The Royal Canadian Family Circus will return to Surrey on Friday (May 31) with brand new acts inside its 2,700-seat big top tent. (Photos: Shannon Yearwood)

Guildford

Royal Canadian Circus returns to the Lower Mainland

The 2,700-seat big top is being erected in Surrey this week, for a 12-show run starting Friday

Royal Canadian Family Circus’ big top is once again taking over a parking lot at Surrey’s Guildford Town Centre for a 12-show run, starting this Friday (May 31).

It’s the third time the 52-year-old travelling circus is making a stop in Surrey, but expect to see all new acts, said ringmaster Joseph Dominic Bauer.

“Almost every act in the show is brand new,” the ninth-generation daredevil performer said, standing inside the big top right before a recent show in Richmond.

“Even the Chinese artists, the flying trapeze that opens the show is the top flying trapeze act in North America. They’ve been to many major circuses like Barnum & Bailey, Big Apple Circus in New York. They’ve toured all over the world.”

The only act that’s returning from last year is Bauer’s, the white-knuckle-inducing Wheel of Destiny.

He encouraged locals to check out this year’s show, Spectac!, which is described as “jam packed with explosive live entertainment bringing tradition and thrilling acts featuring Xtreme Chinese Acrobats including chair balancing, contortion, diablo, and towering feats of balancing strength, the Flying Cortes Trapeze family, acrobatics, death-defying Wheel of Destiny, Comedy fearless Gonzalez Motorcycle Globe, Hula Hoops, MotoSwing athleticism and beautiful Aerialists.”

The 2,700-seat big top was set to be erected in Guildford Tuesday, after wrapping up a six-show run in Tsawwassen.

And it’s quite the operation.

“We have 14 semis, and we’re self-contained in terms of power,” explained Bauer. “The crew sets up everything you see, lighting, sound, so we move fast.”

It takes a team of approximately 70 people to make the show happen – that incldues 30 performers, 20 workers, and another 20 hired locally in each locale.

“So it’s a lot of planning.”

Circus is truly “the oldest form of family entertainment,” said Bauer.

“It’s never been censored. We’re celebrating 250 years of modern circus. I think it’s something for the whole family, they don’t have to have their phones on, seeing trick photography or anything, it’s all live entertainment. I think that’s why we’re still doing it, and I don’t think it’s going to go away.”

Bauer said for him, and the other performers in the show, “circus is in our blood.”

He first performed at the age of five in Japan.

“My mom did a show at an amusement park and they just had me come out and do a handstand. That was my first. That was it, I watched everything they did and I couldn’t wait to do it,” said Bauer. “I can’t stay at home that long. It’s OK for a while but I have to be back in the circus and direct, and help new artists coming in the business, teaching the ropes.”

And the artform certainly isn’t losing momentum, said Bauer.

“There’s over 300 circus schools in North America. Probably the oldest circus school is down in Florida where I live. They’re celebrating 75 years. Cirque du Soleil has fabulous circus schools, so they’re all over,” he said. “It’s just about getting into it. Is it really your bag? Because it is a lot of work.”

Visit royalcanadiancircus.ca for more details and showtimes. Use promo code Spectac for a two-for-one deal.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Mission spray park closed after children suffer swollen eyes, burns

Mission RCMP are investigating incident that injured several children

VIDEO: Abbotsford Agrifair shares more about Drive-Thru Safari concept

Agrifair officials lay out plans for annual event, which runs from July 31 to Aug. 2

RCMP ask for assistance to find missing Chilliwack man

Raymond Gene Jarvis has been missing since early July

Professional basketball in Canada begins return to action with COVID-19 testing

Abbotsford’s Fraser Valley Bandits, six other CEBL teams arrive in Ontario for Summer Series

Chilliwack RCMP seeing surge in telephone-based tax scam

Victims are phoned by someone claiming to represent the Canada Revenue Agency, demanding money

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

Thousands of dollars of stolen rice traced to Langley warehouse

Police raid seizes $75,000 in ‘commercial scale’ theft case

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner brings ‘objectivity’ to the job

Vancouver lawyer Reece Harding is Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner, also a first for B.C.

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Most Read