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Circus Camp Staff
Marsha Kennington - Director/Coordinator
Marsha’s career as an aerialist/acrobat began in 1977, touring throughout the U.S., Mexico and Canada with various circuses including Big John Strong, Kelly Miller, and Garden Bros. This phase of her career spanned over a decade before permanently locating in Toronto. Marsha then teamed with Habourfront Centre in 1988, creating the Harbourfront Circus Camps for both children and adults and now about to enter its 24th consecutive season. Additionally, in 1991, she co-founded Ontario’s first Circus School, The Main Space School of Circus Arts. Other highlights of her professional performance career include appearances with the World Theatre Festival, the Hollywood Rose Bowl half-time shows and stints on The Johnny Carson Show. Film and television credits include technical and creative consultant and stunt double roles for director/producers Norman Jewison, Tony Bill and Steven King. Marsha’s dual career path includes projects with Cirque du Monde, (a division of Cirque du Soleil’s Social Action and Responsibility) for social circus projects in the Bronx, Los Angeles, South Africa, Mongolia and most recently with CIRQINIQ in collaboration with the Katavik Regional School board in Nunavik Quebec. She continues teaching specialty circus courses and performing.
Athena is an actor, aerial artist, clown and yoga practitioner who recently made the relocation to Brooklyn from Toronto. Upon graduating from George Brown Theatre School’s 3 year Conservatory Program in 2003, Athena found an affinity for circus arts and the dynamic practice of Ashtanga yoga. Athena brings humor and generosity into her classes, allowing students to express who they are in a safe, honest, delightful and supportive environment. * Athena’s primary focus at Harbourfront Circus Camp is clowning. Utilizing her extensive clowning/ theatre skills she’s created a program especially for children. Through a series of exercises and games she guides campers through the process of “discovering their clown” within.
Kirsten is a professional aerialist based in Toronto, Ontario. She has been creating, teaching and performing full time for over a decade after putting her ‘alternate’ career as a lawyer permanently on hold. She made her way to the world of circus arts by a somewhat circuitous route with stops in the worlds of equestrian sport and equestrian vaulting, literary academia, theatre and the legal profession. She spent her early years competing on the equestrian dressage circuit, culminating in competing at the national level. Kirsten holds coaching certification from the Canadian Equestrian Federation and credits her interest in the circus to her early exposure to equestrian vaulting. Kirsten currently shares her creation, direction, choreographic and performance talents with a variety of aerial companies including Hercinia Arts Collective, a multidisciplinary contemporary circus company of which she is a co-owner. Kirsten also teaches beginner through advanced aerial circus classes at Hercinia Arts Collective. Career highlights include producing “A Spectacle of Play”, a full length aerial theatre production with Hercinia Arts Collective for which Kirsten created and choreographed two contemporary circus pieces collectively title “The Chaos Project” and “The 477th Greatest Show on Earth”, a full length aerial clown show that takes place suspended from a giant helium balloon, produced by Suspended Animation Circus performed for The Toronto International Buskerfest and The City of Wings Festival in Ypres, Belgium.
Chris is a self-taught circus artist. After training as a competitive gymnast he became involved in circus for fun and later learned from and trained with many professional circus artists around the world. He spent 3 years working for Cirque du Soleil as a Fly In Technician and then later as a show acrobatic coach on the Cirque show Bananashpeel. He has designed new and unique circus apparatus and acts. Chris is a multi fascited artist who’s current interests include drumming, songwriting and singing. He teaches in the girls competitive gymnastics program at the University of Toronto and is working on a multi disciplined solo show.
Aerialist, actor, and choreographer, Rebecca Leonard, has performed locally and internationally with many of the top circus companies in Canada including Hangtime, Circus Orange, HighStrung, Cirque Sublime, Cirque Eos, Lookup Theatre and Anti-Gravity. Film credits include The Tuxedo and Chicago. She has choreographed for numerous theatre productions. Leonard’s aerial performances have been featured at events including the Calgary Stampede, Fashion Cares, Just for Laughs Festival, Toronto Film Festival, CNE, and Vancouver Comedy Festival. In 2003 she founded A Girl In The Sky Productions and began working with Cirque du Monde. Rebecca is a graduate of the professional level coaching program of the Ecole Nationale du Cirque. Her teaching experiences include: Head aerial coach/Toronto School of Circus Arts, Cirque du Monde, Cirkids, WiseFool, Banff Center for the Arts, NECCA and workshops and classes throughout the U.S. and Canada. A Co-creator of the Hawaii Circus Retreat, a unique fitness experience. Her teaching experience ranges from professional level coaching to youth-at-risk programming. She is currently working on an Arctic social circus project, a region wide collaboration between Cirque du Soleil and the Kativik Regional Government of Nunavik. The program is aimed at the youth at risk community and is working to create a model for a sustainable circus program in Nunavik.
Rachel is a circus artist and a painter. You can find her paintings pop up on the walls of Toronto restaurants, or on the streets of Kensington Market and other parts of downtown Toronto. She has spent most of her time over the last 10 years in “Social Circus” working in many parts of the world using Circus Arts as a tool for social development for marginalized communities. She has worked with Circus programs in several parts of Asia, and in Brazil, Uganda, Hollywood, Greenland, and Canada’s 14 remote northern communities of Nunavik with “Cirqiniq” , a partnership project between Kativik Regional Government and Cirque du Soleils’ social action program: Cirque du Monde. Two years ago she founded “Social Circus Circle” an organization for young people bringing the concepts of Social Circus to Toronto communities. With Social Circus Circle she has been working in Toronto alternative and public high schools (through Ontario Arts Council), running a free drop in program for young people at the Art Gallery of Ontario, and partnering with “Sketch” to bring Social Circus to street involved youth held at Artscape Youngplace (through Toronto Arts Council). The diversity of her circus students has also included working with individuals with various exceptionalities, intellectual and physical disabilities and other special needs. She is certified as a Secondary level Visual Arts and Physical Education teacher. Though she has focused a lot of her recent years on work with marginalized youth in Social Circus she has still found some time to perform. She has performed in Toronto locations such as the AGO, Sony Centre for the performing Arts and the Rogers Centre and at events such as Wonderball Gala, City of Brampton City New Years Party, Special Olympics, and the Contemporary Circus Arts Festival of Toronto. She began performing 23 years ago, with Main Space School of Circus Arts’ performance Troupe performing throughout Ontario and Quebec under the direction of Harbourfronts’ Marsha Kennington. No matter what part of the world she is working in these days, she is always happy to return in summers and have fun at Harbourfront Circus Camp where she began in Circus 28 years ago! She is now working her 18th summer at Harbourfront Circus Camp!
Born in Moscow, and having immigrated to Canada while still a child, Natasha's early love of dance eventually led to her attending the National Ballet School of Canada and later graduating from School of American Ballet in New York City.From there Natasha's career included dancing with Stanford City Ballet, American Ballet Company, Royal Swedish Ballet and The Phantom of the Opera. Since 1999 Natasha has focused on 'dancing in the air' and has been an independent aerial/circus artist specializing in silks, corde lisse, and partnering. Her work, aside from the stage, has been featured in major motion pictures, TV series, Bravo Short films, commercials and magazines. As well as being on Cirque du Soleil talent roster, Natasha's live appearances have included performing for such companies as Microsoft ( Hong Kong ) Molson Indy, GM Canada Tour, Manulife, Skate Canada Awards, MSN/Bell Sympatico, Det Norske Teatre, & Nobel Piece Prize Conference ( Oslo, Norway ) to name but a few. Natasha's performing career has encompassed Asia, North America and Scandinavia. As an instructor in Aerial arts, Pilates, and Aerial Yoga, Natasha has taught classes and workshops to both kids and adults throughout North America and Scandinavia. Currently Natasha is involved with her recently founded aerial work-in-progress showcase event Aer Time, as well as pursuing a Suzuki Teacher Training Certification in violin.
June 29 - September 4, 2015
The magic of the circus under the big top! Circus camp includes juggling, stilt walking, acrobatics, high wire, trapeze, mini trampoline and clowning. Equipment is specially designed with youth and safety in mind. Circus professionals work together with camp counsellors to maximize safety.
This camp is coordinated by Marsha Kennington, a circus professional and instructor with over 30 years of circus instruction experience. Marsha and her staff of highly skilled and qualified circus professionals allow groups and individuals to move at their own pace in accordance with their age and ability.
Please Note: Each session wraps up with a complete circus performance on Friday starting at 12pm (noon) with music and costumes.