The circus arrives in Toronto
This long weekend, the Harbourfront Centre is hosting the eighth annual Toronto International Circus Festival, with three days of circus entertainment. The festival is one of HarbourKIDS' three annual weekend-long festivals. While the programs are geared toward children ages 5-12, the performances are entertaining for all ages.
The festival has two outdoor stages (one with covered seating), with acrobatic, clown, magic and children's music performances, as well as roaming stilt-walkers, a clown academy (indoors), a LEGO building tent, balloon sculpting and storytelling performances (indoors).
I went down to catch the first day of the festival, and arrived just in time for Fireguy's skateboarding, balancing, fire juggling, and fire eating busker-style performance on the Redpath Stage (the smaller of the festival's two outdoor stages).
Organizers of Buskerfest take note: putting a performer on a stage really helps with sightlines, especially when children are in the audience. Speaking of children in the audience, I hope they didn't fully understand Fireguy's joke about how well his deep-throating of balls of fire on a stick went down at Pride last year.
Over on the larger Sirius Stage, two clowns hosted a show for a packed audience with various acrobatic acts, including silks and trapeze.
The Toronto International Circus Festival, presented by the Harbourfront Centre and Zero Gravity Circus runs May 22, 23, and 24, 11am-5pm at the Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West. Free. See website for performance times.
Writing and photos by Aaron Bernstein. View Flickr for the complete set of photos.
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