The Shrine Circus will make its biennial visit to Estevan on Wednesday, June 6 at Spectra Place. Performance times will be at 9:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Funds raised during the circus performances will be used to send young people from southeast Saskatchewan to the Shriner's hospital in Montreal, or their satellite hospital in Winnipeg, according to Gene Davis, who is the circus committee chair for the Estevan Shrine Club.
"Everything we do is for those hospitals," said Davis. "We're in the neighbourhood of, I think, $30 per second that we have to generate right now to keep our hospitals running in North America."
Not only do they have to pay for the operating costs of the hospitals, such as specialized services, but they also direct money to the Patient Transportation Fund, which pays for transportation costs for patients to visit Montreal or Winnipeg.
"There is no charge to anybody to utilize it," said Davis. "We help kids. We fix kids. Our hope is that the message gets out there, so if there is somebody that has a problem, and they're a youth (they'll contact us)."
Once a child turns 18, there isn't much that a Shriner's Hospital can do for them if it's a bone-related problem, he said. The earlier a child visits the hospital, the better.
The Shriners have had as many as 11 children from the southeast travel to the hospital in Montreal. Currently, Davis said there are seven. Some of the patients who have travelled to Montreal have been healed thanks to the treatment they have received at the hospital.
The Shrine Circus in Estevan promises to be well-attended. Eight schools will be sending their Kindergarten to Grade 6 students to the 9:30 a.m. performance. Three or four more have been confirmed for the 1 p.m. show. The Shriners have been seeking donations from businesses to purchase tickets, so students to attend for free.
Tickets will be available in advance or at the door for all three shows.
Davis said the move into Spectra Place means they won't have any ceiling height restrictions for the trapeze and the high-wire acts.
"The ceiling at Spectra is as high as a tent," said Davis.
When the Shrine Circus was in the Civic Auditorium, some of the acts couldn't be performed
Tarzan Zerbini Productions is once again producing the circus. Estevan is one of five cities that Zerbini's circus will visit during a 16-day tour of Saskatchewan.