And the Montreal Fringe
“Frankie” Awards go to…

The St. Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival honours its best

By Byron Toben

The St. Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival ended on June 17 with the awarding of its “Frankies” at Club Soda. The Frankies were named after Frank Hopkins, an early financial supporter of the Fringe during its Montreal inception in the early 1990s. (Mr Hopkins passed away in 2015 on the 93rd anniversary of his birthday, thus joining Shakespeare and Ingrid Bergman in so doing.)

Below is an abbreviated list of the winners. For an extended list, showing the many nominee contenders, visit

See the end of this article for a list of whom other performance festival awards are named.

The winners by donor

Helen Simard -

Dance Side of the Moon

Just For Laughs Festival
Best English Comedy
Crime After Crime (After Crime)

Centaur Theatre
Best English Production
Red Bastard: Lie With Me

Segal Centre
Most Promising English Company
Don’t Read the Comments

Montreal Clown Festival
Red Bastard: Lie With Me

Mme Brûlé -

Mme Brûlé

Bouge d’ici
Most Outstanding Choreography
Dance Side of the Moon

Freestanding Room
Making Big Things Happen in Small Spaces

Mainline Theatre (three awards)
Best French Production
Mme Brûlé
Mainline Creativity Award
Naked Ugly Dancing
Mainline Gallery Award (Best Poster)

Justice on the Ropes -

Justice on the Ropes

St. Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival
(three awards)
Best English Text
Giant and Angry
Best French Text
Spirit of the Fringe
Justice on the Ropes

The Patrons’ Pick

Greasy: A Lesbian Love Story

The L’Après FRINGE : 13 HOUR

b & M : la mort de boKa & Mazy / The death of boKa & Mazy


Théâtre Globe Bulle Rouge

Oh yes, as promised above, the origin of names of other performing arts awards



Oscars (Academy Awards est. 1929)
Early Administrator Margaret Herrick mentioning that the statuette resembled her uncle Oscar was reported in Sidney Skulsky’s news column and introduced on stage in giving best actress award to Katherine Hepburn 1934. Name was officially adopted by the Academy in 1939.

Tony (for Broadway Theatre) est. 1947
Named in honour of Antoinette “Tony” Perry, an actress, director, producer and co-founder of American Wing Theatre. They are the equivalent of Britain’s Olivier awards (est. 1976 under another name and renamed in 1984) and France’s Molière awards (est. 1987)

Emmy (for US Television) est. 1949
Not named for a person, but after a piece of early TV camera equipment, the image orthicon tube, commonly called an “immy”, later feminized to “emmy”. The winged figure Thereon was modelled by the wife of engineer Louis McManus.

Gillian English -

Giant and Angry

Grammys (for music) est. 1949
Aha, a Montreal connection! Rejecting an earlier name of “Eddies” to honour Tom Edison, inventor of the phonograph, the organisers elected “Grammy” to honour Montrealer Emile Berliner, inventor of the gramophone.

Obie (for Off Broadway Theatre) est. 1956
by Village Voice newspaper, later joined by American Theatre Wing, added Off-Off Broadway in 1964.

Broadway = 499 seats or more
Off-Broadway = 99-498 seats
Off-Off Broadway = under 99 seats

Feature image: Red Bastard: Lie With Me
All images: courtesy of the St Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival

Bouton S'inscrire à l'infolettre – WestmountMag.caRead also: Byron’s Fringe Festival “Peeps” diary

Byron Toben is the immediate past-president of the Montreal Press Club.

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