Escape Artist Rob Roy Collins Among Fan Favourites and First Timers at Sun Life Financial Waterloo Busker Carnival

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Co-written by Lindsay Burdett

The Sunlife Financial Waterloo Busker Carnival kicks off its 26th year on Thursday, August 21st. This year brings familiar faces, along with many new, captivating performers from around the globe. Canada’s Premier Carnival brings the Waterloo Region community together to enjoy a weekend of outrageously talented, wild performances.

This year three fan favourites will return to wow the crowd, including Chalkmaster Dave from Toronto who often paints the streets with his exquisite 3D murals and unique art form. Another fan favourite returning from 2009, is The Red Trouser Show from Boston. With all new tricks up their sleeves the Red Trouser Show delivers an exciting combination of comedy and daring acrobatics, including fire juggling and ladder stunts. The last returning performer is Rob Roy Collins, who comes all the way from England to kick start the opening ceremonies with his courageous escapology and comedic moments that always leave the crowd wanting more.

Collins will attempt “The Great Escape” upside down from an industrial crane high above the Main Pitch of the carnival. “I have done this sort of thing from a few crazy places including high atop a billboard in Toronto, off a roller coaster track in the UK, and from a helicopter in Niagara Falls, but never so close to an audience in a public square,” Collins said. “They will be able to hear everything up and close and personal. It’s going to be brilliant!”

After celebrating the carnival’s 25th anniversary last year the team wanted to bring a fresh, exciting spin to the Buskers this summer by introducing nine new, internationally renowned performers to Waterloo busker fans… the first timers!

Dream State Circus, all the way from Australia, bring with them a dazzling show of hand balancing, juggling, and equilibrium, all involving fire. Another first timer includes Mario, Queen of the Circus from New York City. Mario is considered a top five busker in the world, producing a unique blend of circus artistry and comedy, he captivates the crowd with impeccable juggling tricks, humor, and crowd surfing, all while enjoying his favorite rock group, Queen. Pyromancer, from the Netherlands, offers an astounding show for the whole family of bold fire breathing tricks. Jam packed with danger and a light-hearted touch of comedy, his fire show is world class and will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Lisa Lottie, also from the Netherlands, delivers a beautiful and vivid performance of balance, hula hooping and contortions, as she attempts one of the most complicated stunts ever! Jonathan Burns, a contortionist from Philadelphia, will keep you laughing and in shock with his flexibility in bending in positions unimaginable. Don’t miss Funny bones, all the way from Tokyo, Japan, who will keep you gasping for air their entire performance. Their silent routine and ability to portray ad-lib comedy involving props, the crowd, acrobatics, and much more, will astonish you.

Other newcomers include Copper Cowgirl, a hilarious human statue delivering a sweet and sassy punch of visual performance and comedy; Derek Derek, a dramatic and multi-talented performer from Colorado, who dazzles with his rare combination of Chinese pole acrobatics, clowning, dancing, and audience participation. Last but certainly not least, this year’s carnival introduces Kilted Colin, an extremely high-energy bagpipe and unicycle enthusiast, offering a once in a lifetime comedic performance you’ll never forget.

“It was something we knew we had to do for our Busker fans,” noted Tracey Johnston-Aldworth, Chair of this year’s carnival. “After celebrating our 25th anniversary last year with Fan Favourites and a free concert by former busker (1990), Steven Page, we wanted to take it up a notch … We call them our First Timers and it’s going to be an incredible line-up this year.”

The Sun Life Financial Waterloo Busker Carnival is an internationally recognized carnival, is completely organized and run by volunteers and features top performers from around the globe! Each year brings more excitement and memories to the community of Waterloo Region.

The carnival runs through the weekend, August 21-24…. escape artist Rob Roy Collins attempts “The Great Escape” at 6:30pm on Thursday, August 21. For the full carnival agenda and details, please click here.

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