38 Years of smiles, laughs, memories and fun facts!
- Founded in 1985, StreetFest is the first and largest festival of its kind in North America.
- StreetFest has had two Festival Producers: founding producer, Dick Finkel (15 years), and Shelley Switzer (22 years). In 2022 Marian Brant took over as Executive Director and Paul Bezaire became the new Festival Director.
- From 1981 to 1985, StreetFest co-founder Dick Finkel and Sheldon Wilner created an initiative called “Summerfest”, which was a loose collection of summer cultural events that aimed to make summers in Edmonton more interesting. Many of Edmonton’s present-day festivals can trace their roots back to Summerfest, including the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival
- Over the 38 years, the StreetFest Volunteer Family is over 6000 people strong! Many of those volunteers come back year-after-year to volunteer with the Festival. We could not do it with you!
- Over the years there have been approximately 1450 acts (some have joined us a number of times).
- We have hosted performers from all over the world including: Canada, USA, Japan, New Zealand, China, Spain, Portugal, Italy, India, Mexico, Thailand, Philippines, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Israel, Ireland, Croatia, Samoa, UK, South Korea, France, Ukraine, Australia and Germany, with more to come!
- Since 1985, the StreetFest Board of Directors has cumulatively consisted of over 200 incredible, devoted individuals. Our hats off to each one of them who have made invaluable contributions to StreetFest’s history and to our future.
- The artist who has appeared the most at StreetFest is Cindy, one of our amazing Face Painters, who has been part of the cast for 28 years.
- Our current longest standing volunteer is Elizabeth McEwan. She has been with us for at least 30 years. There are many others who have volunteered for multitudes of years and we thank all of the volunteers from the absolute bottoms of our hearts.
- The longest standing vendor is Mike Rogiani and his family and team at the ICE CREAM DEPOT. They have been at every festival.
- In August of 1984 famous wire walker Philippe Petit walked over Churchill Square – right here in Edmonton.
- Over a typical 10-day festival, a minimum of 3000 individual balloon sculptures are made. So far, that’s approximately 103,800 original, awesome, and hand-made balloon sculptures.
- Proving laughter has the power to heal, StreetFest has proudly made over 225 Comedy Cares visits in Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, Red Deer, Okotoks, Banff, Canmore, Strathmore, Sooke and White Rock. Thanks to the artists who bring our special brand of laughter and to the people and businesses that make sure these visits happen.
- How many StreetFest couples? There is a lot of LOVE at our Festival – some of our many acts are couples; Cirque No Problem, Cassie & Rob, Her Majesty’s Secret Circus, Pandora Pink and Mr. Spin, Street Circus, Yoyo People, John Ullyatt and Annie Dugan and Coupe du Foudre. Now, here are 2 couples that actually met at StreetFest and are now married Christof!! and Patti Stiles, and Wendy Vousden and Justin Case.
- StreetFest has used an infinity* of hula hoops over 38 years.
*Infinity could not actually be fact-checked, but it’s a lot. Like, a lot a lot.
Check out StreetFest’s campaigns over the years
Starting with SummerFest in 1981 — how many of these years have YOU been to?