Scotiabank BuskerFest Takes Over Toronto This Weekend

Scotiabank BuskerFest in support of Epilepsy Toronto kicked off today at noon throughout Toronto's Downtown Yonge Neighbourhood for four wild days of fun for all ages - rain or shine!

The 15th annual Scotiabank BuskerFest is bigger and more exciting than ever, with a stellar array of over 160 of the world's best street performers coming from around the globe. Scotiabank BuskerFest is North America's largest festival of its kind and the largest epilepsy awareness event in the world.

Over the course of the four-day festival, there will be over 400 performances on 11 main stages, five music pitches, and a Sideshow Tent. Scotiabank BuskerPlay Kids Zone will have free workshops each day and fantastical roaming acts will pop up throughout the festival at any time.

Over 70 different acts - more than ever before - from acrobats and magicians to comedians, fire-manipulators, stiltwalkers, musicians and more enliven the Yonge Street strip from Queen St. to College St. (including Trinity Square Park and Yonge-Dundas Square) with the support of the Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area.

Epilepsy Toronto is working to ensure all visitors enjoy the festival with ease. At the BuskerAccess Tent, located in the north-west corner of Yonge-Dundas Square (near the festival Info Tent), visitors with disabilities are provided with assistance such as an escort to one of the accessible stages by volunteers, wearing an identifiable accessibility symbol on their shirts. Non-verbal performances happen each day throughout the festival.

Some of the awesome acts and events include:

o A New Heart of the Festival - EPILEPSY TORONTO BENEFITS
For the first time ever, the Scotiabank Stage in Yonge-Dundas Square will become the charitable epicenter of the festival. All proceeds raised by performers in Yonge-Dundas Square, throughout the festival, are being generously donated by them to Epilepsy Toronto. As per usual, the buskers will keep the proceeds in their hats at all other venues.

o Look Up - Look Way Up! Samsung Canada is donating up to $10,000 to Epilepsy Toronto this weekend, and is calling on Scotiabank Buskerfest attendees to help reach this goal. From Thursday, August 21st through Sunday, August 24th, attendees are encouraged to post to their social networks-Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and even Vine- using the #SamsungSBBF hashtag. For each post including #SamsungSBBF, Samsung Canada will donate $1 to Epilepsy Toronto. Additionally, as a special, larger than life experience for all to see, #SamsungSBBF posts will appear above the crowds on the giant Samsung screen, which is located on the northwest corner of Yonge and Dundas Square.

THURSDAY AUGUST 21- Scotiabank Day 12 noon to 11 p.m.
All donations made to Epilepsy Toronto in Yonge-Dundas Square will be generously matched by Scotiabank.

o Photo ops of extraordinary acts abound such as: Flying Tortillas (USA), JOHNman (Germany), Les Vitamines (Québec), MaracaTall (Toronto), Mr. Spin (Australia), CiRcO LoCo (Quebec), Adam Soloman (Toronto) and more!

o 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.: Performances on the Scotiabank Stage in Yonge-Dundas Square will be accompanied by ASL interpretation.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 22 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
o Photo ops of extraordinary acts abound such as: Jack Wise (Ireland), Kamikaze Fireflies (USA), Mat Ricardo (U.K.), Hercinia Arts Collective (Toronto), Juzzie Smith (Australia), Gillian Nicola (Toronto) and more!

o Head east on Walton St. on Friday through Sunday for Eaton Chelsea Hotel's extended patio and beer garden with great musical acts from the festival playing there all weekend long - and on Sunday, the Eaton Chelsea Summer Flair Bartending Competition will happen on the Patio.

SATURDAY AUGUST 23 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
o Photo ops of extraordinary acts abound such as: Billy Kidd (United Kingdom), FlameOz (Australia), Les Frères Taquin (Belgium), Silver Elvis (Toronto), Daniel Champagne (Australia), Hang in Balance (U.K.) and more!

o 7 p.m.: The sounds and colours of India come alive in an electrifying Bollywood dance performance, presented by Dr. Cabbie, a hilarious comedy coming to theatres September 19. Join the film's handsome star Vinay Virmani and the power-packed Shiamak Toronto Dance Team for an explosive dance performance, all in support of Epilepsy.

SUNDAY AUGUST 24 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.:
o Photo ops of extraordinary acts abound such as: Bendy Em (Australia), Fireguy (Toronto), Chasseurs de Rêves (Québec), NoMaD Cirquel (Austria/Mexico), BLANKO (Berlin) and more!

o 7 p.m.: The winner of this year's Metro People's Choice Award will be handed out to the act that receives the most audience votes. The announcement take places place on the Scotiabank Stage in Yonge-Dundas Square during the final performance by Tokka, a new band featuring violinist extraordinaire Dr Draw, who will premiere the world's only fully digital violin.

The 15th Annual Scotiabank BuskerFest in support of Epilepsy Toronto runs Thursday, August 21 - Sunday, August 24, 2014 throughout the Downtown Yonge Neighbourhood from Queen Street to College Street. Festival in Full Swing (Road closures in effect from Thursday at 9:30 a.m. onwards): Thursday, Aug 21: noon - 11 p.m., Friday, Aug 22: noon - 11 p.m., Saturday, Aug 23: 11 a.m. - 11 p.m., Sunday, Aug 24: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Admission is by voluntary donation to Epilepsy Toronto.

For information, visit www.scotiabankbuskerfest.comh. Facebook:, Twitter: buskerfestto hashtag: #SBBF.

About Scotiabank BuskerFest - Since its inception in 2000, Scotiabank BuskerFest has hosted millions of amazed spectators and helped raise much-needed funds for Epilepsy Toronto. Scotiabank BuskerFest is the largest street performers' festival in North America and is the largest Epilepsy awareness-raising event in the world with a stellar array of over 160 of the world's best street performers from around the world!

Torontonians and tourists alike can take in non-stop, eye-popping performances from such acts as Australia's Bendy Em, a pint-sized former gymnast who bends and contorts her body into freakily mind-boggling positions; the Famous Rubberband Boy, a double Guiness World Record Holder from New Zealand; Dynamike who comes fully loaded with skills and crazy tricks: chainsaw, fire and knives, and a ten-foot-unicycle; Berlin's BLANKO, winner of the 2013 World Statues Festival for Living Statues; Scott Jackson, Toronto's master beatboxer (2012 Canadian Beatbox Champion and finalist on Canada's Got Talent); and not-to-be missed, the Kamikaze Fireflies (United States), 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! And much, much more!

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