Stage Door News

Peterborough: Applications now open for the 2021 Nogojiwanong Indigenous Fringe Festival

Monday, November 2, 2020

The application for artists to be part of our 2021 Nogojiwanong Indigenous Fringe Festival  opens on November 1, 2020. Closing date is  January 10, 2021.

Please make sure to read all of the following "Information for Applying Artists" before applying:

Aanii, Boozhoo, Hello

Welcome to NIFF! Please take some time to read this before filling out the application form. Even if you’re a FRINGE veteran, please read this closely, as the Nogojiwanong Indigenous Fringe Festival is both NEW and DIFFERENT!

The Nogojiwanong Indigenous Fringe Festival (NIFF for short) is a week-long celebration of Indigenous performance art in Nogojiwanong (Peterborough), Ontario.

The first Nogojiwanong Indigenous Fringe Festival runs from June 21-27, 2021

Fringe Festivals® strive to make theatre accessible and affordable for both the artists and the audience.
The Canadian Fringe Festivals® are built on four principles:
1) No Artistic Direction. Artists are selected by lottery.
2) There are no limits on content or title; no censorship is applied.
3) Accessibility to artists. Anyone can apply to the lottery and the fees are kept low.
4) Accessibility to audience. Ticket prices are kept low & 100% of the ticket price is returned to the artists.

For more information, please visit the CAFF home page:


Any Indigenous performing artist or performing arts company is welcome to apply. We consider a company to be Indigenous if more than 50% of the members self-identify as Indigenous.


The Nogojiwanong Indigenous Fringe Festival is a gathering, a community, an opportunity for teaching and learning, and a festival of performances. Feasting and sharing, connecting with the territory and learning with Elders are intrinsic to this first-ever Indigenous Fringe Festival.


NIFF 2021 is being organized based on current best practices around COVID19.

 The most obvious consequence of this is that all performances will be outdoors. Social distancing and mask wearing will be in place. Crowd sizes will conform to current government requirements and information for potential contact tracing will be collected. Some of our activities, such as feasting, teaching and community gatherings will be put on hold or will look different, including some elements possibly moving online.


Companies who were selected for NIFF 2020 have been offered a place in NIFF 2021. We will select the remaining companies (estimated 5) by lottery (out of a hat).

  • We provide a variety of outdoor space options on the East Bank campus of Trent University. Options include parking lot, small amphitheatre, large staircase, fire pit, open grassy areas, treed areas. Please look at the photos on this website. If you are not sure where your show will fit best, no problem. Give some details in your application and we will work it out together.
  • The parking lot will have a stage area set up with BASIC tech – lighting and sound.
  • Tech in other areas will be minimal. Be sure to let us know what you NEED.
  • These spaces have some physical accessibility for those with disability issues. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions
  • We offer one 3-hour technical rehearsal in your venue
  • We schedule 5 performance slots over NIFF’s five days of shows (Wed-Sun)
  • We provide one technician for your rehearsal and your performances
  • We operate ticketing/box office and turn over 100% of ticket sales to you
  • We operate front of house in all venues
  • We publicize the festival as a whole (program, posters, flyers, ads, website, special events, etc.)
  • We invite you to participate in whatever activities we can organize
  • We invite you to participate in online learning and mentoring
  • We assist you in finding local accommodation (for companies from outside Peterborough)


  • You apply (if selected there is a Festival Fee of $50(CAD))
  • You create and rehearse a show (MAXIMUM LENGTH 60 MINUTES) before bringing it to the Festival
  • You publicize your show using posters, flyers, traditional and social media and anything else you can dream up, respecting local by-laws
  • You bring your performers and crew (a stage manager is required) along with all the sets, costumes, props, sound and anything else your show needs!


There will be an opening event on Monday June 21. Technical rehearsals will be scheduled for all companies June 21 and 22. Performances begin on Wednesday June 23. There will be daytime and evening performances.

NIFF is an advocate for equity and is committed to ensuring representation in its community. We welcome applications from Indigenous persons of varying physical abilities, persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, and others with the skills and knowledge to productively engage with diverse communities. We are committed to providing an environment in which people can feel safe, confident, and comfortable at our events.

THE LOTTERY. The Nogojiwanong Indigenous Fringe Festival reserves the right to have the following quotas for each show category:
Local (2) Regional (2) Canadian (1)
We will determine your category based on the address or show description.

FOR 2021 NIFF will focus on LOCAL and REGIONAL performers. Companies wishing to come from further away are encouraged to contact the festival before submitting an application.


LOCAL: Performers who have their permanent address within 100 km of Nogojiwanong/Peterborough

REGIONAL: Performers who have their permanent address within 300 km of Nogojiwanong/Peterborough

CANADIAN: Performers from anywhere in Canada more than 300 km from Nogojiwanong/Peterborough

INTERNATIONAL: Performers from anywhere else in the World!

Your application must be submitted by 6pm EST on January 10, 2021. The lottery will take place soon after (date is TBD).

The lottery will determine the participating companies and the order of the waiting lists. We will only accept applications via email.

Waiting List. If you wind up on your quota's waiting list, don't despair! We will let you know as soon possible if a spot opens up.

YOUR COMPANY. To give everyone a fair chance, NIFF will only accept one show per company. If you send more than one application, only one will be accepted. You may not change the name of your company after we receive your application form. It is forbidden to sell or give away your slot to another company as it is not fair to the groups who have gone through the application process and are on the waiting list.

RUNNING TIME. There is a maximum running time of 60 minutes. If your show is shorter, that’s JUST FINE! We understand that you may not yet know how long your show will be, so we recommend that you estimate high rather than low in terms of show running times. If your show runs over 60 minutes, there will be a $50 penalty per performance. Running over your scheduled time is unfair to audiences and other artists. We create the schedule so that people can see multiple shows each day. By running overtime, you are preventing audiences from being able to see other shows, which is very un-FRINGE.

FEES. $50(CAD) Once accepted into the Festival, you have seven (7) business days to make your payment. After that, your spot will be offered to a company on the waitlist.

We can accept payment by:

1) E-transfer payment to

2) Cheque made out to Nogojiwanong Indigenous Fringe Festival and send it to:
P.O. Box 546
Lakefield, ON K0L 2H0
Please note: If your cheque bounces, you will lose your place.

International companies: The fee is in CANADIAN DOLLARS. Check with your bank to make sure that your cheque’s currency is in Canadian dollars prior to sending it. You can also use a certified cheque for this.

Are the fees refundable?
Once a company has sent in the Festival Fee, it is not refundable.
ACCOMMODATION (non-local companies)
We at NIFF will do our best to find homes (university residence or billets) for any Fringe performers/crew who want them. If you prefer to stay in commercial accommodation (hotels, B&Bs) we will send you a list of reasonably priced possibilities. It is your responsibility to make sure all your company’s accommodation needs are met.


Travel restrictions including quarantine requirements are likely to be in place in June 2021. We do not recommend international travel. Companies who do chose to travel are required to follow all quarantine requirements and must provide proof of completion to the NIFF team.

Please be sure to have passports for every member of your cast and crew who will be coming to Canada for the Fringe Festival. Without them, you will not be able to get into Canada. You are also responsible for any permits and visas which may be required of you by the Canadian Border Authorities. Please note that each company is responsible for its own transportation to and from Peterborough.

All international companies are required to obtain the necessary visas or permits required from their country of origin if accepted into the festival. All international companies must complete and submit a Canadian Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) Regulation 105 Form (income tax waiver) which will be forwarded to you once your acceptance into the festival is confirmed.


Photo © 2020  Joeann Argue.