“Popcorn! Get your popcorn!” hollered the vendor. Excited chatter rose above the music’s thump as people streamed through the doors. We could smell the hot dogs and doughnuts, tantalizing us. The sights and sounds under the big top quickly ushered us into the exceptional world of the circus.
The Royal Canadian Family Circus is a traditional travelling circus that brings circus entertainment to cities across Canada. They do not use animals in the show and the performers come from all over the world. Some families have been circus performers for generations! The ringmaster, Joseph Dominik Bauer, born to Swiss parents, is an 8th generation circus performer who made his own debut in the circus at age three in Osaka, Japan. (I tried to remind myself that he was a pro, but I still couldn’t watch his performance on the Wheel of Destiny.)
The show opened with the Flying Cortez family of trapeze artists, the perfect sparkling and breathtaking way to begin. Jugglers made their complicated routines look as easy as making toast and the tightrope walker casually travelled up and down his rope, maintaining his balance while he swung it like it was a hammock at the beach. The Chinese acrobats dazzled with intricate performances and the circus got even louder as motorcycles took centre stage for two acts. One act involved three bikes roaring around inside a globe and the other, uniquely, was a swinging motorcycle that launched performers flipping into a net. Unexpectedly, that was one of my favourite acts!
When the ringmaster performed on his Wheel of Death, er, I mean Destiny, I really couldn’t watch the terrifying antics. It’s a cocky, daring number with running and jumping on the outside of a towering, spinning metal wheel. Of course, it wasn’t enough just to run or jump; Bauer skipped rope, juggled flaming torches, and traversed the wheel blindfolded to the accompanying roar of the crowd. Somehow he made it back to the ground to perform another circus show. The performers all exemplified strength, flexibility, and complete control over every muscle and every movement. It was inspiring and amazing to watch.
Beyond the excellent circus acts, the circus offers a complete experience. Pony rides and face painting are available to purchase before the show and during intermission, or you could get a picture with an albino boa constrictor. (It was so still at first, my kids argued whether it was real. They were convinced when they saw its flickering tongue.) Classic circus snacks abound, with popcorn, doughnuts, candy apples, and cotton candy tempting the kids. And the adults.
The cacophony of sounds and smells, the flashing lights, and the intimate nature of spectators joined under the big top take you to another world, if only for an evening. And through all the commotion, the performers continued with the incredible, dedicated concentration that helped develop their impressive acts.
The Royal Canadian Circus is a breathtaking show for family entertainment. Its fast-moving pace and brilliant acts under the big top keep you on the edge of your seat. With all your senses stimulated, it’s a show everyone will love. The Circus plays until June 23, 2019, by Cross Iron Mills. If you’re lucky enough to nab tickets, take the family and be amazed together!
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Royal Canadian family Circus SPECTAC™ 2019:
When: June 14 – 23, 2019
Time: Times vary by date. Check the website for the complete schedule.
Where: CrossIron Mills
Address: 261055 CrossIron Blvd NE, Calgary, AB
Although we do our best to provide you with accurate information, all event details are subject to change. Please contact the facility to avoid disappointment.