kindness activist

kindness activist

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Fringe Kindness

I don’t want to over-generalize, but I have to put this out there:  PEOPLE IN WINNIPEG (Manitoba) CANADA ARE NICE.  They are polite.  They are KIND.  They THANK THE BUS DRIVER when they get off the bus for heaven’s sake!

We are in Winnipeg for the annual Fringe Festival.  Fringe Festivals are events that host performers from around the world.  Most shows are one hour long.  Most tickets at this festival are ten bucks.  So for a tenner audience members have the chance to see something amazingly mind-blowing or, once in a while, a clunker.  But hey, it is only an hour of your time and only ten dollars (Canadian, which is less if you convert it to American dollars…).

Our show image- David as the popcorn sales man in a precarious situation on the high wire!!
The Fringe is a huge event for this town.  People say (even Winnipegers say, so this is not a slam…) that there is not a whole lot to DO here, so they really get into their Fringe.  And man they DO get into it!  When we were here in 2010 the city BUSES had Fringe ads on them!!  This time, the paper bags from the liquor stores have Fringe promos!!!  People actually take TIME OFF OF WORK – like an ENTIRE WEEK – to go see Fringe shows.  It.  Is.  Fabulous.

Winnipeg Fringe 2010 - ads on BUSES - seriously, what city DOES THAT?  Winnipeg rocks.
Anyway, David is doing his one man show here (“A Little Business at the Big Top”, which, if I might boast a bit, is wonderfully fun and inventive!).  Part of doing festivals like this is marketing your show – Winnipeg Fringe has over 165 shows this year, so part of the “job” is convincing patrons that YOUR SHOW is the one they should buy tickets to.  This part of the job is something that David and I are not great at…  You basically have to walk around saying how great your piece is and hand people postcards that list your show time and venue.  Some people are happy to hear about your show, others not so much…

Here David models our new "sign on a stick" PLUS "hat with postcard".  Pullin' out all the stops...  :)
But every once in a while you run into someone fabulous, like we did today!  This is me and GERRY.  She saw us walking down the sidewalk with what I like to call our “sign on a stick” (ours is new, but every other touring performer has had them for years.  Welcome to the band wagon, Susan and David…).  Anyway, Gerry came up to US and started telling us how much she LOVED THE SHOW!!!  She had seen it that afternoon and regaled us of all of the bits she liked and remembered!  It was lovely!!!!  She was so appreciative and supportive!!  She said she had already told lots of friends to get tickets to “A Little Business” and as we talked she would stop people walking by and say things like “THIS SHOW IS GREAT!  GO SEE THIS ONE!!  Get a ticket for “A Little Business at the Big Top”!: while pointing to our sign as strangers walked by.  We had to reassure them that we hadn’t paid her to say such nice things!!

But wait, it gets even better.  (CAN it get even better??)

After talking at length about the show, we started talking about Winnipeg and things to do here.  She recommended the Canadian Museum of Human Rights ( ) and a museum that houses the largest collection of Inuit Art (I think this is the site: ).  We had wanted to go to the Human Rights Museum and hadn’t heard about the art museum, so we were excited by her recommendations.  I explained that museums where we live (Washington DC) are free, and that we are spoiled by that, and asked if she knew how much the museums here charge for entry.  I just wanted a general idea of how much we would be spending.  She replied that she thought they were around $15, which I said sounded reasonable.

The amazingly KIND Gerry!!  Thank you for making us feel so welcome here
We kept talking and after a while, Gerry opened her bag.  She pulled out her wallet.  She GAVE US $20 and told us to use it to go to the museum of our choice, she wanted to TREAT US!!!  Isn’t that soooo kind???  We couldn’t believe it!  And she wouldn’t take no for an answer.

So THANK YOU Gerry.  You certainly reinforced our notion that people from Winnipeg are amazingly sweet.  Your kindness will not be forgotten.  And as we explore a museum (thanks to YOU) we will smile and remember your kindness and generosity.

Here is Gerry telling what she thought about the show!  Notice her green Kindness Activist button!!  


  1. Gerry you made Susan and Davids day and mine!!! Yay for kindness and Gerry!!