues in the old Globe Cinema on the 3rd Floor of Portage Place. The new venues are #3 The Alto and #4 The Rio. They will seat around 250 and 180 people respectively, and assuming they haven’t fallen apart in the 5 years since the movie theatres closed, they should be a welcome addition.

Yesterday—You can check out the Jenny Archives for content from past Fringes (or use the search box in the left column).

For those new to the Winnipeg Fringe, we hope you enjoy yourself. To increase that enjoyment we offer a few Fringe Tips:

  • Don’t be Late!—We cannot stress this enough as the #1 rule of the Fringe is “No Latecomers”. The shows will start on time and Fringe time is set to Bell MTS cell phone time. Once the show starts the doors are locked and there is no getting in. There are two main reasons for this rule:

    1) Entering late would disrupt the performer and the audience;

    and 2)There is not a lot of extra time between performances so the shows need to run on time.

    If you are not familiar with the location of the theatre or need to park give yourself lots of time.

  • If you leave, you can’t come back—Because the theatre doors are locked, if you leave you won’t be able to get back in. If you are going to a 75 or 90 minute show visit the restroom before the show starts.
  • Don’t be Radioactive—Turn off your phone. While 3.6 Roentgen is not great not terrible, keeping your phone on is terrible and can ruin a live performance.
  • Parking is not always free or easy—Finding a spot immediately around Fringe Central can be difficult. You will likely have to walk a few blocks or pony up for one of the parkades (Canadian for multi-level parking structure). Also be aware of Rush Hour no-stopping zones on major routes (no-stopping also means no parking, but with the added bonus of being towed away) and loading zones. Where on street parking is allowed it is paid and has a 2 hour limit Monday to Friday generally until 5:30 pm, with 2 hours free parking on Saturday. Do Not Leave Valuables in your Vehicle.
  • I Like to Ride My Bicycle—The separated bike lanes in parts of the Exchange are now open and the supervised Bike Compound is back, though in a slightly different location behind the Concert Hall on Lily Street. It is the best place to lock up your bike as it has someone watching over it from 10 am until 12:30 am. If you are locking it up elsewhere be sure to use a couple good U-locks and in a high traffic area as bike thievery has been a bit of a scourge in these parts recently.
  • Have Fun—despite some of the doom and gloom downsides the Fringe is the best time of the year to be out and about Downtown. Tons of great people enjoying the weather and amazing live entertainment shows what our Downtown can be.

2018 Jenny Awards

Nuts and Bolts—For those of you who might not know, let me explain what the Jenny Revue is. We are an independent medium for YOU to communicate your thoughts, comments, feelings and reviews about the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. We edit those reviews, shameless self-promotions, and letters and publish them online. While we do have a cadre of Jenny Staff that help fill our web pages with reviews, we want to hear from you. You can contact us via email at Please follow us on Twitter @jennyrevue for updates on when the site is updated and other Fringe news.

  • Reviews—We do a few things differently at the Jenny, one of the biggest differences is we do not use a star or number rating system. Yes that means you actually have to read a review to see what the person reviewing the show thought about it. We have always done it this way, and think that it is a better way to do things. We accept reviews from anyone, with only one condition: You must provide your real name, and some form of contact info (so you can be reached in case we need clarification). Not all the reviews we receive may get published, but in general as long as the review was meaningful it will be published on the website.
  • Shameless Self-Promotion—If you are in a Fringe play and haven’t shamelessly promoted your show, put together 80 words (or less)—different from your program blurb—and send them to us. Clearly mark them as SSPs since it’s difficult to tell the difference between an unqualified rave by a satisfied patron, and a bombastic bit of self-promotion by a company scribe.
  • Letters—Got an opinion on something at the Fringe? It is always better to get it off your chest. Send us your thoughts with your name and contact info and if it catches our eye we’ll spread the word.
  • News—Our editor is always looking for interesting or wacky things that have happened during the Fringe. If you have a tale to tell, let us know.

Last, but certainly not least are the Jenny Awards. It is an end of the Fringe party upstairs at the King’s Head where we gather to celebrate the performers that pour their hearts and souls into this Festival. Some even go home with Donkeys. Our lovely Michelle Cook, First of Her Name, Queen of the Costumes, Sewer of Stitches, and Mother of Donkeys has created over 325 of these amazing awards over the last 25ish years and always comes up with a new look for these coveted wonders. Last year’s awesome wee donkeys are seen in the image to the left.

Murray Hunter