• Stephanie O’Hanley

Festival de cirque Vaudreuil-Dorion offers free fun for everyone this weekend


Throw2Catch’s Guinski (left) a native of fictional ‘Kouglistan’ not only put a moustache and outfit on audience member Chris Harden (right), Vice-President Of Development at sponsor Harden Group, he placed a carrot in Harden’s mouth, later slicing the carrot with help from partner Gandalf during a performance at a press conference Tuesday, June 13, at the Centre Multisports.

This weekend (June 23-25) organizers of Vaudreuil-Dorion’s Festival de cirque are inviting citizens of all ages to stop by Rue Jeannotte to enjoy their free circus festival.

“This circus is your circus,” local businesswoman Sonia Drolet, president of Festivités de Vaudreuil-Dorion, the festival’s organizer, said at a press conference Tuesday, June 13 at the Centre Multisports.

“We hope you’ll turn out in large numbers,” Drolet said, pointing out the festival offers something for people of all ages and it’s free. “The only thing left to do now is cross our fingers and hope Mother Nature will be there for us on the 23, 24 and 25.”

Michel Vallée, the festival’s programming director and head of Vaudreuil-Dorion’s arts and cultural division, said the festival’s programming is not only exceptional, it’s offered free of charge. “It’s accessible to everyone and the shows that weekend are put on by professional Quebec circus artists who are becoming known internationally.”

Vallée, sporting a “Je suis cirque” T-shirt (the festival’s hashtag), invited people to be there when the festival kicks off this Friday, June 23, at 4 p.m. “Come eat with us,” he said, adding the on-site food concession area follows the same formula as last year but is improved with well-known local businesses offering affordable meals costing around $5.

At 4 p.m. flying trapeze act Carpe Diem will offer the first of its festival workshops where people can try their hand at trapeze. Later Carpe Diem will follow Spicy Circus, a trampoline wall act where trampoline artists literally go up a nearly five-metre wall and then jump down at high speed, with performances in the cabaret-show zone.

Friday’s street entertainment features stilt walkers Les Productions Mystika Circus, one of several street circus acts charming the crowds this weekend.

Then after the annual, colourful, citizen showcase, the Défilé Mozaïk, which includes between 800 and 1000 participants, festival-goers will celebrate Saint-Jean-Baptiste with fireworks at Paul-Gérin-Lajoie Park, followed by a show at the festival’s music stage featuring headliner Granby-born singer-songwriter Alex Nevsky.

Over the weekend, festival-goers will find plenty of chances to participate in circus arts or gymnastics, to try out slackline, or even build something.

From Saturday on, free family-oriented fun includes face painting and parent-child yoga classes, available at specific times. Families will find all sorts of activities in the festival’s creative and family zones. There’s a special game zone just for toddlers and families will especially enjoy board games, paint-by-numbers and art workshops, an obstacle course, archery, miniature golf and an old-fashioned photobooth.

There will also be amusement park rides, available for a fee.

Street circus acts on rue Jeannotte over the weekend include Spicy Circus, Carpe Diem and Throw2Catch. Young children can take in a show from Atlas Geocircus on June 24 or check out Pepe et Colori on June 25.

To showcase local talent, the festival includes presentations by Festi-Cirque, whose performers hail from nine area elementary and high schools, as well as Gymini, Centre Multisports and the École de cirque Vaudreuil-Soulanges.

Throughout the weekend visitors can catch musical performances by Melt It Up, Groupe Mario Turbide and Robert Charlebois on June 24 along with West Island band The Day Dreamers and zany acrobat-musician circus troupe Les Parfaits Inconnus on June 25.

For a day-by-day list of festival happenings, visit www.festivaldecirque.com or look for Festival de cirque Vaudreuil-Dorion on Facebook.

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