Performers with Royal Canadian Family Circus will return to Surrey this spring.
This time around, from May 17 to 21, the company’s 2,700-seat big-top tent will be set up at Guildford Town Centre for 11 “SPECTAC!” shows, which promise to “mesmerize, astound, and thrill audiences beyond the extraordinary.”
The family-friendly circus features high-wire acts, jugglers, Chinese acrobats, stunts, aerialists and more. There are no exotic animals in the show.
Ringmaster Joseph Bauer is a ninth-generation circus performer.
“It’s an incredible showcase of elite circus artists from all around the world that has been designed for multi-generational families,” Bauer raved in a press release.
“It’s the essence of a traditional circus; this year families from Surrey and across Canada will be fascinated by the amazing new global cast of performers coming to perform for families.”
Last time through Surrey, in May 2017, Royal Canadian Family Circus’ yellow-and-red tent was anchored in Cloverdale for seven performances, on a gravel lot off 64th Avenue, north of the Stetson Bowl.
This spring, as part of a regional tour, the circus will also be staged in Tsawwassen (Tsawwassen Mills mall, May 25-27), Richmond (Lansdowne Centre, May 31 to June 3) and Abbotsford (Tradex, June 7-10).
Among the featured acts for 2018 are Guerrero 4 Man High Wire (seen on the TV show America’s Got Talent), the S Caleb Carinci Asch equestrian acrobats, the Bilea Transformation “Quick Change” Act, Gonzales Duo aerial act, juggling record holder Tommy Tequila and Bauer’s “Wheel of Destiny” act.
“Our entourage of circus families from 12 countries have travelled the world sharing their talents with circus audiences on four continents,” Bauer noted.
At Guildford Town Centre (10355 152nd St., Surrey), show dates and times for the circus are Thursday, May 17 (7 p.m.), Friday, May 18 (4 and 7:30 p.m.), Saturday, May 19 (noon, 4 and 7:30 p.m.), Sunday, May 20 (noon, 4 and 7:30 p.m.) and Monday, May 21 (1 and 5 p.m.).
Tickets can be purchased at royalcanadiancircus.ca. On show days, the on-site box office will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Close to five dozen people, including performers and crew, travel with the show, which will again use Surrey as a starting point of a Canadian tour.
Last spring, Bauer talked to the Now-Leader on the phone from Joplin, Missouri, where the circus “winters” prior to going on tour each spring and summer.
“The whole thing, it takes about a day and a half, total, for setup, from the time of marking and building everything,” Bauer said. “We bring our own generator power – four of them are on tour, plus our box office that’s all computerized, and also the semis that house all the seating, the steel, the entrance tent, the concession wagon, so it’s quite a bit we bring with us.
“We have four forklifts that come with us on tour, bobcats – all that stuff. The only thing we do locally is we tie in to the fire hydrants for water, because we have our own water trees that distribute water all over the lot, and we pay a company to provide diesel for all the generators, and we hire local (people) to help.”
Bauer has spent his entire life travelling with a circus of one kind or another.
“I’ve been performing for 45 years, and my first show was in Osaka, Japan, when I was five,” he said in 2017. “My mom, dad and sister were performing there and they had me come out on stage and do a handstand on my dad’s arm – that was my first appearance. And we’ve been all over the world ever since, at expos, state fairs, amusement parks, all that, so I grew up travelling all over the world.”