EDMONTON -- Firefly Theatre is bringing a virtual circus festival to Alberta that offers performances, workshops and discussions.

The event will be held online this year due to the pandemic, but will be an in-person experience in Edmonton in the future.

A highlight of the event is a free workshop with Krista Monson, a St. Albert native that worked with Cirque Du Soleil for 13 years and currently lives in Las Vegas while writing and directing circus shows for companies around the world.

However, the artistic director of Firefly Theatre says the festival isn’t just for performers.

“It is geared to anyone who is a creative type, who does circus or who appreciates circus,” said Annie Dugan. “I hope people get inspired.”

Dugan says that because the performances are online, they will showcase a more personal side of the artists, and is geared towards a more mature audience.

“This year the work is more adult oriented. None of it is made for children, because it’s such an intimate, raw portrait of the artists,” said Dugan.

“But the shows we plan to bring in future years will be excellent for the family.”

After each show, the artist will be live on Zoom for a discussion with the audience.

The event is also a way to support circus artists across western Canada, with proceeds from tickets going to the performers, many of whom have been out of work for the past 16 months.

Dugan says she hopes the festival will bring attention to the talented artists, and that Edmonton will become a hub for contemporary circus in Canada.

“We’re going to be a great addition to the Edmonton summer festival line up.”

The festival will show three feature films: one on Friday and two on Saturday. Tickets can be purchased for $20 each or in a package of three for $50.

Participants can register for the free events and buy show tickets online.