Thrilling new acts announced! Toronto's 9th Annual Scotiabank BuskerFest Returns Bigger & Better Than Ever Next Month!



    AUGUST 21-24, 2008 throughout the St. Lawrence Market district

    TORONTO, July 22 /CNW/ - The 9th Annual Scotiabank BuskerFest will dazzle
the historic St. Lawrence Market district once again as buskers from all over
the world take over the streets in support of Epilepsy Toronto from
Thursday, August 21 to Sunday, August 24. This year's BuskerFest promises to
be bigger and more exciting than ever, with a stellar line-up of over 80 top
buskers from Canada, the United States, Hungary, Sweden, New Zealand,
Australia, Japan and England providing an awesome spectacle of jaw-dropping
sight, sound and up close and personal entertainment.
    Three new thrilling acts have just been announced that will be performing
for the first time ever at this year's Scotiabank BuskerFest:

    From Los Angeles, B-boy Pop 'n' Lock Duo Pulp will wow spectators with
    their amazing dance moves and crazy contortions! One half of the duo is
    Robert Muraine, aka Mr. Fantastic, who is currently being regularly
    featured on the hit show So You Think You Can Dance? where his astounding
    talent and controversial moves will also be seen in a dance-off challenge
    in the show's Season Grand Finale.

    Do your business in pampered luxury, courtesy of Toronto's The Privy
    People as they turn what is usually the worst festival experience (using
    outdoor toilets!) into the best!! The Privy People promise the poshest
    port-a-potties in the land! Audiences can make use of the ultra clean
    'privies' while strains of music play in the background to create an
    oasis of calm. Your own 'privy' butler will be on hand to offer foot
    washing, massage and aromatherapy!

    From Tucson, Arizona, Flam Chen Pyrotechnic Company is set to amaze
    audiences with its Aerial Cluster Balloon - a performance that harnesses
    the power of helium for a spectacular aerial act, featuring aerial silk
    and various other aerial apparatus, pyrotechnic effects as well as light
    shows and video projected on the side of the 35 foot suspended "Balloon
    Bouquet."

    Joining the above are these following additional hot new acts, previously
announced, along with many others:

    From Australia, the sensational Mr. Spin whose high-energy street show,
    inspired by the greatest vaudeville performers, includes 8-ball juggling
    and the unique Space Cowboy, a one-man circus and two-time winner of the
    'Street Performance World Championship' who performs sword swallowing,
    incredible whip cracking and juggles dangerous objects while riding a
    9' unicycle, blindfolded!

    Dream State Circus, an international performing duo (UK & Australia),
    performs acrobalance and juggling with wit and charm; at night their
    spectacular fire show, FAIRY FIRE, combines traditions from Ceylon to
    China and amalgamates them with psychedelic trance music.

    From America, Rob Williams treats volunteers from the audience to a
    baloney sandwich he'll make, using only his feet (!) while The Pogo Dudes
    take bouncing to a whole new level and Michael "Shoehorn" Conley, the tap
    dancing saxophonist, simultaneously creates music with his feet and dance
    with his horn.

    Both shows hailing from Quebec demonstrate a dynamic combination of high
    physical skill and a whole lot of clowning around: The Mat Velvet &
    Charlie Show features an awe-inspiring German Wheel routine and Davio
    fuses acrobatics and martial arts on a 4-meter flexible pole.

    Budapest's Bence Sarkadi starts out using his bare hands as puppets and
    progresses to the most complex string marionettes in a colourful array of
    techniques and styles demonstrating an artistic language practically
    unknown outside Central Europe.

    Also new this year, the Toronto Central Lions Club will host a Pancake
Breakfast and the remarkable 5-year-old entrepreneur Jack Yeilding returns to
raise money for Epilepsy Toronto, this time with Jack's Lemonade Stand.
    Returning are Australia's amazing Alakazam (People's Choice Award for the
last two years!) performing aerial stunts and comic contortions; New Zealand's
Lurk, a "clown with a complex," performing impeccable stilt skills with
offbeat attitude; from Japan, Candyman Masaji presents the sweetest show
you'll ever see with his magical art of candy sculpturing and Halifax's Squid,
a high energy drum and percussion troupe. Also returning this year, Toronto's
own Dirty Dishes, a trio of female musicians who just love to dish the musical
dirt, world-champion balloon artists The Twisted Ones and the ever-popular
Chalkmaster Dave.
    Between sets, sample a bevy of gastronomic delights or stroll the avenue
of artisans and take in the sights and sounds of roving musicians, stilt
walkers, human statues, chalk artists and much, much more. After dark, the
streets are ablaze with fire and the already off-beat comedy gets a little
more twisted so don't miss out!
    BuskerFest attracted over 500,000 spectators last year - young and old
alike. Admission is free with a voluntary donation of your choice to Epilepsy
Toronto, a non-profit organization that provides support to more than 40,000
people living with epilepsy in this city. Because one in every 100 Canadians
experiences some form of epilepsy, Epilepsy Toronto is committed to promoting
independence and optimal quality of life for people living with epilepsy and
their families.
    "BuskerFest is produced by Epilepsy Toronto and we strive to make each
year more exciting, mind-boggling, and fantastical than before," says Geoff
Bobb, executive director of Epilepsy Toronto. "This amazing festival helps
raise funds needed to provide important programs and services to promote the
independence and quality of life for people in Toronto living with epilepsy.
Next week we are launching the Out of the Shadows pin campaign to help raise
these funds." Out of the Shadows pins will available for a suggested donation
of $2 and can be picked up at any Scotiabank branch or Rainbow Cinemas across
the GTA through to the end of BuskerFest.

    Buskerfest's Marquee Sponsor, Scotiabank, is recognized as a leader
internationally and among Canadian corporations for its charitable donations
and philanthropic activities. In 2007 the Bank provided more than $43 million
in sponsorships and donations to a variety of projects and initiatives,
primarily in the areas of healthcare, education, social services and arts and
culture. "Scotiabank is proud to support BuskerFest in its ninth year," said
Robin Hibberd, Scotiabank Executive Vice-President, Personal Lending and
Insurance. "This is a great family event that enriches the communities where
we live and work. We encourage everyone to come out, have a terrific time and
support the great work that Epilepsy Toronto does."

    
           9th Annual Scotiabank BuskerFest - Thursday August 21 to
           Sunday August 24, 2008 - throughout Toronto's historic
                      St. Lawrence Market Neighbourhood
    Along Front Street from Jarvis to Yonge and adjacent side streets
    Thursday noon-10pm, Friday noon-11pm, Saturday 11am-11pm, Sunday 11am-8pm
    Admission is FREE with a voluntary donation to benefit Epilepsy Toronto.
               For information visit www.torontobuskerfest.com
    





For further information:

For further information: Media Refer: Dianne Weinrib/Savi Pannu, DW
Communications, (416) 703-5479, dw@dwcommunications.net; Livy Feldgajer,
Scotiabank Public Affairs, Livy_Feldgajer@scotiacapital.com, (416) 866-6203


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