10 Shows to Catch at the 2023 Vancouver Fringe Festival

The 2023 Vancouver Fringe Festival kicks off in early September—here are the shows we think you should check out.

Tickets go on sale today for Vancouver’s Fringe Festival shows—which means we’re poring over the event schedule, picking out our best bets for 10 days of weird and wonderful theatre.

Fringe runs from September 7 to 17 this year, with shows at a range of venues (mostly on Granville Island), and covering a range of topics and genres (you know there’s going to be a clown troupe in the mix somewhere). But the wildcard nature of the fest is its beauty, no? The shows are picked via lottery, which means pretty much anything is possible—no juries here to tell someone their one-woman show about their plantar warts is a bad idea. Maxing out at 60 minutes and with tickets starting at $15, dropping in on a Fringe show is a low-risk, high-fun way to spend an autumn evening. Will you laugh? Will you cry? Will you suddenly be really into spoken-word performance art? Anything is possible! But we’ve combed through the listings to pick our best bets for a good time.

No Worries If Not

Katie-Ellen Humphries is one of Vancouver’s finest stand-up comedians (her recent album, Ladyfinger, is astoundingly funny and charming; she always crushes on CBC’s The Debaters). So you’ll be in excellent hands with this solo show, as Humphries digs into her personal history as a pathological people-pleaser: expect both refreshing sincerity and razor-sharp jokes.

Brunch: A Comedy Show

Full disclosure: VanMag’s assistant editor Kerri Donaldson makes up one half of this award-winning sketch comedy duo. But we’d be first in line for tickets regardless. Together with Allie Entwistle, Donaldson brings you a best-of-sketch revue, with sharp, insightful, truly ludicrous scenes that showcase the duo’s perfect playfulness and sly wit.


This Candy Roberts-fronted comedy about a trucker’s attempt at self-improvement won the 2019 Pick of the Fringe. We’re willing to bet it holds up.


Give yourself a break from comedy with this captivating, high-intensity (and highly impressive) dance piece from Club Cultural Inkinzo, which showcases the traditional Agasimbo dance from the south of Burundi.


It’s the tale of Pierre Trudeau, set to groovy tunes from a UK songwriting contest finalist and performed by a troupe of eight young actors. It’s how, ideally, we would consume all Canadian history.

Anne Geddes: An Unauthorized, Untrue Biography

Vanmag editor-at-large Stacey McLachlan and her comedy partner Jordan Potter have envisioned a wild and unverified backstory for famed baby photographer Anne Geddes, and now, they’re putting it on stage and hoping desperately people will come.

Generic Male: Just What We Need, Another Show About Men

It was an off-Broadway hit and now it’s here at Vancouver Fringe to make good on promises to be “Cirque Du Soleil meets Samuel Beckett with a dash of Monty Python.”

Crying in Public

Gina Harms is a staple of the Vancouver stand-up scene, and with her first hour-long show, she’s digging into the saga of her pre-comedy life: her ill-fated (and, obviously, hilarious) temporary move to Australia.

Forbidden City

Martin Dockery is a Fringe legend at this point, with 50 Best of the Fest awards to his name. Catch his sensational storytelling in action (online!), with this tale focusing on the life of an audio guide and the birth of his child.

Orchestra of Sound

Born to Fly Entertainment crafts a compelling, multimedia musical experience using instruments made of recycled materials and sounds found in the world around us.

Check out the master schedule for Vancouver Fringe Festival here.