/Celebrate the Solstice with a circus
Acting for Climate and Cirque Barcode from Montreal are working with Abbey Gardens and Razzamataz Kids’ Shows to present Branché on June 24. The acrobatic circue show is a part of the first ever Solstice Festival held at Abbey Gardens. /photo submitted

Celebrate the Solstice with a circus

By Emily Stonehouse

While normally Razzamataz Kids’ Shows wind down for the summer months, this year, an opportunity came up that they just couldn’t pass up. “This is the first time we’ve partnered with Dance Happens Here and Abbey Gardens to bring high quality, affordable theatre to the community,” said Nicole Stewart, the chair of the children’s theatre committee. 

The groups are collaborating to present Branché, a circus show for all ages that combines acrobatics, vertical dance, and physical theatre, all performed in, between, and with trees. “The show is a collaboration between Acting for Climate and Cirque Barcode from Montreal,” said Stewart. “It aims to change our perspective of how humans are connected with nature.”

Dance Happens Here Haliburton (DH3) has dazzled audiences in the county since 2015. The not-for-profit has facilitated events such as the Nutcracker, Fashion Fallies, and Viva Burlesque to name a few. Their goal is to incorporate both professional and locally-based dance into the community through a variety of performances, workshops, and events. 

This is the first time DH3 has partnered with Razzamataz since the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are thrilled to work with these incredible community organizations,” said Stewart, “and we hope this is the first of many partnerships together.”

The event is hosted at Abbey Gardens (AG) as a part of their first ever Solstice Festival. “I’ve wanted to host an event like this for a while,” said Ashley McAllister, director of operations for AG, “a type of festival where we focus on nature, biodiversity, and being mindful of our natural world.” The festival is designed for young families, and will feature garden tours, an artisan market, live music, and nature-based crafts. Pre-registration is required. 

“When Razzamataz reached out to collaborate, I thought this type of performance would be absolutely perfect for our audience, and to help raise awareness, even at a young age,” said McAllister. 

 The Solstice Festival will start at 11 a.m. at Abbey Gardens on June 24, with the Branché show being performed at 1 p.m. with a question and answer period to follow with the performers. 

“It’s for people of all ages, designed to delight and inspire both young and old,” said Stewart. 

For more information on the Solstice Festival and the Branché show, visit www.abbeygardens.ca/solsticefestival/.