VestaFire fundraising for SPARK at Victoria International Busking Festival 2013


VF_promo_20130127_114_printpicture: VestaFire is raising money for Burmese Refugees at Victoria Busking Festival

Nanaimo’s contemporary circus and fire performance troupe VestaFire is performing at the Victoria International Buskers Festival, July 19-29th.  As the festival’s featured fire troupe, VestaFire offers a spectacular evening fire show to dazzle audiences, with breathtaking choreography and elaborate costumes designed by local artisans. During the day, VestaFire will be performing a more traditional comedic circus show, complete with machete-juggling, a strait-jacket escape and death-defying acrobatics. This family troupe will be performing three times every day, so be sure to keep an eye out for them on the program.

VestaFire will be using this festival to fund raise for another trip to the Burmese Refugee camps. Performer Katlan Irvine is travelling to Thailand with SPARK! Circus ( in January 2014, where he will be teaching circus arts and performing fire shows in Burmese refugee camps, orphanages and hospitals. Troupe co-ordinator Karina Strong, her 9-year-old daughter Jenna Strong, and performer Quinn Beasley have all done tours with SPARK! and now they are helping Irvine raise the money needed to attend and bring joy and play to the children of these camps.

“I’m looking forward to experiencing a culture that is entirely different from my own,” says Irvine, “Play is an essential part of a child’s life and development, and something that can be heavily neglected in a refugee camp. I hope to bring joy and wonder to these war ravaged children.”

SPARK! reaches over 4,000 children each year with circus-style fire shows, playshops and donations of toys, art supplies, and creative tools.  Their goal is to lighten the children’s days with magic, wonder, laughter and smiles.  SPARK! is completely volunteer based through Performers Without Borders, so make sure to throw a couple extra dollars in Vesta Entertainment’s hat so that they can bring a smile to disadvantaged children.
More information can be found on their website

Fire and LED, Oh My!

We arrived at Bangara resort to perform for the evening, and I was impressed- I think we all were! this is a 5000 bht a night resort- very posh and beautiful. We set up in our beautiful green room and then saw our performance space- right on the beach, on beautiful soft but packed white sand beach. We had planned for fire and were all decked out in our classy black n reds. However as we were preparing the ocean breeze started picking up, and Jo decided that it was too windy for fire. No problem, we were also prepared to do our spectacular LED show. Quick costume change into our whites and we were ready to perform. It was a bit of a challenge for all of us to perform in the wind, and as well on the steep slope of the beach, but we pressed on and put on a really great show for the hotel guests. I’m so proud of the whole troupe- each act is amazing and we have worked so hard on creating the opening and finale group numbers. Co-ordinating 15-20 performers on stage at once is no mean feat- props to Jo, Andrea, and Ariel for choreographing the group numbers!
The next evening we went to the partner resort, and it was even nicer! We were all fed an amazing buffet and then performed roving entertainment for the function’s guests in our whites. This was a special fundraiser evening for spark, with a silent auction, fire show, and dignitaries. The ‘who’s who’ of Samui ex-pats it seemed, with lots of children present, which was fabulous. The troupe interacted and schmoozed for about an hour, and then changed back to blacks to perform our fire show. Once again, the Sparkles shined! Our fire show lasted about an hour and each act was spectacular. The stage was beautiful soft grass, with the audience seated around the outside in a half circle. This allowed for some great audience connection- my favorite moment of the evening was during my staff performance: I was able to meet the gaze of an audience member, and hold it, until he smiled. It was one of ‘those moments’ that creates the performer’s rush- moments like that are why I keep taking the stage. It’s an amazing feeling to connect with the audience and share the magic and joy! 🙂
Both shows raised about 100000 baht for spark- an incredible amount that will purchase a huge amount of supplies for the kids!!
Next, the hustle and bustle of Bangkok!

Koh Samui

Well, We’re on a boat.. a passenger ferry between koh samui and the mainland, where we’ll be be catching a bus to the train station, then overnight train to bangkok. What a busy past few days we have had!
We were up bright and early on Thursday morning and said goodbye to the rustic bungalow where we had been staying for the past weeks. Our hosts Min and Eck took such good care of us, and loved the kids to bits. The Muay Thai boxing training camp at Horizon was a great place for us- up above the heat and mugginess of the valley and coconut grove, it often had a breeze off the ocean and the mozzies were not as bad as down below. Plus, there was the view! 🙂
The whole troupe (including all our stuff!) loaded onto two speedboats and zipped across the water, leaving Koh Phangan behind and arriving on Koh Samui about a half an hour later. Much better than the 5 or 6 hours it would have taken by public transportation- worth the 1000 bht in time saved.
We arrived safely and was met at the docks by Ruth, a friend of andrea’s who works for a posh hotel. We were delivered via van to the staff accommodation for the hotel, were we were delighted to be issued rooms for free. They were basic but clean and well kept, with hard beds but showers and toilettes and air conditioning, horray!
I was feeling ill (travellers) so stayed with Caden, while the rest of the troupe had a quick change into their day clown costumed and headed out to Temple School to teach workshops with the kids and perform the day show. Kevin went with them and a great time was had by all, and Jenna is writing her blog about the day as I type. 🙂
After a long day for the troupe, they came back to the dorms and we were delivered food, from the hotel. I was feeling better as well, so after we all showered and had a quick relax, we then dressed in our black and reds and were picked up and brought to the Posh resort to perform a fire show.