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Valencia, who has been performing since he was seven-years-old, has taken his acts to countless countries and credits his career to his circus performing parents who encouraged him to try anything his mind could think of. Chornenki, a performer himself, said it is performers like Valencia that keep the daredevil tradition alive while modernizing the performances to take it to the next level. “We are very proud to carry on the tradition of daredevil stunts in the Niagara Region,” said Chornenki. “[Valencia] is a seventh generation circus performer, his whole family were circus performers, so he grew up with it and grew into it. We live to amaze people with things they won’t see every day in real time and real life. This is not a movie, it is not a TV show; it is real, death defying acts being put on for your live entertainment.” Though Valencia’s performances are known to draw the crowds, Chornenki says the 30-minute street performances that occur before each show during warm up are just as exciting and extreme as the main event. “The half hour warm up act on the streets features chainsaw jugglers, fire jugglers and acrobatics,” said Chornenki. “We give a modernized show but yet still hold the daredevil tradition.”

Chornenki said that though their performances are modernized and elaborate, performers still enjoy upholding the traditions that hundreds of Niagara Falls daredevils have set in the past that helped pave the way for modern street performers. “We love being a part of Niagara Falls,” said Chornenki. “It’s steeped in the tradition of circus and a history of hundreds of years of performers – from the men going over the falls in barrels and the people walking across the falls on a tightrope. We are very proud to continue this tradition of giving people death defying daredevil stunts that you just don’t get to see every day.” Chornenki said him and his team hope to make Summer of Thrills an annual summer event in order to continue to keep the daredevil tradition alive and changing for years to come. “We are an attraction to the Falls,” said Chornenki. “We work to keep people entertained while they are there and visiting and help bring people back to the falls year after year. We have had annual summer entertainment series that were really successful in the past, so we are hoping to make this an annual project.”

Summer of Thrills will hold four times daily shows above Victoria Avenue from 2 p.m. – 8 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday until September 1. For more information visit Today Magazine 37

Profile for TodayMagazine

Niagara - Summer August 2014  

Niagara - Summer August 2014