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Access at undercurrents


  • What is the undercurrents festival?
  • Access Mission Statement
  • Our Land Acknowledgement
  • What to Look For
  • Ticket Information
  • Access Policies
  • Sensory Backpacks
  • Pre Show Announcement
  • Venue Access Guide / Transportation
  • Accessible Washrooms / Chill Out Spaces
  • Access-friendly Performance List

What is undercurrents theatre festival?

Produced by Ottawa Fringe, our winter festival showcases the best original, contemporary theatre created by local, national and international artists.

Festival founders, The Great Canadian Theatre Company, originally hosted from 2011–2014.  Now, undercurrents takes place in Ottawa’s downtown core at Arts Court. Since 2011, undercurrents has has hosted 16 world premieres and presented 6 productions as part of their under development program.


Hello, and welcome to the undercurrents: theatre below the mainstream festival!

We are working diligently to address Access Points at our festival. When we first started out, “accessible” meant “affordable”. We’ve got that part covered: we keep our ticket prices low and offer Pay-What-You-Choose to make the event as inviting as possible for our audiences.

23 years later, “accessibility” has grown to be more inclusive. We are committed to showcasing diverse voices and body types on our stages. Further, we’ve ensured all our venues are physically accessible and now we’re focusing on creating a festival that is truly accessible for all needs. How? We are working with an Access Points Advisory Committee made up of consultants living and working within the Ottawa DisArts community.  They have been assisting us to assess and rewrite our organization’s policies to be inclusive of artists and patrons from all walks of life.

But real talk: we’re new at this. We’re still learning. And we’re probably going to make some mistakes. That’s okay. We want to get better, and feedback from the community is only going to make our festival better. Is there something you think we could be doing? Something we should absolutely not be doing? Let us know by reaching out to us through email:


undercurrents theatre festival acknowledges the privilege to be operating and performing on the unceded traditional territory of the Algonquin Anishinabeg. We recognize the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island who had been thriving on this land for centuries. We also recognize Canada’s history of colonization and the ongoing violence against Indigenous peoples and their culture. As guests on this land, we promise to walk gently and with respect.

To the past, present and future caretakers of Turtle Island, Chi-Miigwetch.


In all venues a pre-show speech will be delivered prior to the show beginning.  The following people are those who you can expect to see giving a pre-show speech:
– Patrick Gauthier
– Brit Johnston
– Amanda Logan
– Kevin Waghorn



  This is Patrick, he’s the Festival Director!  He’s a nice guy.




[Image description: he is a caucasian cis-male with short brown hair and a beard, he is wearing a red/blue plaid long sleeve button up-shirt.]


Festival Staff will be wearing this Lanyard.






[Image description: a black lanyard with red words reading “#OttFringe” attatched to a name tag that reads “Fringe Staff” on a grey background.]

  This is the Festival’s main Box Office.







[Image description: A large black desk on the corner of the wall. There is a large television screen behind the desk. There are two staff, one seated and one standing smiling, ready to assist you!]



There are two options for purchasing undercurrents Tickets:

  1. Advance Tickets Online ( or by phone (613-232-6162 x 205).
  2. Advance Tickets can be purchased in-person by visiting the Festival Box Office, located in Arts Court (2 Daly Avenue). Take elevator B to floor 2, exit the elevator and the Box Office is straight ahead.
    * If you have accessibility questions or requests we recommend coming to the Festival Box Office.


  • Late-Comers

Make sure to plan your trip so you have enough time to get to the venue and buy your ticket before the show’s start time. The Late-Commer Policy varies depending on the show. We will update this section soon – stay tuned!

  • Re-entry 

You are welcome to leave a performance at any time but re-entry allowance varies depending on the show. We will update this information soon – stay tuned!

  • Guide Dogs

Guide dogs are welcome in all our venues.

  • Wheelchair & Scooter Parking

All venues have reserved space for parking. Please come early or call in advance to make requests. Volunteers are prepared to assist with parking requests.

  • Attendants/ Personal Support Workers/ Respite Workers

Attendants are welcome and we offer complimentary tickets. In order to reserve tickets together please arrange in advance with, or call: 613-232-6162 x 205.

  • Scent Free

We have recently instituted a scent-free environment for our staff and visitors. Please refrain from wearing perfumes, colognes, and other scented products during your festival visit.


What is a Sensory Backpack? These are small kits with a few tools to assist children and adults with sensory processing difficulties; tools can be used to calm and/or stimulate the senses.

undercurrents has three (3) backpacks available to borrow at the main Festival Box Office, free of charge, to help make your festival experience as enjoyable as possible.

Please bring a piece of personal identification with you. Backpacks are first come first serve.

What You will Find in the Backpack:

  • Fidget toy
  • Soft toy
  • Ear defenders
  • Water bottle



Need assistance planning your trip to Arts Court?

OC Transpo Travel planner:

For Para Transpo, request to be dropped off at 10 Daly Avenue. Click here for more information:

Festival Box Office

To get to the main festival box office, we recommend entering through the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG), located at 10 Daly Avenue.

To enter the OAG, press the automatic door open button on the right side and again on the right side for the second double door. The doors will open towards you.

Enter the OAG, the elevator is behind the stairs. Go past the Welcome Desk on the left hand side, then turn left, and the elevator is to the immediate right. You are on floor Zero, or Lobby level. Press the button on the left to cue the elevator to open. Enter and press floor 3 (top button). Exit the elevator and turn left. Follow the hallway and go through the double white doors, you are now entering Arts Court. On the right is the main box office.


More info coming soon!


This list is coming soon!  We are still finalizing dates for accessible performances.  If you would like to be notified when the information is available, please let us know at

ASL and/or Visually Accessible
Patrons who are Deaf or hard of hearing can follow the show through either ASL interpretation or through visual storytelling. Verbal and sound cues are not imperative to understanding the performance.

Described Performance and/or Storytelling
Patrons who are blind or have low-vision may be able to enjoy the show through their auditory sense. Patrons will understand what is happening onstage by listening to the performers voices and sound cues, they do not need visual cues to follow the action or meaning of the performance.

Sensory Friendly Performance
Some patrons benefit from a more relaxed sensory experience and casual environments. These performances have minor technical elements (no startling sound or lighting cues), relaxed movement and noise.