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article imageStreet performers busking for epilepsy at 12th Toronto BuskerFest Special

By Andrew Moran     Aug 17, 2011 in Entertainment
Toronto - The 12th annual BuskerFest is coming to Toronto next week and organizers held a media launch showcasing some of the talent that will be performing at the event. From Australian fire-dancers to the invasion of giant ants, the globe is busking.
History of Busking
Busking, otherwise known as street performing, dates back to antiquity and is used as a form of income for those who entertain anyone doing anything. Some of the most utilized performances include fire breathing, card tricks, street theatre, clowning, magic, juggling and the list goes on.
Although a historical trait, we see contemporary busking on the streets of major metropolitan cities, whether it is musical performances, living statues and the world famous mimes.
Performer on stilts posing for the camera at BuskerFest.
Performer on stilts posing for the camera at BuskerFest.
The 1952 Charlie Chaplin talking motion picture “Limelight” and the classic 1954 Italian Federico Fellini film “La Strada” portray both famous acts (Limelight) and poor buskers who travel from town to town and village to village hoping to gain any little money they can (La Strada).
A lot of modern day celebrities have been known buskers, such as Brue Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Bon Jovi, Sting and Cirque du Soleil’s Guy Laliberte.
There are even cyber buskers that perform through YouTube.
Toronto’s BuskerFest
A clown performing an artistry act for kids at BuskerFest.
A clown performing an artistry act for kids at BuskerFest.
BuskerFest organizers held a media launch Wednesday in Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market area to showcase some of the talent that will be performing at the 12th annual Scotiabank BuskerFest.
This year’s BuskerFest will feature elite acrobat performers, aerial artists, contortionists, fire jugglers, magicians and musicians from all over the world, including Argentina, Australia, Japan, Sweden, the United Kingdom and elsewhere.
The epilepsy event is recognized as one of the globe’s premiere events.
Some of the listed street performers are American Lindsay Benner, Canadian Axe Capoeira, Spain’s Adrian Conde, Australia’s Space Cowboy, Dutch Pyromancer, the UK’s Peter Snow and Tumble Circus and Toronto’s Kate Mior.
City Councillor Pam McConnell
City Councillor Pam McConnell
“Thanks to Scotiabank we get to do this every year and all the organizers, but most important we get to do it for the buskers and they come from all over the world and it’s an event in our community where we welcome our guests from the world that are guests from all around Toronto and GTA to come and enjoy the neighbourhood you come from,” said City Councillor Pam McConnell.
“It’s a wonderful time for all of us, so I want you all to come out and enjoy. Meanwhile, today is a special day and we called our picnic after a special person who has been very important for our community [Bob Kemp].”
“As the Minister of Research and Innovation, we raise a lot of money in government to make research into children’s diseases and epilepsy is one of the areas we are most strongly invested in,” said Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament Glenn Murray.
Following the Ontario Minister’s remarks, Murray and McConnell presented Bob Kemp with a honourary plaque for his volunteer work in the St. Lawrence Market community. Kemp is a liaison with the local police department, city councillor’s office, residents and associations.
Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament Glenn Murray
Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament Glenn Murray
The annual event that is held in support of epilepsy will begin Aug. 25 and run until Aug. 28. BuskerFest is a pay-what-you-can event and all proceeds will go to Epilepsy Toronto.
Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a brain disorder that involves seizures, which occur due to disturbed brain functions. There are a number of factors that can cause epilepsy, such as a brain tumor, a brain injury, dementia, infections and unusual blood vessels in the brain.
City Councillor Pam McConnell (L) and Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament Glenn Murray (R) prese...
City Councillor Pam McConnell (L) and Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament Glenn Murray (R) present Bob Kemp with an honourary plaque.
Primary treatment is usually medication.
The word epilepsy comes from a Greek word meaning possession. The Greeks believed that seizures were the causes of demonic possessions and identified them as a supernatural phenomenon.
To this date, epilepsy organizations say that there are many misconceptions related to epilepsy. Epilepsy Canada and Epilepsy Toronto have released fact sheets to dispel myths and provide real information.
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(For more unpublished photos, please visit the YouTube video above. For videos of the event, please watch the clips below of FlameOz.)
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Fire performer at BuskerFest media launch
Fire performer at BuskerFest media launch
Fire performer at BuskerFest media launch
Fire performer at BuskerFest media launch
Fire performer at BuskerFest media launch
Fire performer at BuskerFest media launch
Fire performer at BuskerFest media launch
Fire performer at BuskerFest media launch
Giant ants at BuskerFest media launch
Giant ants at BuskerFest media launch
Giant ants at BuskerFest media launch
Giant ants at BuskerFest media launch
Fire performer at BuskerFest media launch
Fire performer at BuskerFest media launch
Buskers posing for the cameras.
Buskers posing for the cameras.
Buskers taking centre stage for photographs.
Buskers taking centre stage for photographs.
Australian Fire-dancers  FlameOz
Australian Fire-dancers, FlameOz
Australian Fire-dancers  FlameOz
Australian Fire-dancers, FlameOz
Australian Fire-dancers  FlameOz
Australian Fire-dancers, FlameOz
Australian Fire-dancers  FlameOz
Australian Fire-dancers, FlameOz
Australian Fire-dancers  FlameOz
Australian Fire-dancers, FlameOz
Australian Fire-dancers  FlameOz
Australian Fire-dancers, FlameOz
Australian Fire-dancers  FlameOz
Australian Fire-dancers, FlameOz
Australian Fire-dancers  FlameOz
Australian Fire-dancers, FlameOz
Australian Fire-dancers  FlameOz
Australian Fire-dancers, FlameOz
Australian Fire-dancers  FlameOz
Australian Fire-dancers, FlameOz
Australian fire-dancers  FireOz
Australian fire-dancers, FireOz
Australian Fire-dancers  FlameOz
Australian Fire-dancers, FlameOz
Australian Fire-dancers  FlameOz
Australian Fire-dancers, FlameOz
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