Centaur & the Montreal Fringe

The Fringe Turns 30!

Even at the ‘all-growed-up’ age of 30, Montreal’s St-Ambroise Fringe Festival is still as youthfully spontaneous, energetic, and joyful as when it first began and we’re so pumped for its upcoming 30th anniversary. How lucky are we to have such a cool arts organization committed to Importing international artists, showcasing our own city’s unique theatre, dance, clown, comedy, music and puppet communities, and giving emerging and established artists an annual occasion to experiment and play.

A woman with brown hair shoots out confetti from on stage
Festival St-Ambroise Fringe de Montreal Artistic Director Amy Blackmore and spokesperson Helen Simard. Photo Joseph St. Marie

We are proud of our long association with this crazy, unpredictable kick-off event to Montreal’s renowned summer festival frenzy. Twenty five years ago, when we debuted the Wildside Festival, initially dubbed Walk on the Wild Side, we frequently included Fringe show remounts, introducing the artists to wider audiences. 

Nisha Coleman with the 2017 Centaur Jury and her director Jeff Gandell, receiving the Best English Production of the Fringe Award for Self Exile.

In 2005 we made that practice official when we established a Centaur Theatre Frankie Award which gave one outstanding Fringe production a starring slot in the Wildside Festival. Over the years the award has had several incarnations—Off the Main Award, Best of the Fest Award, and most recently Best English Production —but no matter the moniker, the award has always stood for uninhibited, innovative, unique storytelling.

While still in the wake of a global pandemic, the Fringe Festival’s 30th anniversary year will likely be one of the most unique since its inception. We applaud the Fringe’s unwavering commitment to originality, its flexibility and resilience, and all that it’s done to promote the performing arts and provide a platform for artists of all backgrounds and levels of experience to take risks. Don’t miss this milestone edition, taking place from June 1 to 20 – in person and online!

Let’s take a walk down memory lane with some of Centaur’s ‘best of the fest’ shows that walked on the Wildside …

Wildside 13 – 2010
my pregnant brother Centaur’s OFF THE MAIN Award

By Johanna Nutter

Wildside 14 – 2011
Miss Sugerpuss Must Die  BEST OF THE FRINGE

By Holly Gauthier-Frankel and Paul Van Dyck

Wildside 15 – 2012
Blink Blink Blink  BEST OF THE FRINGE

By Kirsten Rasmussen

Wildside 16 – 2013
A Day in the Life of Miss Hiccup BEST OF THE FRINGE

By Yanomi
(Banner image feature)

Wildside 17 – 2014
Little Orange Man BEST OF THE FRINGE

Kathleen Greenfield and Ingrid Hansen

Wildside 18 -2015
Aiden Flynn Lost His Brother So He Makes Another BEST OF THE FRINGE

Nathane Howe & Morgan Murray

Wildside 19 – 2016
Miss Katelyn’s Grade Threes Prepare For The Inevitable  BEST OF THE FRINGE

By Elena Belyea

Wildside 20 – 2017

Written by, and featuring  Nisha Coleman

Wildside 21 – 2018
The Morning After The Life Before BEST ENGLISH PRODUCTION

Written By Ann Blake and Featuring: Ann Blake and Lucia Smyth

Wildside 22 – 2019
Crime After Crime (After Crime) BEST ENGLISH PRODUCTION Nominee

Presented by Sex T-Rex
Featuring Conor Bradbury, Julian Frid, Kaitlin Morrow, Seann Murray 

Wildside 23 – 2020

Presented by Vancouver’s Mind of a Snail Puppet Company
Created & Performed by Jessica Gabriel & Chloe Ziner