This year’s Festival of Lights street entertainment will see a homecoming of one of Ladysmith’s own.
Skilled juggler, jester and stilt guy Mike Battie will embrace the Light Up night atmosphere and express his skills to the crowd.
“As well as my juggling, I’ll probably be doing a little bit of stilts as well when it’s light,” said Battie. When it gets dark I’ll use some fire and I’ll be bringing along some glowing props that look really good in the night.”
Ladysmith native Battie credits his skills to the training he received back in his college days at Malaspina College in Nanaimo, nowadays known as Vancouver Island University.
“I was in the right place at the right time and received some great training for show juggling during my college theatre days. I was very lucky,” he said.
Battie now lives in Vancouver and is excited to be coming home for the festival for the second year in a row.
“I love coming home, it’s a great excuse to see the family and all the young people I don’t see very often. I’ve been back for the Ladysmith Days too although it doesn’t happen very often.”
Prior to the 2012 festival, Battie was not involved for the “past 10 years” and says a lesson in the weather last time out will see him better prepared for thus year.
“Last year was a little wet so I have a better idea of what I’m going to do and what I can do this time round,” he said. “You need to be more conscientious with fire in wet circumstances and I’ll probably also bring a standing tent in case of the weather situation.”
Battie believes the Festival of Lights to be a fantastic thing.
“It’s great to see everybody in the community getting out,” he said. “To see that whole line-up is really cool and it’s really unique to Ladysmith. You don’t see that on any scale anywhere else.”