Royal Canadian circus comes to Surrey with 2,600-seat ‘big top’ tent

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By Tom Zillich – Surrey Now

Surrey B.C. posted Mar 27, 2017 at 1:00 PM

SURREY — A “big top” tent with room for 2,600 spectators will be set up at Cloverdale’s Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre at the beginning of May.

The Royal Canadian Family Circus is coming to town as part of a cross-country tour, with Surrey hosting the first seven show dates from May 5 to 7.

High-wire acts, acrobats, daredevil motorcyclists, horses and more are featured in the circus, which is based in Calgary and will be in Surrey for the first time.

“It’s an incredible showcase of elite circus acts from all around the world that has been designed for multi-generational families,” ringmaster Joseph Bauer stated.

“It’s the essence of a traditional circus, and this year families from the Surrey and Lower Mainland (areas) will be fascinated by the amazing new global cast of performers coming to perform for families.”


Acts include the Argentinian High Wire, the Motorcycle Cyclone, Motorcycle Globe of Destiny, Zerbini Liberty Horses, a poodle act from Mexico, Aerial Strap and Silk, a hula-hoop maze, clowns and more.

“Our cast and crew includes more than 60 people, so it’s a big show,” Cathy Sproule, media director for the circus, told the Now.

“There’s 12 big semis that bring the big top to the location, and the big top holds 2,600 people, so it’s a pretty massive structure to put up, and it miraculously goes up in two or three days,” she added. “To me, it’s an engineering feat, and we have to follow all the procedures and guidelines as if we’re building a permanent building, as far as city approvals and building codes, everything.”

Many of the performers are members of the same travelling family, she said.

“It’s pretty massive bringing this cavalcade of trucks down the road, it all just unfolds, and all of these performers and their families set up their semi-homes, their trailers. Some of these families have done it forever.”

Circus event planners first applied to the city’s FEST committee (Festival and Events Support) in November. A number of conditions were put in place, including that no exotic animals are to be used in the circus.

“There are no exotic animals in our circus, and you know, it’s just a sign of the times,” Sproule explained. “We get it, and we have beautiful Liberty horses and an amazing, world-class poodle show with about 12 poodles from Mexico, it’s fabulous, and then there’s the thrill aspect of it.

“The motorcycle cyclone is the only one of its kind in the world, and the motorcycle goes around a track way up in the air with two aerialists doing all kinds of amazing things, and we also have the motorcycle Globe of Destiny, which is three motorcycles going around and around and around. Some people call that the motorcycle globe of death.”

Tickets for the circus range from $25 for general admission, $35 for VIP seating and $50 for ringside. Use the promo code “highwire” for a two-for-one ticket deal. Details can be found at

Post published by The Now Newspaper

2017-03-30T19:36:56-04:00March 30th, 2017|Media Coverage, Media Releases|Comments Off on Royal Canadian circus comes to Surrey with 2,600-seat ‘big top’ tent