EDMONTON -- Edmonton’s theatre community is preparing to present its winter festival with the Feb. 6 launch of the Chinook Series.

Now in its fifth season, the festival aims to showcase diverse live performance and workshops from several theatre companies, all under one roof. 

One of the theatre partners is summer favourite, Fringe Theatre Adventures. That festival’s artistic director co-curates Chinook and says its strength is found in the collaborations. 

“The programming is so unique,” Murray Utas exclaimed. “We keep reaching out to the community, to connect in ways we can. The partnerships are really really critical to making this thing fly.”

Audiences can sample from offerings from Sound Off, Canada’s deaf theatre festival, Black Arts Matter, and a presentation of Cree MacBeth, among many others. An art installation coordinated through central Edmonton’s iHuman will also be on site, as well as performance in unexpected places, like the venue lobby. 

The Lobbyists are a group of performers Amber Borotsik brings together to create works for that untraditional venue. 

Chinook Series

“Something that’s been really awesome is for us to get together as an ensemble of equals and create from that perspective,” she tells CTV News Edmonton. “And also to create the kind of process that maybe questions the status quo.” 

The group will animate the lobby with their performances Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the festival. 

Murray Utas is excited for what the audience can discover during the 11-day festival. 

“We’re creating experience! What does that mean? Well, there’s something around every corner and you can come and surprise yourself. And what’s beautiful, is take it in at your own pace, join us how you will.”

The indoor entertainment respite from winter’s chill is another compelling reason to get in on the $25 advance tickets.

“Its in the middle of winter," Utas asserts. “So get out of the house, come on over, get warm with us and we’ll look after you!” 

The Chinook Series runs Feb. 6-16 at the ATB Financial Arts Barns. Tickets and schedule information at www.chinookseries.ca