Toronto BuskerFest – Thursday August 27 – Sunday August 30, 2009 – Street performers galore!

From Press Release

Scotiabank BuskerFest is taking place AUGUST 27-30, 2009 throughout St. Lawrence Market area.

– in support of Epilepsy Toronto –

There will be more than buskers at Scotiabank BuskerFest taking place August 27-30 throughout the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood! Celebrating its 10th Anniversary, the fest presents the best performers from the past 10 years in addition to top new acts with over 100 performers in all! The Scotiabank Toronto International BuskerFest has also, for the second year in a row, been named as one of the Top 100 Festivals in Ontario by Festival and Events Ontario. BuskerFest offers something for everyone – great activities for kids, green initiatives, cool contests, special performances, and delicious food choices.

Here are some of the ancillary events slated for the days leading up to and including this great festival:
SCOTIABANK BUSKERFEST/EPILEPSY TORONTO TO OPEN THE TSX!

Monday, August 24 – Leading up to the festival, on the morning of August 24, Scotiabank BuskerFest and Epilepsy Toronto representatives will open The Toronto Stock Exchange market at the TMX Broadcast Centre!
FIRST-EVER SCOTIABANK BUSKERBALL!

Tuesday, August 25 – Before the festival even starts, August 25 (6pm-10pm), sees the BuskerFest spirit in full force for the first-ever Scotiabank BuskerBall – a giant party in support of Epilepsy Toronto! This evening of fun and foolery features fabulous cuisine, live and silent auctions and an intimate preview of some of the world’s most spectacular and unique performers headlining this year’s festival! CTV’s Tom Hayes hosts and Metro’s Enza the Supermodel will be making a very special appearance. Honourary Co-Chairs are George Smitherman, Deputy Premier, Minister for Energy and Infrastructure and MPP Toronto Centre; and Robin Hibberd, Executive Vice President, Personal Lending, Scotiabank. All proceeds go to Epilepsy Toronto for its counseling programs and services for children with epilepsy and their families. Held at the St. Lawrence North Market, tickets for this fundraiser are $100. Email pam@epilepsytoronto.org for tickets.

BUSKERFEST SNEAK PEEK BAR-BQ

Wednesday, August 26 – Toronto Police Department’s 61 Division will hold a BBQ for 350 youth aged 5- to 12-years-old from nine local community day camps on August 26 at noon in Market Lane. Some of the fest’s most kid-friendly performers will treat these young people to their unique brand of entertainment.

BUSKERFEST LAUNCH!

Thursday, August 27 – On opening day of the festival, August 27 at noon, Mayor David Miller will be in attendance to cut the cake and launch the 10th anniversary of Scotiabank BuskerFest. ALAKAZAM – the winner of BuskerFest’s People’s Choice Award the last THREE years in a row – will make an attempt to break the GUINNESS WORLD RECORD and pass his entire body through a tennis racket 3 times in under one minute! The launch takes place at Church and Market St, on the CTV stage.

ESPECIALLY FOR KIDS AT BUSKERFEST:

August 27-30: Back by popular demand, BuskerPlay at the Scotiabank Tent has wonderful free activities for kids throughout the four days of the festival. It hosts a roster of workshops and arts and crafts, including balloon-twisting, face painting, juggling and bubble battles! Centre of Gravity Circus School will offer aerial workshops and there will be performances throughout the afternoon at the BusekerPlay Stage, geared especially to a family audience. BuskerPlay is located in Market Lane Park, next to the North Building of the St. Lawrence Market.

SPECIAL PERFORMANCES AT THE FEST:
A number of special performances are happening this year. On Friday, August 28 from 6pm to 9pm, three performances in a row will be presented with American Sign Language interpretation at the Epilepsy Toronto stage (Berczy Park). Another accessibility initiative offers wheelchair-reserved seating areas at the Scotiabank and CTV stages. These initiatives help make the festival more accessible to all audiences.

The 4th Annual Fire Show, hosted by The FireGuy, showcases the ‘hottest’ fire performers at the festival. The Fire Show takes place Friday, August 28 at 9:30pm (rain date: Saturday, August 29) at the Scotiabank stage (Front and Church St). BuskerFest ends with another hot show: the Grande Finale on Sunday, August 30 at 6:30pm at the Epilepsy Toronto stage (Berczy Park) where the winner of this year’s Metro People’s Choice Award will be awarded to the act who received the most audience votes. Normally buskers keep the proceeds that they gather after a performance; but, for these two special performances, all proceeds go to Epilepsy Toronto, and Scotiabank has generously offered to match whatever is collected!

CONTESTS:
Audience members can win big as the EYE Weekly BuskerFest Photo Contest returns. Audience members can enter their best photo from BuskerFest for a chance to win a new HP Home Photo Centre Package. Visit eyeweekly.com/buskerfest for contest details. Winners will be announced in the September 10 issue of EYE Weekly as well as on eyeweekly.com.

Audiences can also vote for their favourite busker to win the Metro People’s Choice Award, which gives the winning busker an automatic invite back to next year’s festival. As well, each ballot filled out by an audience member will be entered into a raffle for a fabulous prize of 4 tickets to attend the Toronto production of The Jersey Boys. Drop by the Epilepsy Toronto Info Tent (on Front St. just east of Church) to enter your ballot.

BUSKERFEST GOES GREENER! 
A year ago, Scotiabank BuskerFest in collaboration with the St. Lawrence Market, launched the sale of their fun, festival eco-bags featuring a caricature of a chef from the market juggling fresh vegetables. The bags were sold at the festival and then year round in the market with proceeds from sales going to Epilepsy Toronto. The initiative was so well received that it is being extended and the bags will once again be available at this year’s festival.

New this year are eco-friendly water bottles (BPA free). "People need to drink water but what we hope is that they will chose to refill reusable water bottles with clean City of Toronto tap water instead of creating more waste. We wanted to provide them a simple way to do that," says Scotiabank BuskerFest Festival Director Bonnie Taylor. HTO, a water trailer program from the City of Toronto, will be on site on Front Street, just west of Church, from Friday to Sunday. Festival guests are urged to bring their own refillable bottles or to purchase one of the new "Scotiabank BuskerFest Water Bottles" for $5 (proceeds to Epilepsy Toronto).

REDUCE….REUSE…..RE-CYCLE. Last year the festival also introduced a new recycling initiative, which produced incredible results and will be returning this year. Ten waste management stations will be on site, each consisting of recycling, litter and organics containers. Large flags identify them and volunteers monitor them, offering valuable information on what goes where. Last year the festival diverted 60% of its garbage with its recycling plan – one of the highest percentages in the City!

GENERAL INFO:
Over the last decade, the Scotiabank BuskerFest has featured hundreds of the best street performers from around the world, hosted hundreds and hundreds of thousands of amazed spectators (with estimates of 1,000,000 attending last year alone!) and has helped raise close to one mil
lion dollars for Epilepsy Toronto. Not only is BuskerFest now the largest festival of its kind in North America, it is also the largest Epilepsy awareness raising event in the world. More than one million spectators are estimated to attend BuskerFest this year. Volunteers will be standing by the entrances, accepting donations on behalf of Epilepsy Toronto as crowds come and go.

10th Annual Scotiabank BuskerFest

Toronto International Street Performer’s Festival

Thursday August 27 – Sunday August 30, 2009

throughout the St. Lawrence Market Neighbourhood along Front Street from Jarvis to Yonge and adjacent side streets

Thursday noon-10pm,

Friday noon-11pm,

Saturday 11am-11pm,

Sun 11am-8pm.

Admission is FREE with a voluntary donation to benefit Epilepsy Toronto

For information visit www.torontobuskerfest.com

www.facebook.com/BuskerFestToronto

http://twitter.com/BuskerFestTO

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