By Lori Bosworth
The 15th Annual Scotiabank BuskerFest is back and better than ever. The festival takes busking to a whole new level. Being performed throughout the Downtown Yonge Neighbourhood from College to Queen Street, Scotiabank Buskerfest takes place August 21-24, 2014 and supports Epilepsy Toronto. You’ll also see performances at Yonge-Dundas Square and Trinity Square Park.
Over 120 international and Canadian street performers will perform at the festival, which is in partnership with the Downtown Yonge BIA.
Hats are passed after buskers’ performances except for shows on the Scotiabank Stage in Yonge-Dundas Square where proceeds from performances will be donated to Epilepsy Toronto.
Returning acts include:
- FlameOz from Australia
- Bendy Em, former Australian gymnast who contorts her body into remarkable positions
- Jack Wise, Irish comedy and magic – including swallowing a real 24″ steel sword
- Billy Kidd, U.K. female magician, who reads people’s minds, turns paper to money and produces the most unsuspecting things out of nowhere
- Kamikaze Fireflies, a triple Guinness World Record holding two-person from Los Angeles that juggles, cracks whips and climbs on people, stacking chairs, German Wheels, and even shopping carts! Just last week they received four ‘Yeses’ from the judges of America’s Got Talent
- Mat Ricardo, an award-winning U.K. performer performs tricks nobody else in the world can do
See new acts including Reuben DotDotDot from Australia, NoMaD Cirquel from Austsria and Les Frères Taquins from Belgium. Ikeda Yosuke from Japan blends mime with graphic and acoustic arts. Ale Risorio, a new performer from Spain, is a clown with unusual props.
Local performers from the GTA include:
ο Art $ Fortune, a fortune-telling, ‘robotic’ statue who stilt walks
ο Chalk Chick brings the streets of Toronto colourful sidewalks
ο Fireguy, with his fire-breathing and world-class devil sticks
ο Hercinia Arts Collective entertain with their act “Money Fish”
ο Mental Floss Side Show, a vaudevillian duo that brings exhibits from around the globe
ο Oparty twists balloons into incredible creations
ο The Silent Violinist combines balloons and mime dressed in her balloon dress
ο Stilt Guys, with highly interactive roaming stilt performances
ο Stiltdancer & Friends, artists who dance and play on their stilts
ο The Twisted Ones share their crazy gigantic balloon creatures with audiences
ο Living statue Kate Mior
ο Max T. Oz, a sleight-of-hand magic favourite
ο Silver Elvis, a mechanical metal man who moves for money
New performers from Quebec include:
ο Chasseurs de Rêves: a tribe of larger-than-life stilt puppets
ο CiRcO LoCo: Argentine tango dancers, circus artists, knife thrower and tribal belly dancing
ο Les Vitamines: a high-energy duo that showcases acrobatic feats
Admission to Scotiabank BuskerFest is by voluntary donation to Epilepsy Toronto, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping more than 40,000 Torontonians with epilepsy, and their families, through counselling, employment support, advocacy and education.