Winter Light 2011: Illuminations featuring Circus Orange

It was cold outside tonight, but Churchill Square was still full of people for Winter Light’s Illuminations. This year the event featured Yukigassen, a Japanese snow battle sport, roving performers, the Illuminations Choir, and the Edmonton premiere of Circus Orange, a Toronto-based pyrotechnic circus troupe. They performed TRICYCLE, “a dramatic fusion of live music, clown, circus, dance, aerial performance, mechanics, pyrotechnics and fire arts.” It was amazing.

Winter Light Illuminations 2011
Perfect night for a stroll in Churchill Square!

Winter Light Illuminations 2011
Warming up by the fire.

Winter Light Illuminations 2011
I love the way City Hall looks at night, all lit up.

Winter Light Illuminations 2011
The tricycle in front of the Art Gallery of Alberta.

Winter Light Illuminations 2011
She got everyone’s attention then led the crowd to the tricycle.

Winter Light Illuminations 2011
The large crowd followed the tricycle throughout the square. It was great!

Winter Light Illuminations 2011
The fire looked awfully close to the trees! You can see a video of it here.

Winter Light Illuminations 2011
A few kids were scared of these guys!

Winter Light Illuminations 2011
Circus Orange takes flight!

Winter Light Illuminations 2011
Don’t you love seeing the square full of people?

Winter Light Illuminations 2011
They took the front wheel of the tricycle off and put the acrobat inside!

Winter Light Illuminations 2011
Then it lit up!

Winter Light Illuminations 2011
And there were fireworks!

You can see the rest of my photos here.

Tonight’s event did a lot of things right, in my opinion. They finally spent some of the large Winter Light budget – I can’t imagine that Circus Orange was cheap! It was a fantastic show that looked expensive, with lots of lights, fire, props, and a crane. It was worth it. Another thing I loved was that they used the entire square. The tricycle started at the Art Gallery and the large crowd followed it to Three Bananas and back through the square toward City Hall, with different stops along the way. The storytelling aspect was great too, with the scary stilt guys and the clown who never spoke in English. Lots of fun for everyone!

The temperature doesn’t matter. You know what people do when it’s cold? They dance to keep warm. It adds to the experience! And tonight, the people who stayed until the end were rewarded, with a big finale that even featured fireworks. For a few minutes, I forgot that I was cold!

Kudos to Winter Light for a great event. Let’s have more of this please!

5 thoughts on “Winter Light 2011: Illuminations featuring Circus Orange

  1. Phenomenal! I’ll admit there was a whimsical glee to the event that made me feel like a kid as I watched Circus Orange perform tonight. The white stilt monsters were indeed a frightening beauty and I commented that they were things out of nightmares… but I couldn’t look away. The use of the space we have in Churchill Square made the performance unique, but it also kept us warm and moving around – not to mention the fact that the roving performance allowed everyone different perspectives and chances to be up close and personal with the action! My one critique of the event and the festival in general is that so many people still don’t know about it. I’ve seen billboards, television ads, and social media campaigns – but I still find the average person has no idea what they’re missing! We need to find a way to get more people out to these events… and perhaps it just takes performances like this to get word of mouth going and people into the square.

    I’ve been excited for Illuminations since the beginning of the festival, but I have to admit that I had no idea it would be as amazing as it was. Bravo to the Winter Light Festival! This was a fantastic (although cold) evening – and I look forward to more events in the future.

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