About Us

What we are about

Edmonton is home to the Alberta Circus Arts Festival (ACAF), hosted by Firefly Theatre and Circus. Join us for four days of Canadian contemporary circus performances, along with an extensive industry series. There will be professional development workshops for emerging and established artists, panels and discussions around sector development for industry professionals, and outreach opportunities for all. Local audiences will be treated to world-class Canadian contemporary circus on an intimate scale, allowing for a visceral and empowering reaction.

The Alberta Circus Arts Festival is dedicated to the creation of a regional and national voice in contemporary Canadian circus. We are committed to sharing and experiencing world-class circus with our community in order to provide a launch pad for creativity, technical virtuosity, and collaborations. We seek to inspire, educate and entertain. 

Who is Firefly

Alberta Circus Arts Festival hosted by Firefly Theatre & Circus

Firefly Theatre is known for thought-provoking thrills and stunning displays of athleticism and grace. We perform on the ground and in the air, creating original live performances that fuse the genres of circus and theatre. Edmonton’s award-winning Aerial Circus Performance Company has captivated audiences nation-wide and beyond, appearing at festivals and events across Canada, the US, the UK, and Asia. Our productions have taken place inside theatres, museums, convention centres and nightclubs, outside in squares and intersections, and in the air suspended from buildings. Firefly Theatre’s work is unique in Alberta and has been described as “spectacular and breathtaking,” The Sun, “fresh, funny, neck-craning spectacles,” The Journal, and “amazing, quirky storytelling” The Edinburgh Festival List.

Firefly Theatre and Circus was founded in 2001 by actor John Ullyatt and circus artist Annie Dugan. Ms. Dugan continues to be the Artistic Director of the company, and she is the founder and Executive Director of the Firefly Circus Academy (2004), Alberta’s first school dedicated to aerial circus arts. The company has been honoured with a City of Edmonton Excellence Award in Arts and Culture, a Mayor’s Award for Innovative Artistic Direction, and the Edmonton Event Awards – Best Entertainer. In 2018 our Artistic Director was honoured with a Global Woman of Vision Award.

This Land

We would like to respectfully acknowledge that the Alberta Circus Arts Festival and Firefly Theatre & Circus are on Treaty 6 territory, a traditional meeting grounds, gathering place, and travelling route to the Cree, Saulteaux, Blackfoot, Métis, Dene and Nakota Sioux. We acknowledge all the many First Nations, Métis, and Inuit whose footsteps have marked these lands for centuries.

The Team

Annie Dugan, Executive Producer

Annie (she/her) is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Alberta’s award-winning Firefly Theatre & Circus, a company dedicated to merging the spectacle of circus arts with an accessible theatrical narrative. Since 2000, Ms. Dugan has been involved with all of Firefly Theatre’s productions in various capacities, including directing, producing, creating and performing. Firefly’s shows have been performed in theatres, on walls and rooftops, in the middle of the street, and even in fountains. Annie has received the Mayor’s Award for Innovative Artistic Direction, a Canada 150 Award, and was featured as a Global TV’s Woman of Vision.

Stephanie Gruson, Producer

Stephanie (she/her) has been a company member and performer of Firefly Theatre & Circus since 2013 and a student since 2009. She was so excited to join the Firefly team as Director of Operations and Special Events in 2021. She has a true passion for Aerial and Circus Arts. She has performed in many productions put on by Firefly such as KOLABO and PANACHE. She has been involved in many corporate and charitable events including the Canada 150 celebration at Roger’s Place, performing along with Canadian artist Sarah McLachlan. Stephanie is a Franco-Albertan. She is fluent in English and French both spoken and written. She is excited to be the festival’s French representative and producer.

Erin Dewar, Producer

Erin (she/they) joined Firefly Theatre & Circus in 2008 as a student. Erin trained recreationally for 10 years before joining the teaching staff in 2018, and in 2022 opened Sapphire Circus Arts. Erin graduated from Grant MacEwan College’s Graphic Design and Digital Communication program in 2007. Graphic design and aerial arts have gone hand-in-hand for Erin for many years. In 2013 they started doing the design work for Firefly Theatre & Circus, merging two of their favourite things. As one of the producers of the Alberta Circus Arts Festival Erin is excited to flex her creative muscles and establish something both unique and beautiful that will really showcase the Alberta circus community.

Rae McCallum, Production Manager

Rae (she/her) is an Edmonton-based freelance production manager, technical director, lighting designer, and technician in Edmonton. She has been part of the Edmonton backstage community for over a decade. She is also a proud board member of the Canadian Institute of Theatre Technology (CITT/ICTS)  Alberta Section, promoting professional development and advancement of the theatre community. 

Angelynn Khoo, Volunteer Coordinator

Back in 2014, Angelynn (she/they) found a littered flyer for an aerial contortion class on the streets of Portland, OR. From there, they fell down the rabbit hole and found their love for the trapeze. After moving to Edmonton in 2022 and they joined the Sapphire Circus Arts team coaching trapeze and hoop.

Mitchell Labrosse, Festival Audio Technician

Mitchell Labrosse is a sound engineer and designer currently based in Alberta. His background in composition and music production finds his interests pushed primarily toward sound design. However, he is also curious to explore video design and its interaction with sound in storytelling. His work in theatre is rooted in collaboration as a means to inspiration and the use of technology in storytelling. With his roots in French Theatre, he is also interested in working within that community. In the future, he hopes that his work will allow him to travel and experience different cultures.