Hamilton Fringe Festival

An 11-day unjuried theatre festival that happens every summer in downtown Hamilton

Faces of the Fringe


Claire Calnan – Executive Director

Claire CalnanClaire is an actor, theatre-maker, and educator who has been working to help make the Fringe mightier since 2013. She studied English and Philosophy at U of T before traveling westwards to attend theatre school at Studio 58 in Vancouver. Claire worked with a whole bunch of young folk through The AMY Project (Artists Mentoring Youth) and has performed at a whole bunch of theatres including Tarragon, Soulpepper, Factory, Theatre Passe Muraille, and Theatre Aquarius. She is the recipient of a 2014 Harold Award, was nominated for the 2014 KM Hunter award, won the 2008 Crow’s Theatre Emerging Directors’ Award, and received a Chalmers Professional Development grant to support her studies of traditional theatre in Japan. Claire got her start in theatre at the Fringe. And she sometimes cuts her hair in a fringe.


Heather Kanabe – General Manager

Heather is an arts manager with over 15 years of experience working with cultural and corporate partners. She comes to the Hamilton Fringe after serving as the Festival Director of The Word On The Street Toronto, Canada’s largest book and magazine festival, for over four years. She is passionate about the arts in Hamilton and currently serves as treasurer on the Hamilton Artists Inc. Board of Directors. The Fringe Festival looks forward to the skills and energy she will bring to the organization.





Mickey Wagg – Technical Director

After Years in Toronto working as a technician at Theatre Passe Muraille, Tarragon, Factory, and Buddies in Bad Times, Mickey eventually became the Technical Director at TPM. Alongside all of these roles, Mickey was perpetually a venue technician for the Toronto Fringe Festival and Toronto’s Fringe Festival of Independent Dance Artists. Mickey moved to Hamilton in 2008, where he became the Head of Lighting at Theatre Aquarius. After 6 seasons, and 6 years in Hamilton, Mickey is very excited to be a part of this festival and to help it grow as we move forward. From the fringe into the fray we go, and we couldn’t ask for a finer moment.