Performers from Australia, UK, Japan, Spain, US to Join Locals at Epilepsy Toronto's Scotiabank BuskerFest 2014, Aug 21-24

Performers from Australia, UK, Japan, Spain, US to Join Locals at Epilepsy Toronto's Scotiabank BuskerFest 2014, Aug 21-24

Epilepsy Toronto is pleased to present their signature fundraising event, Scotiabank BuskerFest. In partnership with the Downtown Yonge BIA, they are proud to announce an outstanding roster of international and Canadian acts, both new and returning, for the 15th edition of Toronto's international street performers festival. Scotiabank BuskerFest runs Thursday, August 21 to Sunday, August 24 throughout the Downtown Yonge Neighbourhood, from Queen to College Streets and surrounding areas (including Trinity Square Park and Yonge-Dundas Square).

An estimated one-and-a-half million spectators attended the festival last year - an astounding success for its first year along the downtown Yonge Street corridor. Organizers are anticipating at least as many this year, as more buskers than ever before - over 120 of the best street performers in over 50 acts from across the country and around the globe - bring their world-class talents to Canada's most populous city.

Buskers retain proceeds from "the hat" passed after their performances except for shows on the Scotiabank Stage in Yonge-Dundas Square: for the first time ever, each performing act will be doing one performance on this stage over the course of the weekend, and all proceeds will go to Epilepsy Toronto!

Joining the previously announced FlameOz (returning) and Reuben DotDotDot (new) from Australia, and NoMaD Cirquel (new) from Austria and Les Frères Taquins (new) from Belgium, are several outstanding international acts, including:

From Australia
- Bendy Em (returning), a pint-sized former gymnast with a wicked wit who bends and contorts her body into freakily mind-boggling positions.

From Ireland
- Jack Wise (returning), a Molotov cocktail of comedy and magic - including swallowing a real 24" steel sword!

From Japan
- Ikeda Yosuke (new), a unique style of performance blending mime with graphic and acoustic arts - the lyrics of a song appear in many different ways with the music.

From Spain
- Ale Risorio (new), an eccentric, absurd clown with a bag full of unusual and unexpected props.

From the United Kingdom
- Billy Kidd (returning), one of the few female magicians in the world who hosts Discovery Channel's Breaking Magic: the Magic of Science. She reads people's minds, turns paper to money and produces the most unsuspecting things out of nowhere; and
- Mat Ricardo (returning), an award-winning performer with incredible showmanship, razor-sharp wit, tricks nobody else in the world can do and unsurpassed sartorial elegance.

From the United States
- Kamikaze Fireflies (returning), a triple Guinness World Record holding two-person vaudeville smack-down 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!

Among the great, returning local performers from the GTA:

- Art $ Fortune, a one-of-a-kind fortune-telling, 'robotic' statue who stilt walks! Drop a coin into the booth and watch Art come to life!
- Chalk Chick brings the streets of Toronto colourful sidewalks, love, and joy.
- Fireguy, ever-popular with his sophisticated fire-breathing and world-class devil sticks.
- Hercinia Arts Collective entertain with their hilarious act "Money Fish" - synchronized swimmers out of water and looking for audiences everywhere.
- Mental Floss Side Show, a vaudevillian duo that brings exhibits from the five corners of the globe - all with a little dash of snake oil.
- Oparty twists balloons into incredible creations - from one balloon dog to a 400+ balloon motorcycle!
- The Silent Violinist combines balloons and mime dressed in her visually stunning balloon dress with a gigantic wing spread.
- Stilt Guys, with their HIGH energy, HIGH stamina, HIGHLY interactive roaming stilt performances.
- Stiltdancer & Friends, a team of dynamic stilt artists who dance and play on their gravity-defying stilts.
- The Twisted Ones share their crazy gigantic balloon creatures with audiences - a giant spider hat, or a beautiful butterfly costume anyone?
- Internationally acclaimed living statue Kate Mior.
- Max T. Oz, a sleight-of-hand magic favourite who has been at each and every festival since its inception;
- And, of course, the festival would not be complete without veteran festival busker Silver Elvis, a mechanical metal man who moves for money, honey - "thank you, thank you very much"

And new from Quebec:

- Chasseurs de Rêves: a tribe of larger-than-life stilt puppets shines in colours and movements, with an elegant bird and majestic elephant.
- CiRcO LoCo: Argentine tango dancers, circus artists, knife thrower and tribal belly dancing make for an awesome concoction of circus, stunts & mystery!
- Les Vitamines: a colourful, high-energy duo that dazzles with acrobatic feats punctuated by improvised acts during which the public is invited to join in the fun.

And even more amazing buskers to be announced in the coming weeks!

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.

DETAILS:

15th Annual
Scotiabank BuskerFest
in support of Epilepsy Toronto
Thursday, August 21 - Sunday, August 24, 2014
throughout the Downtown Yonge Neighbourhood:
Yonge Street all the way from Queen to College and surrounding areas (including Trinity Square Park and Yonge-Dundas Square).
Thursday noon - 11 pm; Friday noon - 11pm; Saturday 11am - 11pm; Sunday 11am - 8pm.
Admission is by voluntary donation to Epilepsy Toronto.

About Scotiabank BuskerFest: Since its inception in 2000, Scotiabank BuskerFest has featured hundreds of the best street performers from around the world, hosted millions of amazed spectators and helped raise much-needed funds for Epilepsy Toronto, a charitable organization that provides services to those living with epilepsy and their families. Scotiabank BuskerFest is the largest street performers' festival in North America and is the largest Epilepsy awareness-raising event in the world.

For information, visit: www.scotiabankbuskerfest.com or follow on Facebook: www.facebook.com/BuskerFestToronto and Twitter: buskerfestto hashtag: #SBBF.

Pictured: Dawn Pascoe

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