The Niagara region is host to some pretty spectacular events. There’s the Peach Festival each August that brings its wealth of entertainment, delicious food, and endless peach-centered treats. Every June brings another round of RibFest where piles of smoked meats, delectable barbecue sauces, and friendly competition are par for the course, and each January brings back the Icewine Festival as the region celebrates another bountiful harvest of frozen grapes with which to make a bounty of sweet, delicious wine.
September’s Grand Canadian Steampunk Exposition, however, is in a class of entertainment all its own. If you’re looking for a unique experience to couple with your Niagara vacation, head to the region September 25 through the 27.
What Is Steampunk?
Steampunk originated as a subgenre of science fiction, and it’s marked by a blend of fantastic, technological, and Victorian-era elements. Far from being just a literary genre, however, steampunk has taken on a life of its own in film, design, music, fashion, and even video games. For lovers of the Victorian Age who also happen to love technology, it’s the best of both worlds.
For the visitor to Niagara who’s looking to experience a unique subculture in one of the world’s most beautiful locations, the Grand Canadian Steampunk Exposition can’t be beat. Here are four reasons, among many, to attend.
1. Professor Wick’s Mind Bender Alley
Professor Wick’s specialty is amazing and mystifying the human mind with everything from psychic phenomena and kinetic sculptures to illusions and brain teasers. Levitate. Have your body cut into two pieces. Let a world of mystical technology keep you alive while your head is separated from your body. In Professor Wick’s Mind Bender Alley, almost any amazing feat is possible — at least from a photographic standpoint.
2. Mental Floss Sideshow
Similar in theme, tone, and presentation to the sideshows of old that used to accompany carnivals and circuses, the Mental Floss Sideshow features feats of physical dexterity, tall tales, snake oil peddling, ancient and mythical artifacts, and much more. A fascinating duo that performs under the names Dr. Charlotte Tan and Professor Archibald Floss, the Mental Floss Sideshow has been traveling the land for 10 years. Their show is fun, fascinating, and wholly unlike anything you’ll see at the exposition or anywhere else for that matter.
3. Iluminaire Entertainment
Toronto-based aerialists Miranda Tempest and Taliya Cohen perform a stunningly beautiful aerialist show that’s part trapeze-like whimsy and part Cirque du Soleil. A combination of extreme technical skill and theater, the two aerialists are teachers and performers who have traveled the world with their act, delighting and amazing everyone who sees their show.
4. Mike Petersen’s Good Old-Fashioned Punch & Judy Show
Mike Petersen brings a rare treat to the exposition: one of the most revered and historical puppet show traditions in the world. It’s 350 years old! Kids and adults will love this show with its cast of colorful characters. Petersen is a seasoned theater actor and puppeteer whose abilities easily keep everyone engaged and entertained.
So whether you’re on a lovers’ getaway or bringing the whole family, head to the Grand Canadian Steampunk Exposition, where entertainment is both out of this world and from days gone by.