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Kids of all ages are invited to the spectacular Toronto International Circus Festival and exciting, interactive experiences, as part of HarbourKIDS this Holiday Weekend, May 17, 18 & 19. Admission is free.

TORONTO, May 1, 2008—World-class acrobats, blazing fire-masters, stilt walkers, jugglers, award-winning balloon sculptors, side-splitting comedy, the Natrel Fearless Fun Zone, plus tons of courage-inspiring interactive activities await visitors of all ages to Harbourfront Centre’s big celebration of FEARLESSNESS! The BiG idEA for May’s edition of HarbourKIDS (Harbourfront Centre’s new family programme) is FEARLESS. This action-packed weekend of non-stop fun celebrates and encourages bravery, pluckiness and courage in kids by showing them that anything is possible once they set their minds to it!

HarbourKIDS takes place on Saturday, Sunday & Victoria Day Holiday Monday,
May 17, 18 & 19, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre,
235 Queens Quay West. Admission is free. For information, the public can call
416-973-4000 or visit

Inspired by the courageous circus performers who embody FEARLESSNESS in their work, Harbourfront Centre and Zero Gravity Circus present the Toronto International Circus Festival. The festival, a celebration of circus arts, shows adults and children alike what being FEARLESS is all about through thrills, chills and daredevils! (For additional details on the Toronto International Circus Festival, visit


Sirius Fun: The Big Top!
1:30 to 2:30 p.m. each day at the SIRIUS Satellite Radio Stage

The highlight of the Toronto International Circus Festival is a showcase of highly skilled professional acrobats, aerialists and vaudevillians in a multidisciplinary event. Expect amazing aerial athletics, sensational human towers, falls, tosses and feats of strength in a spirited demonstration of FEARLESS acrobatic prowess. Artists from around the world collaborate on creating breath-taking acrobatic magic!

Sirius Fun: The Big Top! Performers
A charming character, Fesso bumbles through the performance, stumbling into opportunities to showcase his circus skills and sometimes lack thereof. Sometimes audience members are invited on stage to learn a few circus skills of their own—inevitably showing up this clown and becoming circus stars themselves!

Jen Georgopoulos
A former competitive gymnast, Jen Georgopoulos trained as a stunt performer in fight choreography, fire work and high falls before eventually turning her determined gaze to the world of circus arts. She currently specializes in the dramatic dynamics of the aerial disciplines with Zero Gravity Circus, including solo static trapeze and aerial silks.

Abduweli Ablimit, Ablikim Ablimit, Abdurusul Abdurkerim, Jappar Abdureyim
This talented quartet has been schooled in the circus disciplines from early childhood. Having been chosen for their natural talent, they began the rigorous training for which the north western part of China (Uyghur) is known. They have showcased their skills throughout Asia, Europe and North America winning a number of awards along the way, including the Gold Medal at the prestigious Wuqiao International Circus Festival (China).

Peter Loung
Peter Loung is an accomplished martial artist whose exceptional discipline was recognized by special invitation to train with the famed Shoalin Temple of China. Loung dedicates his remarkable focus to the demands of the circus arts, including hand balancing and aerial straps—breathtaking acrobatic disciplines that centre on exquisite control, supreme confidence and outstanding technique.

Maleke Duncan-Reid
Born in Jamaica, Maleke Duncan-Reid has always been an all-star athlete. Along with a host of other accomplishments, he played on the provincial soccer team before shifting his focus to global gymnastics competition with Team Canada. He is currently cultivating his extraordinary physical prowess with Zero Gravity Circus in the art of hand balancing and hand-to-hand—a demonstration of intense concentration, incredible stamina and brute strength.

Jenny & Sarah Haglund
Since a very early age, the Swedish contortionists Jenny and Sara Haglund knew they wanted to become circus artists. They began their training as performers at the age of 13. Attending a circus high school in Sweden, they learned the basics in various circus disciplines. They continued to develop their skills while touring in Sweden and throughout Europe with various productions including the Circus Cirkor. In 2005, they were admitted to the Montreal National Circus School where they specialized in contortion. They are now ready to pursue an international career under the big top!

Holly Trednick
Holly Trednick has studied various forms of performance including modern dance, theatre, clown, fire performance and aerial acrobatics. She continues to explore engaging new disciplines to bring to the stage with Zero Gravity Circus.

Lindsay Stephens
An accomplished singer that is skilled in the aerial arts of silks and aerial hoop, Lindsay Stephens also incorporates an inquiry into the circus in her PhD studies.

Clowning Around Theatre
Laced with character, charisma and humour, audiences can’t resist the captivating charm of these marvellous comic vignettes.

Madame & Monsieur by The ACROBUFFOS (New York)
12:15 p.m. each day
What happens when a mask-player/juggler/non-verbal slapstick comedian marries a clown/street performer/former ballet dancer? The ACROBUFFOS! Madame & Monsieur is a half mask show that transforms actors into cartoons, allowing for breakneck slapstick and thigh-slapping laughter that few other genres can match. Like a life-size Punch & Judy show, the characters bang into walls, mistake each other for trampolines and dance like boxers. Ridiculous and outrageous!

Hurricane Gerty (Toronto)
2:45 pm each day
Award-winning actress and clown Edith Tankus has charmed audiences across North America with her superbly comic performances as “Hurricane Gerty.” From her dreamy entrance to her gutsy grand finale, Gerty doles out ukulele arias, off the wall puppetry, charismatic crowd-control and stupendous feats of spontaneous mirth, all served up with a dollop of European charm to create a singularly unforgettable theatrical event.

Natrel Fearless Fun Zone, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
These are interactive comedic daredevil acts based on various circus disciplines—rola bola, escape acts, chain saw juggling, rope walking and other wide-ranging talents.

FOO—Your Natrel Fearless Fun Zone host!
Helen Donnelly is a unique and accomplished actor, clown and professional performance storyteller. Her many unique characters transcend cultural barriers by using only gibberish and body language to communicate her eccentric ideas. Look for FOO throughout the day at the Natrel Fearless Fun Zone!

The Ben Show (Toronto) May 17 & 18
This show is an original entertainment experience by a supercharged comedy stunt man. From the second Ben hits the stage, his high-energy show never ceases to amaze. He is a master of odd skills from the truly unbelievable to the totally absurd —expect outrageous stunts, mind-bending physical comedy and hilarious sight gags.

DYNAMIKE (Toronto) May 17 & 18
With the energy of a six-year-old on a sugar high, DYNAMIKE combines humour, spectacular feats of strength and agility with audience interaction to make jaws drop and ribs ache with laughter. He’s a feel-good, comedy, stuntman, whose distinctive and expanding repertoire includes couple's unicycling, audience trampoline, machete juggling atop a 12-foot circus ladder and the Back Flip of Danger! (Also performing at the Harbour Stage on May 19.)

Kalen Davidson (Vancouver) May 19
Kalen Davidson’s high-energy demonstration showcases a wealth of talent, developed over the last 10 years of fire play mixed with martial arts. A skilled manipulator of blazing props and a charismatic character, audiences are mesmerized by a lavish storm of fiery brilliance. A sure-fire hit not to be missed! (Also performing at the Harbour Stage on May 17.)

Duke Dreamer (Australia) May 19
Duke Dreamer is a fast talking showman—a passionate mystical character whose one-of-a-kind show has drawn crowds in Australia, Europe and North America. Duke Dreamer seamlessly melds comedy, circus stunts, and social consciousness into a new age, new circus extravaganza. (Also performing at the Harbour Stage on May 17 & 18.)

Edward Extraordinaire (Ukraine) May 17
Since having been discovered on the streets of Spain for his natural talent by Cirque du Soleil, Edward has been travelling the world demonstrating his dazzling ability to coordinate and manipulate multiple objects in innovative and amazing ways. (Also performing at the Harbour Stage on May 18 & 19.)

Scot Free (Toronto) May 17 & 18
Jeff has traveled the globe for over 15 years—from Japan to Australia to Europe and beyond—he is a seasoned artist showcasing a skilful mix of character comedy, daredevil stunts, sharp improvised wit and audience interaction. His presence always makes for an exhilarating and hilarious show that audiences don’t forget.

Tim Holland (Peterborough) May 18
Tim Holland invites visitors to share in his fun-packed animated show—an expression of his wealth of talent including ventriloquism, props comedy, and audience participation. Having performed around the world, Holland’s unique approach, wacky improvisation, and outrageous humour make him irresistible.

Mysterion (Toronto) May 18 & 19
Expect the unexpected from this mad doctor—demonstrations of the paranormal, such as telepathy with spectators, ESP tests, mind reading, and telekinesis to nerve wracking feats of mind over matter. Even the most skeptical are drawn into participating in a mind-blowing psychic experience. (Also performing at the Harbour Stage on May 17.)

Kim Potter (New Zealand) May 17 & 19
Kim Potter is a high-energy intelligent comedy show filled with comic daring and circus genius. A highly skilled show combining elements of slapstick, music, standup comedy and precision circus disciplines. (Also performing at the Harbour Stage on May 18.)

Truly Odd Paul (Hamilton) May 19
Featuring wheelies on a tiny motorcycle, fire eating, juggling dangerous objects on a ten-foot unicycle while blindfolded, this thrill ride of a show is truly out of the ordinary. It’s a high energy performance that focuses on amazement, audience interaction and laughter. Paul has travelled the world entertaining thousands of people with his slapstick humour and adventurous spirit. (Also performing at the Harbour Stage on May 17.)

Waterbombs by The ACROBUFFOS (New York) May 17, 18 & 19
Waterbombs is a street show like no other—in a game (not a war) played for pleasure (not pain), two hysterical clown philosophers, nails strapped to their heads, keeps audiences rocking with laughter as they explore the two sides of competition—winning and losing.

Cirque du Solo (Toronto) May 18
A "hiplarious" one-man new vaudevillian show of multi-disciplinary variety skills, such as banjo, clarinet shtick, mime, juggling, slapstick, magic, poetry, ventriloquism and audience participation, sight-gags and contemporary "hipsterical" cartoon word play.

Tap into your courage at the Aerial Hoop Loop-de-Loop May 17, 18 & 19
One by one, kids have the opportunity to take the challenge of spinning around in an aerial hoop in a safe and controlled environment facilitated by a circus professional from Zero Gravity Circus.

Harbour Stage, Noon to 4 pm each day
These classic shows highlight the vaudevillian traditions showcasing time-honoured skills such as unicycling, equilibristics, juggling, and diverse prop manipulation in irresistibly magnetic interactive sketches.

Dan Cole (Toronto) May 19
Dan Cole is an accomplished entertainer whose specialty is the combination of wholesome comedy, juggling with some very unusual objects, magic and creative concepts. A Gemini nominated documentary, Yellow Brick Roads, about Cole’s unusual career, has been televised in 38 countries.

Paul Wildbaum (Toronto) May 18 & 19
Paul Wildbaum is a seasoned professional performer trained in mime, commedia dell'arte, clown and magic. Wildbaum also does stand-up comedy. He performs his playful brand of performance in cabarets, festivals and other events around the world, showcasing his special blend of talent. Cleverly hilarious!

Duke Dreamer (May 17 & 18), DYNAMIKE (May 19), Kalen Davidson (May 17), Edward Extraordinaire (May 18 & 19), Mysterion (May 17), Truly Odd Paul (May 17) and Kim Potter (May 18) also perform at the Harbour Stage.

QQT Theatrics
Toronto’s best alternative circus performers take to the soaring ceilings and wide open spaces of Queens Quay Terminal.

11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, unless otherwise noted
Courage-inspiring activities and workshops that are fun for everyone!

Bold and Ballsy Juggling Workshop
Cool juggling demonstrations from the circus professionals of Zero Gravity Circus are followed by instruction on juggling basics with lots of time to practice throughout the day. Participants also have the opportunity to create their own juggling balls.

Fearless Balloon Genius
Crazy balloon animals from Zero Gravity Circus! Debbie, the globetrotting FEARLESS leader of her balloon sculpting team and the first woman to ever hold the title of world champion balloon twister, has recently returned from her Asian tour to be part of HarbourKIDS!

Laurentien Funhouse
Children are invited to use their imagination with Laurentien markers in this crazy space of creativity! The space is a blank canvas where kids are invited to design and add onto a maze. Hanging from the ceilings and around the space are funhouse mirrors allowing the kids to play with their reflection and distortion of the images they draw. During the last hour of each day, visitors are invited to roam the space with flashlights.

LEGO Launch Pads
Throughout Harbourfront Centre, visitors are asked to do things that encourage bravery and taking chances. The main Lego Launch Pad contains replicas, built of Lego, of thrill and amusement park rides. Facilitators are on hand to explain how the laws of physics affect amusement park ride design, as families design their own thrill ride!

Natrel Thunder and Lightening Band
Afraid of thunder and lightning? Visitors are invited to create their own thundering, awe-inspiring soundscape! First, they make noise-makers using household items and recyclables (milk cartons, spoons, rice, etc). Each of these noise makers can mimic sounds heard during a rainstorm—sounds of wind, rain and thunder.

Super Racers Design Zone
The Design Exchange’s team of top automotive stylists help kids tap into their inner daredevil by guiding them through the process of designing their own speed racer that is ready for the track!

Funk Style Dance Workshop
Monday May 19, Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Facilitated by members of ABA Entertainment, this high-energy workshop, encourages kids to tap into their creativity to eliminate thoughts of doubt or fear. For this workshop, kids and parents are both welcome to join in!

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark Dance
An interactive, fun family dance party caps of the HarbourKIDS weekend from 3 to 5 p.m. on Monday, May 19. Glow in the dark decorations and masks make it all the more fun to celebrate the dark and not fear it.

Creepy Critters: Bugmania
11:15 a.m. to Noon & 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. each day
Bugs Without Borders invites kids to meet its extra special guests: insects (giant hissing cockroaches, stick insects, beetles and silk worms); reptiles (pythons and lizards); arachnids (scorpions and tarantulas), amphibians (frogs and salamanders); and more! (For more information about Bugs Without Borders, please visit

Creepy Critters: Snakes
3:45 to 4:15 p.m. each day
A perfect opportunity to mix and mingle with a boa constrictor, while also overcoming one’s fear of the strange and unusual! Kids are invited to visit Reptilia for an educational, entertaining, and for some, a life altering experience. (For more information about Reptilia, please visit

Powerful Poetry Workshop: Finding Our Courage Through Dubbin’
Saturday May 17, Noon to 1:30 p.m.
d'bi young anitafrika, one of Canada's foremost storytellers shares the roots of the Jamaican-derived art form dub-poetry. Kids can create a poem, a story or a song in this workshop that focuses on esteem-building, developing courage and fun through word and music-play.

Powerful Poetry Workshop: Fearless ME
Sunday May 18, Noon to 1:30 p.m.
How does one write about their own uniqueness? In this workshop, instructor Jordan Scott leads kids through a series of writing activities, encouraging kids to write their own poems. Scott draws on examples from his second book, Blert, which explores the poetics of stuttering, something he has dealt with all his life.

Audio Art Tours By Kids: Podcasts
Audio tours of the Harbourfront Centre gallery spaces through the eyes of kids, including the exhibition FishNet: The Great Lakes Craft & Release Project. Soon, the audio tours by kids will be available to downloaded as MP3 podcasts from the Harbourfront Centre website. Visitors can then bring in their MP3 player and listen to the cool tours in the gallery spaces.

Other not-to-be-missed activities: Kids’ Open Mic Poetry Jam!; Monsters Among Us, a playful installation by Montreal artist Anna Jane MacIntyre; an opportunity to make a water kite/wind sock with Harbourfront Centre’s School Visit’s crew; plus the Local Hero Super Studio workshop where kids can create a superhero costume with the help of Montreal artist Zoë Stonyk.

HarbourKIDS is supported by Canadian Heritage, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, the City of Toronto, Enwave, Sirius Satellite Radio, Queens Quay Terminal, Natrel, Ocean Spray, Laurentien and LEGO.

FOCUS: Sacred
From January to June, Harbourfront Centre asks the big question—What do you hold Sacred? Part of an ongoing exploration of ideas in programming at Harbourfront Centre. Our Lens. Your View. Harbourfront Centre - divine culture.


Media Contacts:
Linda Liontis, Harbourfront Centre

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