15th Annual Scotiabank BuskerFest Toronto
MORE THAN BUSKERS at Scotiabank BuskerFest!
in support of Epilepsy Toronto
August 21-24, 2014 throughout the Downtown Yonge Neighbourhood
(Queen St. to College St. and surrounding areas)
Toronto, August 7, 2014 – Scotiabank BuskerFest in support of Epilepsy Toronto returns to the Downtown Yonge neighbourhood with more than 160 of the world’s top street performers in over 70 acts. North America’s largest street performers festival, and the world’s largest epilepsy event, takes place along Yonge Street from Queen Street to College Street and surrounding areas from August 21-24.
With six Guinness world records, three World Champions and a sky high list of awards, this year’s lineup of performers at Scotiabank BuskerFest are a real bunch of over-achievers. Last year an estimated 1.5 million people attended the festival, and organizers are expecting at least as many this year who will be entertained by world-class street artists from around the globe – from Canada and the U.S., and as far away as Australia, Austria, Argentina, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom – performing on 16 pitches, noon to night.
Audiences will be dazzled and charmed by acrobatics, balloon twisting, beatboxing, chainsaw juggling, fire-hula hooping, body contortion, belly dancing, tango dancing, sleight of hand, Chinese pole, Russian bar, Hungarian whip-cracking, teeterboard, cyr wheel, straight jacket escapes, skateboard stunts and much more as performers descend on the country’s most populous city for four days and nights of silliness and spectacle in support of a great cause. There is something for all ages from specialty children’s events to late-night fire performances and live music.
ADDITIONAL EVENTS AND INFORMATION
The festival features MORE THAN BUSKERS, with special services and events, including the Scotiabank BuskerBall and Scotiabank BuskerPlay Kids Zone, offering a variety of fun activities for children.
o SCOTIABANK BUSKERFEST/EPILEPSY TORONTO OPEN THE TSX
Monday, August 18 – Scotiabank BuskerFest and Epilepsy Toronto representatives open the Toronto Stock Exchange at the TMX Broadcast Centre at 9:30am. It’s far from business-as-usual when buskers are on the scene!
o SIXTH ANNUAL SCOTIABANK BUSKERBALL
Tuesday, August 19 – The sixth annual Scotiabank BuskerBall (6pm-10pm) kicks off Scotiabank BuskerFest with an evening of glamour, giggles and gastronomic delights, along with live and silent auctions and an intimate preview of the world’s most spectacular and unique performers headlining this year’s festival! CTV News anchor Andria Case hosts the event and co-chairs along with John Doig, Scotiabank Chief Marketing Officer. The event aesthetic will be created by interior designers Glen Peloso and Jamie Alexander of “Make Room for Living.” Scotiabank BuskerBall takes places at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (formerly Maple Leaf Gardens). Tickets for this fundraiser are $150 with all proceeds going to Epilepsy Toronto.
o SCOTIABANK BUSKERFEST LAUNCH
Thursday, August 21 – The Festival Media Launch features special performances to delight and astound the crowd, beginning at noon at Yonge-Dundas Square. Look for the high-spirited stilt drummers of Toronto’s afro-Brazilian MaracaTALL, the thrilling acrobats of California’s Flying Tortillas, Quebec’s dazzling acrobatic duo Les Vitamins, zany Australian comic vaudevillian Mr Spin and more!
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 the square throughout the festival are being generously donated to Epilepsy Toronto. On the opening day, Thursday August 21, Scotiabank will match every dollar collected in the square.
o METRO PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD
The announcement of this year’s audience-selected Metro People’s Choice Award winner will take place on the Scotiabank Stage in Yonge-Dundas Square during the final performance by festival favourite, violinist extraordinaire Dr Draw, who will be premiering the world’s only fully digital violin. The Metro Award gives the winning busker an automatic invite back to next year’s festival. Complete a ballot or vote online to be entered in a draw to win a Beats Pill (wireless speakers) by Dr. Dre. Drop by the Epilepsy Toronto Info Booth in Yonge-Dundas Square
o ESPECIALLY FOR KIDS
Scotiabank BuskerPlay Kids Zone, located in Trinity Square Park (behind the Eaton Centre – accessible from Bay, Dundas and Albert Streets or through the mall), has wonderful activities for kids: face painting, balloon twisting, music, free workshops for kids in the Scotiabank Tent, free Hoola Hooping and Devil Sticking at the Dispatch Talent Tent and busker acts from an incredible line up of international performers, geared especially to the family audience. Among the fantastic acts are absurdist clown Ale Risorio from Spain and his bag full of strange and wonderful props; Italy’s very charming ‘One-Man Band’ Lorenzo Gianmario Galli; teenage yoyo whiz Kohel Mintz and Californian break-dancers and acrobats the Flying Tortillas.
o SCOTIABANK BUSKERFEST ACCESSIBLE TO ALL
Epilepsy Toronto is working to ensure all visitors enjoy the festival with ease. At the BuskerAccess Tent, located in 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 accessibility volunteers, wearing an identifiable accessibility symbol on their shirts. Non-verbal performances happen each day throughout the festival. Ale Risorio, Ikeda Yosuke and CiRcO LoCo perform on the main stage pitches, Bence Sarkadi: The Budapest Marionettes and Woody perform at fly pitches throughout the festival grounds and BLANKO andChasseur de Rêves perform daily in Yonge-Dundas Square. Additionally, on Thursday, Aug 21, from 5pm – 8pm, benefit performances on the Scotiabank Stage in Yonge-Dundas Square will be accompanied by ASL interpretation.
o BIKE VALET
The Downtown Yonge BIA has introduced a free bike valet program for key events – including Scotiabank BuskerFest. Guests can drop off their bike, receive a ticket stub and pick it up when they leave. The valet is located on the south side of Dundas Street West, between Yonge Street and Bay Street. Just look for the Downtown Yonge BIA flag and the Cycle Toronto tent.
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, Yonge-Dundas Square and Gould St.)
Thursday noon – 11pm; 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.
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