IJA eNewsletter – October 2019


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October 2019

Editors: Don Lewis & Martin Frost


  • IJA Award Nominations open
  • St. John’s Circus Festival 2019
  • 73rd Annual IJA Juggling Festival, El Paso, Texas, July 13-19, 2020
  • 2018 Festival video available in IJA Store and (free) in eJuggle
  • Latest articles in eJuggle
  • Upcoming juggling festivals


IJA Award Nominations open

Please start thinking about who you would like to nominate for an honorary IJA award to be presented at the IJA Festival next summer. Our website lists all the previous IJA award honorees. https://juggle.org/history/honorary-awards/

Nominations are open for the following IJA awards:

In recognition of excellence in the art of juggling through professional performance.

In recognition of a lifetime of influential work and extraordinary achievement in juggling performance.

In recognition of years of coaching and mentoring jugglers to help create and improve their acts.

In recognition of a consistent commitment to provide outstanding support and promotion for the field of juggling.

In recognition of outstanding efforts to teach juggling to non-jugglers and expand the knowledge of those who already juggle.

In recognition for providing exceptional promotion to the public of the art of juggling.

Please submit nominations to awards@juggle.org by December 5th.

St. John’s Circus Festival 2019, by Don Lewis

I was fortunate to attend the second annual Circus Festival in St. John’s, NL Canada.  St John’s is a city at the eastern edge of Canada.  If you keep heading east the next stop is Europe.

It isn’t a juggling specific festival, but there was interesting juggling to be seen in the shows.  By popular demand, Patrick Leonard’s one man show Patinoire returned this year for the festival and a tour of other communities on the island of Newfoundland.  

Circus Improv was featured as the first big show of the festival.  This formula has been wildly popular in Montreal and the rest of Quebec.  This was the first time the group had attempted the show for an English speaking audience. It was well received.  Here is how it works.  There are two teams of four circus artists (players) and a referee.  The players are good at a lot of disciplines.  Red clown noses are sold before and during the show.  If you don’t like something the referee does, you are expected to pitch the noses at him.  The proceeds from nose sales are donated to a clown charity. A subject is announced, along with the number of players and the duration.  The teams then decide how they will perform in order to outdo each other.  Each team gets a chance.  Sometimes the referee switches the action from team to team.  When that happens, the first team has to freeze at the whistle and the other team has to take up exactly the same positions and postures in order to continue.  The audience decides the winner of each round by holding up colored cards. It can be fascinating.

The second night’s show was the Edge of the World Cabaret.  It was a variety show featuring a wide range of circus disciplines.  And there was juggling.  Bekka Rose juggles with a lyrical, feminine style which is always a pleasure to watch.  James Burke is a local juggler.  Both he and Bekka were players in the Circus Improv. Nicolas Fortin wowed the audience with a high energy bounce juggling routine.  Nicolas is also one of the creators of Circus Improv and was the emcee for that show. 

The third show featured a melding of music and circus.  The local Lady Cove Choir and the Atlantic String Quartet provided the live music, while students from the École Nationale and other artists took the stage.  Not just students, but established acts too. ArtCirq from Igloolik, Finnish circus stars, a popular hoop dancer, and more.  This year all the shows were in a theatre with excellent seating.  

It was great seeing such a wide variety of acts.  I naturally appreciated the juggling acts.  I have to admit that the thing that keeps wandering through my mind was an act by Elite Dance. A large number of dancers were on the stage.  They somehow kept out of each other’s way while performing a stageful of acrobatics and different styles of movement.  Colourful costumes, dynamic music and compelling choreography.  

The festival included some interesting panel discussions open to the public.  This year featured “Expanding Circus in Canada and Beyond” and “The Circus Artist as an Agent of Social Change”.  At one point I suggested that if Circus wants a wider community to buy tickets to shows, then Circus has to somehow insert itself into that wider community.  It is interesting that a lot of young school children are exposed to circus arts with acrobatics, unicycling, juggling and other disciplines.  As they get older, there is less opportunity for them to engage with circus, and therefore less pressure on parents to bring the family to events.  

Look for the third edition of this popular festival next year.

Photos by Alick Tsui courtesy St. John’s Circus Festival


 Bekka Rose

 Nicolas Fortin

 Elite Dance Studio

73rd Annual IJA Juggling Festival

El Paso, Texas, July 13-19, 2020

Next year’s IJA festival will be returning to the popular and convenient venues of the 2016 IJA fest in El Paso, TX, where things have been spruced up to be even better. More info will be available by early 2020. Save the dates: July 13-19, 2020.

2018 Festival video available in IJA Store and (free) in eJuggle

The DVD can be purchased in our online store: https://ym.juggle.org/store/ViewProduct.aspx?id=12959088

IJA members can view the complete videos from all 2012-2018 IJA festivals online free (by signing in) from eJuggle articles via this search for “IJA festival video”: https://juggle.org/?s=ija+festival+video


Latest articles in eJuggle

Upcoming juggling festivals

Below is a list of some upcoming juggling festivals.  For a list of even more fests, check our worldwide juggling event listings.

To get a festival listed here for free, just drop a note to us at ijanews@juggle.org.  Hey, jugglers want to know about juggling fests.  Help them out and get more jugglers to your fest at the same time.

Please note the updated location and dates for the 2020 EJC below.

FluggleBurgh 2019
1 Nov – 3 Nov 2019
555 Morewood Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA

St. Louis Jugglefest 2019
1 Nov – 3 Nov 2019
Lopata Gallery, campus of Washington University, St. Louis, MO USA

3ra Convención Argentina de Malabares
5 Nov – 11 Nov 2019
Centro Cultural San Francisco, Mitre esq. J.J. Paso, 2400 San Francisco, Cordoba, Argentina

15th World Juggling Federation Convention
15 Nov – 17 Nov 2019
Plaza Hotel & Casino, 1 Main St., Las Vegas, Nevada 89101, USA

Richmond Juggling Festival 2019
13 Dec – 15 Dec 2019
Richmond Waldorf School, 1301 Robin Hood Road, Richmond, Virginia 23227, USA

Brno Juggling Convention 2019/2020
29 Dec 2019 – 1 Jan 2020
University campus, Brno, Czech Republic

French Juggling Convention, Glühwein 2020
29 Dec 2019 – 3 Jan 2020
rue Kembs – 68440 Habsheim, France

47th Annual Madfest ( 2020 )
17 Jan – 19 Jan 2020
Madison, WI, USA

42nd Annual Groundhog Day Jugglers Festival
7 Feb – 9 Feb 2020
Yaarab Shrine Center Recreation Building, 400 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta, GA 30308 USA

Minnesota Mondo Juggling & Unicycle Festival
14 Feb – 16 Feb 2020
235 Hamline Avenue South, St. Paul, Minnesota USA

Jongles-tu? World Record Attempt
9 May 2020
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

43rd European Juggling Convention (EJC)
11 Jul – 19 Jul 2020
Hanko, Finland

73rd Annual IJA Juggling Festival
13 Jul – 19 Jul 2020
El Paso, TX USA

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