If you’ve been to a family-friendly festival over the past decade or so here in Alberta, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ve seen Amanda Panda in action. Likely festooned in vivid colours, in the midst of frenetic activity, and surrounded by a gaggle of children, Amanda Syryda is an artist from Grande Prairie who turned a passion for performance into a prolific career as an all-around entertainer. Come festival season, she can be found on park grass, pavements in city cities and towns, and public spaces of all kinds across Alberta!
These days, she juggles a lot of different roles; she’s a hoop dancer, an author, an entrepreneur, the driving force behind Hula Hoop Circus, and a self-described “natural kid magnet”. Catch her act at fairs, folk fest, and street performers’ festivals in Vauxhall, Edmonton, Lacombe, Vegreville and Vilna over 2022’s summertime festival season. Amanda Panda recently gave Grant Stovel a glimpse into the carnival atmosphere of her life as an energetic catalyst for family fun.