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The circus is in the Osorio family's blood

International entertainers in St. Albert Thursday for a five-day event


Run Away With the Circus!

American Crown Circus & Circo Osorio

Aug. 1 to 5

St. Albert Centre Mall

375 St. Albert Trail

Admission: $25 (ages 11 plus). Each adult ticket provides one free child admission. Additional child tickets are $10. Cash at door or online at


Prepare for a few gasps, laughter, cheers and wonder as American Crown Circus & Osorio Circo rolls into town.

For the first time in its history, the Las Vegas based company is visiting St. Albert. It’s also the first time the Latin styled family circus is touring the province. In keeping with the inaugural tour, this year’s tagline is Run Away With the Circus.

“We just came out of Grande Prairie and we’re excited to be here. We’re hoping to come back and make it an annual event,” said Francisco Osorio, circus president.

The 67-foot-high Big Top, with four towers enticing passersby to stop, opens its doors from Thursday, Aug. 1 to Monday, Aug 5 at St. Albert Centre Mall.

Circo Osorio presents 12 acts, a series of larger than life international entertainers from Mexico, Argentina, Belarus, Russia, Romania, France and the United States.

They include a ringmaster, acrobats, aerialists, clowns and other traditional acts with the exception of exotic animals. This circus travels strictly with human talent.

“We never have the same show every year. Every year we bring in new artists and we try to top what we did last year,” said Osorio. “No matter what size the city, large or small, you will always see a quality show.”

The Belarus Triple Eagles defy the laws of gravity while the Romanian Dragmir Troop uses their catapulting strength to present teeterboard artistry.

Argentinian aerialist known only as Yesica, a single trapeze artist, returns for a second year. But the big-ticket act is the high tech art of Eduardo the Lazerman, an import from France.

“He manipulates lasers. He rearranges light. He cracks and twists and manipulates lasers in a way I find hard to describe,” Osorio said.

A fourth-generation circus owner, Osorio is president and co-owns the company along with brothers Leo and Roberto. The trio carries on a tradition started in 1927 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, by their great-grandfather.

As Osorio tells it, the family patriarch, Jesus, fell in love with a young woman from a circus. They married, raised children and lived the circus life. As the Osorio clan grew through the generations, they created and operated three circuses in Mexico.

The brothers’ parents dropped out of the family business and moved to San Antonio, Texas. Their aim was to provide an American education for their children.

“They wanted us to get regular careers. They wanted us to go to college and get a good education,” explained Osorio.

Herminio also shared his heritage and taught his sons a high-wire act. During summer vacations, the Osorios visited relatives in Mexico and lived the circus life with extended family.

“It was in our blood. The circus pulls you back,” said Leo Osorio.

College was shelved in favour of careers on the high wire. Starting small, the trio worked for a series of shows until their first big break. Mark Maguire, director of Circus Circus spotted their act and brought them to Vegas.

After 15 years in a strenuous career, the brothers retired and created Circo Osorio. The first tour lasted 10 days in Vegas Valley. Today the company tours from the second week of January to the third week of November with 30 people.

Circo Osorio has partnered with Tim Hortons Foundation Camps for children and will be collecting donations.

“Our goal is to be part of the community wherever we go. We make people smile under the Big Top, but we also want to help as many people as we can within our means.”

Performances are Thursday and Friday at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Saturday at 3:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.; Monday at 7 p.m.

Gate payment is cash only. A cash machine will be available on site for anyone who has brought a credit or debit card.


Anna Borowiecki

About the Author: Anna Borowiecki

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