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August 27th, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 33
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Dr. Von Houligan brings circus magic, calamity to community
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Ezra Black Photo
Dr. Von Houligan balances a ladder on his chin during the Carnival of Calamities.
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
Dr. Von Houligan's Carnival of Calamities brought chaos, bedlam and entertainment to Blairmore’s Gazebo Park over the weekend.
The troupe of performing artists put on four shows from Friday Aug. 22 to Saturday Aug. 23 featuring magic and juggling by Dr. Von Houligan ringmaster, Allister Denton, freak show performances and escapology by Llaw Grimm, poi performances by Amy-Jo Setka and other feats.
Many brave members of the audience put their safety and property on the line to ensure the shows were successful. Setka, who has a B.A. in Native Studies with a minor in English and is eight classes away from her B.Ed., says Dr. Von Houligan is allowing her to devote herself wholly to her art. She says the positive thing about Von Houligan is that the carnival will take people that have raw talent and help them develop it.
“It’s hard to perform full time or to make a living off this. There are not a lot of venues to perform at,” she says. “If you’re trying to do any kind of art as a sideline to paying rent, then you spend so much time and energy commuting to and from the job, doing the job and trying to clear your head that you don’t really have time to focus on your art except during your time off which is usually spent doing laundry and running around paying your bills.”
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Denton says he’s always looking for new people to join the carnival. The troupe usually picks up individuals who want to work or perform every couple of towns. He says the living is rough; like being on a never ending camping trip and that taking down and putting up the tent is a lot of work.
“[But] I’ve never had so much fun in my life,” he says.
On Sunday, the performers packed up their tent and headed for their next venue in Kimberley B.C.
Their eventual destination is Campbell River B.C. where many of them will spend the winter. Next year the carnival will be traveling through B.C., Alberta, Manitoba then up to the N.W.T This is Von Houligan’s inaugural season. The carnival tours smaller communities where people might not have access to live performances.
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August 27th ~ Vol. 84 No. 33
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