For over 15 years, Brant Matthews (a.k.a. Fireguy) has had a burning desire to entertain the world with its most fascinating element. Based in Toronto, he has performed in countries all over the world, and we were lucky to have him bring the heat to Cultura Festival last month!
Keep reading to learn more about Brant and his fiery skills, his experience working with Toronto performers, and his thoughts on arts and culture in the North York community.
Can you tell us about yourself, your interests, and what you do?
I’m a Guinness World Record Holder in Fire Eating and have been performing fire and glow shows at various events for over 20 years.
How and why did you get into fire performing?
I learnt how to juggle for a play and wanted to learn fire juggling. Then I figured I should learn how to fire eat. Following that I started busking on the streets of Montreal. It’s been a slow and steady rise from gig to gig where I now travel the world with my show.
What is it like getting to work with so many talented performers in Toronto?
I started a talent agency called Dispatch Talent that had a training space in North York. I now book many performers for events and enjoy mentoring up and coming acts. It’s very cool to see people grow their talent and become self sufficient artists.
How do you think organizations like ours can work together to increase the arts and culture profile of North York?
We need to get more people on the street with their art. I feel that the street can teach people about dealing with rejection. Rejection is the best way to learn what isn’t working and what is. I would love to see streets filled with artists of all types adding to the culture of North York and the GTA. Mel Lastman Square is such a nice area for shows and events like Cultura Festival, which really makes use of the space with music, food, and an outdoor movie (and of course, there were some fantastic buskers brought to you by Dispatch Talent!)
We’re excited to announce that Brant will be hosting North York Arts’ inaugural fundraiser on October 24th! To learn more about the event, visit northyorkarts.org/fundraiser. To learn more about Fireguy, visit fireguyshow.com and to learn more about Dispatch Talent visit www.dispatchtalent.com.