Nanaimo Fringe Festival organizers feeling supported since significant theft

Nanaimo Fringe Festival organizers feeling supported since significant theft

Organizers of the Nanaimo Fringe Festival say they are thankful for the support they’ve received since a significant theft.

On Friday night, festival organizers managed to pull off its silent disco event capping the festival’s first day despite a major setback earlier that morning.

The festival’s producer arrived at their storage big box off Fitzwilliam Street in the Old City Quarter early Friday to find the door ajar.

“I was just like, ‘Oh I guess our outdoor technician has already arrived cause the box is open,'” said Paris Healey.

“I didn’t think anything of it at first and we opened it up, of course, we’re like, ‘Shoot. All of our tech has been taken.'”

The speaker, audio mixers and lighting equipment were gone. The equipment’s value is nearly $7,000, which is a big deal for a small non-profit.

“We can’t afford to buy capital expenses so we rent the equipment and then of course if it’s stolen we have to reimburse the full value of the equipment that we couldn’t afford to buy in the first place so it’s quite a big thing for us,” said Bryony Dixon, the festival’s artistic managing producer.

Police are investigating.

It also has to re-rent equipment, but that’s an added challenge with equipment rentals currently in high demand.

“For the next weekend, as of right now we don’t have a plan but we have some donations coming in. And people are saying, ‘We’d love to support you or lend you our sound equipment.’ So I think we’re going to be okay,” said Healey.

The Fringe Festival had insurance but later confirmed to CHEK News its claim will not be covered, meaning it will have to raise money beyond a $1,000 deductible to replace the stolen items.

The festival started the GoFundMe after discovering the theft on Friday. People had donated more than $2,200 as of Saturday night.

“Yeah, having this GoFundMe be so successful is really helping us out with this knockback,” said Dixon.

The festival is resorting to not leaving any expensive equipment in the big box.

Organizers say their biggest wish now is for people to support the festival by buying a ticket and showing up.

The organizers say all ticket funds will continue to go towards the performing artists.

The Nanaimo Fringe Festival runs until Aug. 21.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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