The Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival - 2009

Once again as our short summer draws to a close, the Edmonton Fringe Festival returns for its 28th year. The economy appears to have little impact in Strathcona's festival haven as this year's Fringe reports some record sales.

Local and international artists alike perform their various specialties in the streets. Edmonton restaurants offer their best for Fringers to sample as they work their way through street performnaces on 83rd Avenue and other areas.

Watch a 30 second Fringe video here
Articles by Eva Blaskovic
Donald's Creations Are Out of This World! read
Find Your Remedy at Remedy Café read
The Coolest Geek read
Dulcimer Passion read
Long Day at The Fringe? You Knead a Break read
Man of Few Words read

Donald's Creations Are Out of This World!

Donald MiskolzieDonald takes ordinary spray paints, kitchen gadgets such as bowls and stove top covers, and bits of paper - and creates masterpieces that are out of this world. Moons and shooting stars, pyramids and prehistoric lakes, and hills and waterfalls all come to life beneath his comet tail of spray paint as it flies from the nozzle of the can.

You can find Donald by following the space-age music down 104th Street, close to the Main Stage. If you can't see him, he's behind an arc of spectactors billowing out from the line of white tents.

Ipicture 1f you like what you see but don't like the colours, Donald will change them for you. Custom orders? Absolutely. Or you can look through his photo booklet for ideas. And while you wait, you're in for a show! Just squeeze in with the rest of the mesmerized onlookers as Donald lets loose his creativity. When the painting is done, you're sure to hear applause as he holds it up for all to see.

Donald's art has traditionally been done on paper, but if you have a truck, a guitar, or anything else you want customized and personalized, contact him and let your imagination (or his) run wild.

Donald calls Edmonton home, but he has also worked festivals in Saskatoon and Winnipeg this summer. Jason, his assistant, does much of the public relations and order taking while Donald is busy creating. To meet Donald and Jason, see a stunning show, or purchase a lasting keepsake, visit the Fringe along 104th Street and look for a blue tarp near a jewellery tent. While you're there, buy a fridge magnet or button with a picture of one of his masterpieces. You'll see me wearing mine!

Donald miskolzie


Find Your Remedy at The Remedy Café

Remedy CafeRemedy Café, which serves specialties such as mango lassi, apple cider, and chai at the Fringe, is comfortably nestled near the Main Stage and makes the best homemade chai latte in the city, either hot or cold, with a choice of whole or soy milk and a dash of Indian spice. The cafe, located at 8631-109 Street only a few blocks away, serves many low-fat Pakistani and Indian selections such as channa masala, spicy tandoori chicken, palak paneer, and butter chicken. Most of these are available as either a dish or a wrap, and spices can be adjusted to satisfy the sensitive or the adventurous! Dahl, a spicy lentil soup, is also a favourite menu item. Most foods are low in fat and many are suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets. Sohail, known to most as Zee, is the friendly and approachable owner of this tasty establishment. Grab a wrap and a movie next door, and you're set for the night.

For a taste of what Remedy Café has to offer at the Fringe this year, come visit the tent on 83rd Avenue near the other food vendors. Say "hi" to Jag, who operates the tent for 14 hours each day throughout the ten days of the festival, and tell him Eva sent you.

Here's a heads-up for travellers and festival-goers: Jonathan Kawchuk (below), who works at the Remedy Café tent, hopes to perform at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival in 2010. Good luck to you, Jonathan!

Remedy Café
Food from Pakistan and India
Homemade Chai, Kashmire Chai
Eat in or take out
8631-109 St. Edmonton, Alberta


The Coolest Geek

GeekwareNicola Harper was a Waste Management Engineer prior to forming her company, Geekware. She has scouted numerous landfills and continues to collect obsolete electronic equipment, which she meticulously cleans and transforms into unique items such as clocks, wall hangings, business card holders, earrings, cuff links, tie clips, and rulers, to name a few. Each item is conceived, designed, and constructed by Nicola herself. She also packages and ships her items internationally.

If you are looking for an original, carefully hand-crafted item for yourself or as a gift, visit Nicola at her tent on 83rd Avenue near 103rd Street across from the Strathcona Farmer's Market while the Fringe lasts (until August 23rd) or go to her website at You may find that her creations become addictive, and over time you need to get more to add to your collection. (Well, that's what happened to me, anyway.)

I strongly encourage that you check out the pictures on Nicola's website. She is constantly generating new items and takes custom orders as well. Among the new items this year are cassette tape clocks and Mac disk clocks, which you will find at the Fringe alongside her circuit board clocks.

What a brilliant way to recycle and keep obsolete equipment out of landfills! These "geeky gifts" are fun, attractive, and useful, and beautifully display Nicola's artistic talents and creativity.

Nicola Harper


Dulcimer Passion

DulcimerVince Conaway's passion for his way of life is unmistakable. You hear it even before you see him, music reminiscent of piano with the rapid, tapping rhythm of snare drum winding its way through streets milling with Fringers. When you finally spot him, the first thing you see is a smile that never leaves his face as he hammers out tunes of Medieval, Celtic, and Irish styles, and countless songs he has written himself. As he plays, he tells you the history behind the hammered dulcimer, dating back to the 1100s.

Taking refuge in entertainment: The value of Vince's music reaches far beyond simple pleasantries. He played shortly after two disastrous events paralyzed the United States and shocked us here in Canada: the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Vince found that the size of his audience increased and his music provided an oasis of temporary escapism from the ongoing barrage of terrible news—a chance for people to replenish their energy and begin healing.

Vince is a full-time professional musician performing at festivals, events, and as a busker throughout Europe and North America. In the past year, he has performed at medieval and renaissance events in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Louisiana; street festivals in Edmonton (Canada), Croatia, Austria, and Montenegro; and as a busker in Italy and Seattle.

Vince's background is both Irish and Italian. Originally, he played the mandolin, but switched to dulcimer ten years ago and is completely self-taught in both. He got his Bachelor of Science in Engineering but decided to follow his "bliss" instead.

At this year's Fringe, you will find Vince playing near Orange Hall or on 83rd Avenue. For more information about the hammered dulcimer, Vince's travels, samples of his music, or to order CDs, contact him at:


Long Day at the Fringe? You Knead a Break

ReflexologyIt's a hot, muggy day at the Fringe. The Healing Through Reflexes tent owned by Julie Leblanc is located near the train tracks—a perfect place to stop and regenerate with an invigorating reflexology session or soothing chair massage.

Warning! One session of either is never enough!

Men, women, and children alike come for sessions at the booth. Performers and artists stationed at the Fringe visit daily to heal and replenish themselves as they face yet another 12-hour day.

Julie Leblanc (pictured above) is a registered massage therapist, certified reflexologist, and certified baby massage instructor. She offers her services at home parties and does in-home sessions.

Debra Cookson (pictured below on the left) runs the Academy of Reflexology. Following the Fringe, she will be ready to have a massage herself and take a vacation, so she will be off to Thailand to experience Thai massage first hand. Debra, who is legally blind, is particularly interested in healing through touch.

Gail Corpan's (below on the right) company is called RNR Healings. She offers Indian Champissage and Reiki as well as reflexology and massage therapy. It is her third year at the Fringe and she loves the repeat customers

Carla Carson also performs reflexology and massage at the booth. As these arts become increasingly recognized, more people line up for the rejuvenating sessions.Reflexology2

Once you have had one or both of these forms of healing, you realize how badly your body or feet needed (I mean, kneaded) it!

These talented women come from either the Edmonton or Sherwood Park area. Their contact information is listed below. Massages and reflexology sessions make great Christmas gifts.

Julie Leblanc, Healing Through Reflexes, 780-920-3149

Debra Cookson, Academy of Reflexology, 780-235-3720

Gail Korpan, RNR Healings, 780-467-1277

Carla Carson
Reflexology and Massage, 780-893-4450


A Man of Few Words

Daniel OneStatue or Man? No matter how long you stare at him, he's perfectly motionless, standing on a platform near the food concessions and Orange Hall. It's not visible in the picture, but in front of him is a tin can labelled: "Feed Me." If you drop in a coin, it's sure to make a loud, clinking sound, stirring the living statue to life. He bows, then returns to his original position.

An unsuspecting person passing behind may set him in motion and get a finger wagged in warning. Children giggle and drop more coins to see new antics. He high-fives them.

He has hugged ladies and shaken men's hands. But beware: if he freezes into position while your hand is shaken, you may end up staying that way until someone releases you with another clatter of a coin in his can. His jerky, undulating movements captivate passersby and they stop to watch. Those who pay no notice may be spooked from behind as he creeps up, stealthy as a shadow, and taps them on the shoulder.

Daniel two

Meet Daniel Anderson, graduate of Theatre Arts (MacEwan, 2006). His acting background, Stephen King interests, and regular yoga workouts combine to create this unique character that draws attention wherever he goes. Daniel has worked at the Edmonton Horror Festival as a CREEPSHOW zombie, and busked on Whyte Avenue and at the Fringe. He wears the remnants of his zombie clothes, painted over with a black latex. The living statue motif has brought Daniel considerable success and enjoyment. Originally from Vermilion, Alberta, he now calls Edmonton home.

Daniel Anderson