WINNIPEG - Winnipeg's Fringe Theatre Festival has set a new attendance record.
Executive director Chuck McEwen said that as of Sunday evening, ticket sales had reached more than 80,000.
He said that tops rival Edmonton Fringe's sales last year, though the Edmonton festival could still catch up when it stages its festival next month.
Last year, ticket sales for the Winnipeg festival reached nearly 73,000.
McEwen credits Fringe fan enthusiasm for the attendance spike.
He said people aren't just going to see one show, they're going to see 10 or 20.
"The overall quality of the plays have been phenomenal," he added. "It shows that the Fringe, in its 22nd year, is really maturing."
This year, there were 146 productions at the festival from Manitoba, Canada and even as far away as South Africa and Israel.
Twenty-five plays went home with a Best of Fest status, including locally produced "13 Plays About Love," "Misadventures of a Massage Therapist," and "Zombie Prom."
Meanwhile, Joseph Aragon's play "Bloodless: The Trial of Burke and Hare" won the Harry S. Rintoul Memorial Award for Best New Manitoban Play.
The prize is awarded annually by the Manitoba Association of Playwrights.
Brandon's Folk, Music and Art Festival also had a record-breaking year for it's 25th anniversary, which wrapped up Sunday night with performances by Ghosts of the Highway, Hard Ramblers, Rolla Olak, Volcanoless in Canada and Veda Hille.
"We have record numbers for Friday ... it looked like almost twice the amount we usually get," said Shandra MacNeill, acting executive director. "And Saturday looks pretty close."