Hamilton Fringe

Now in its 18th season, the Hamilton Fringe creates a platform for independent, emerging, and established theatre artists in Hamilton.

Faces of the Fringe


Heather Kanabe – Executive Director

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. Heather is a graduate of the University of Toronto Honours BA, Specialist Designation in Arts Management, Major in Art History and an MBA from the HULT International Business School in Dubai. She is passionate about the arts in Hamilton and currently contributes to organizations including: Telling Tales Festival, Hamilton Artists Inc., and Something Else Festival. Contact Heather.

Franny McCabe-Bennett – Associate Producer

Franny is a producer, actor, comedian and playwright with an extensive background in arts administration, focusing on anti-oppression and accessibility. Franny steps into the role of Associate Producer after previously working in a variety of roles administrative and artistic roles at Factory Theatre, Buddies in Bad Times, The Toronto Fringe and The Next Stage Festival, Young People’s Theatre, SOULOTheatre, and Soulpepper. She has toured her award-winning solo shows across Canada and internationally. As a proud member of the queer community, Franny particularly looks forward to connecting with the queer stories of Hamilton. Franny is the Fringe staffer newest to Hamilton, and encourages artists to reach out and introduce themselves. Contact Franny.

Christopher Stanton – Festival Director

Christopher is an award-winning performer, director, writer, sound designer, composer, and teacher. His stage work has taken him throughout Canada to Toronto, Edmonton, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Montreal – and internationally to New York, Bogotà, Munich, Brisbane, Dublin, and Vienna. Stanton has been the Artistic Producer of Toronto-based indie performance company ARC since 2013, and is a founding member of Hamilton-based performance makers INDUSTRY. He lives in Hamilton with his partner Lisa, his daughter Emiliana, and his dopey dog Hilda. Contact Chris.

Claire Calnan – Artist Development & Frost Bites Director

Claire 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 the 2017 KM Hunter Award in Theatre, the 2017 Hamilton Arts Award for Innovation, a 2014 Harold Award, and the 2008 Crow’s Theatre Emerging Directors’ Award. She was voted the Top Theatre Artist in Toronto by NOW Magazine in 2009 and received a 2010 Chalmers Professional Development grant to support her studies of traditional theatre in Japan. Claire got her start in theatre at the Fringe. Contact Claire.


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