BY PETER JICKLING

The circus is coming!

“Bounce” is the brainchild of the Boys and Girls Club of Whitehorse. As Dave Blottner, the club’s program director explains, it was the youth who initiated the plan to bring the circus north.

“We’ve got to give this one to the kids,” he says. “We were discussing a lack of options for family entertainment in town, and they decided they wanted to bring a circus here.”

The show will feature a variety of high-flying acts and, as you might expect, things that bounce will be prominently featured. “There will be trampoline acts, trapeze artists, an international yo-yo champion, a bounce juggler and a performance with diablo sticks,” says Blottner.

As a youth, he attended a circus performance and the experience left an impression on him. “It really sticks in my head, especially the trapeze and all the people whirling through the air.

“I think every kid should have the opportunity to experience that sort of awe.”

As for parading elephants and bears on unicycles – not here. “We were concerned about the treatment of animals and we didn’t want there to be any politics involved, so we went with a human-only circus,” he says.

An entertainment company called Innerring, based in Vancouver, produces Bounce, but the show will also contain some distinctly local elements.

“Before each performance, there will be a two-hour carnival,” says Blottner. The carnival will feature a variety of different games and spectacles.

“We’re going to have foam-sword duels, games of chance like the ring toss, a dunk-tank, face painting, balloons, popcorn, gymnasts and breakdancers,” says Blottner.

“The carnival will be put on by Yukoners.”

This event is not a fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club, but rather a chance for the club to gain exposure and fulfil its mandate to make Whitehorse a more family friendly city. “The Club will not make any profit on the circus, but we will provide some good old-fashioned family entertainment,” Blottner says.

As with most events that come north, the credit for Bounce needs to be spread around. “We’re really thankful for our sponsors – Air North, The Arts Fund, CDF, The Cash Store, Culture Quest and Yukon Energy.”

Bounce performances are on Sept. 18 and 19 at the Canada Games Centre. For more information and for tickets, contact The Boys and Girls Club at 393-2824. Tickets are also available from The Cash Store and Triple J’s Music Café.

Peter Jickling is a Whitehorse playwright and the assistant editor of What’s Up Yukon