The Grande Prairie International Street Performers Festival will still be held this year, but the show is moving from the street to the stream. The 20th-anniversary of the festival will be streamed online for six days, starting July 17th.
Founder and co-chair of the festival Wayne Ayling says cancelling the festival due to the ongoing pandemic was not an option, so an alternative method to deliver the festival had to be arranged.
“The 20th anniversary of any event is special and this is the 20th anniversary year of the Grande Prairie International Street Performers Festival so we weren’t going to let it die,” he says. “We are going with a six-day festival like we always do but it’s going to be virtual.”
Showcased over the course of the festival will be 25 performers billed as world-class, including two who are native to Grande Prairie. Grande Prairie’s Amanda Syryda, also known as Amanda Panda, and Marcia Tofer are returning. Their respective showtimes, as well as for the host of acts making contributions, are posted through the festival website, along with the links to their performances.
The performances will be split into six different segments which will be streamed at various times throughout the day, July 17 through 19. For the remaining three days, any of the performance segments will be available to stream at any time. Two workshops are also being made available, including one on hooping presented by Syryda, and one on ballooning.
“Each of the segments will be 30-34 minutes long so it’ll be like watching a half-hour TV show,” says Ayling.
The entire festival will be available for free.