Astonishing new acts from across the globe announced for 2011 Scotiabank BuskerFest!

- Event proceeds to benefit Epilepsy Toronto -

TORONTO, June 13, 2011 /CNW/ - Scotiabank BuskerFest organizers are proud to announce exciting new acts for the 12th annual Toronto international street performers festival. The 2011 Scotiabank BuskerFest will dazzle Toronto's St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood once again as buskers from all over the world take over the streets from Thursday, August 25 to Sunday, August 28. Prepare to be amazed by some of the most unique pogo-sticking, hula-hooping, fire-breathing, artistic juggling, body-contorting, whip-cracking, plate-spinning, unicycle-lassoing performers in the world. Named for the fourth time as one of Ontario's top 100 festivals and events by Festivals and Events Ontario, Scotiabank BuskerFest promises four days and nights of spectacular entertainment in support of Epilepsy Toronto.

Last year's Scotiabank BuskerFest attracted over 1 million spectators of all ages and this year promises to be even bigger, with over 100 of the best street performers from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States participating in the Festival.

Making their first-ever appearance at the Scotiabank BuskerFest are the following new acts:

From Denmark: Internationally renowned clown, comic and acrobat Mr. Toons, aka The Professional Idiot, unicycles, juggles, and squeezes his body into a giant helium balloon in this wonderfully madcap act.

From the UK: The legendary Gazzo has been mixing comedy, magic and British charm for over 30 years into a must-see show. Famous for his cups and balls routine, Gazzo has turned a classic magic effect into a hilarious show.

From the U.S.: Leapin' Louie Lichtenstein, aka The Roping Fool, combines physical comedy, improvisation, world-class lasso and whip tricks and other surprises in an explosive cowboy act.

From Canada: Alberta's chair-juggling duo The Chairmen offer a truly chair-raising experience, while A Billy Kidd, brings to magic what most magicians can't... a female twist. She is one of the few female magicians in the world and the first ever at this festival.

From Mexico:  Acrobat Pancho Libre astounds audiences with his mind-boggling feats; circus, fire, martial arts and a high-flying human flag!

From Japan: High energy acrobatic and juggling antics along with mime and magic happenings are Yoshi's forte. During this difficult time for Japan, Yoshi will make his way half way around the world in honour of his people and his craft.

Returning Scotiabank BuskerFest favourites include:

From Australia:  Fire dancers FlameOz perform a multi award-winning, tightly choreographed, action-packed fire spectacle.

From U.S. and Canada:  The circus-comedy foursome, Stunt Double Circus perform death-defying, world-record breaking stunts - all while sporting killer moustaches.

From the U.K.:  Pint-sized contortionist Bendy Em comically bends her body into freakily mind-boggling positions and fits herself into a 16" plexiglass box.

From Toronto:  One-man fire-juggling skateboard circus Fireguy mixes circus tricks and skateboard stunts for the 'skatest' show on earth.

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. Buskers retain proceeds from "the hat" passed after their performances except for two special group benefit shows where proceeds go to Epilepsy Toronto: the 6th Annual Fire Show showcases the 'hottest' fire performers at the fest (Fri. August 26 at 9:30pm - rain date August 27), and the Grande Finale (August 28 at 6:30pm) where the winner of the Metro's People's Choice Award will be announced.

"BuskerFest is produced by Epilepsy Toronto with support from title sponsor Scotiabank. Over the past eleven years almost $1 million has been raised in support of Epilepsy Toronto, a non-profit organization that has been helping people living with epilepsy and their families for the past 50 years," says Geoff Bobb, Executive Director of Epilepsy Toronto. "One in every 100 Canadians experiences some form of epilepsy. Thanks to the generosity of Toronto, this amazing festival helps raise the funds needed to provide important services to promote the independence and quality of life for people in Toronto living with epilepsy."

"Scotiabank BuskerFest brings together healthcare and the arts -two important pillars of our philanthropic program, Scotiabank Bright Future," said John Doig, Senior Vice President, Toronto Region, Scotiabank.  "We are proud to support this family fun festival that also provides much needed support for Epilepsy Toronto. We have a tremendous line-up of new performers this year and are all very excited to see these exciting new acts."

About Scotiabank
Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad, through our global philanthropic program, Scotiabank Bright Future.  Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, Scotiabank has provided on average approximately $44 million annually to community causes around the world over each of the last five years. Visit us at www.scotiabank.com.

12th Annual Scotiabank BuskerFest
Toronto International Street Performers Festival
Thursday August 25 - Sunday August 28, 2011 throughout the St. Lawrence Market Neighbourhood,
Front Street all the way from Jarvis to Yonge and adjacent side streets
Thursday noon-10pm, Friday noon-11pm, Saturday 11am-11pm. Sun 11am-8pm
Admission is by voluntary donation to Epilepsy Toronto
For information, visit www.torontobuskerfest.com
http://www.facbook.com/BuskerFestToronto

SOURCE Scotiabank - Sponsorships

For further information:

Dianne Weinrib or Brendan Ross, DW Communications, 416-703-5479, dw@dwcommunications.net

Deborah Clark, Scotiabank Media Communications, 416-933-0646 or deborah_clark@scotiacapital.com


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