From the West Coast to Penticton Carnival Life is Different For All of Us

August 11, 2012

Rob's Character Board shows Betty and Krysta 's Character

Rob’s Character Board shows Betty and Krysta ‘s Character.

The Carnival Industry has many similarities – we travel, we entertain, we work very hard, and we are all in Show Business. I like to think that all of us want the same thing, success, fulfillment, a sense of belonging, the opportunity to deliver and provide joy and make a living for our families.

The people who work with us at our Carnival Company are quite different than you might expect. At Shooting Star Amusements, we hire people with inherent great skills and then further cultivate their hidden talents.

On our Carnival Midway you will find entrepreneurs, inventors, engineers, first aid attendants, bankers, gymnasts, magicians, face-painters, artists, sales people, photographers, chefs, professional drivers, University, College and High School students, professional trade people, electricians and retirees who enjoy the interaction with the public.

A universal trait among all carnival companies is the real sense of camaraderie – we are family to each other for several months of the year!

Our Carnival company has many of our own family members working with us who have a talent or two to share which adds to the dimension of our Carnival.

Our employees stay and play in each community. Enjoying the respectable hotel accommodations we provide them. While we are all here to work, we enjoy being guests of the community. The crew all enjoy the wonderful activities in Penticton from the Channel to Banana Boating to Bike Riding along the lakes.

Our Long Time Employees

IMG_4990The majority of our employees have worked with our Carnival Company for several years, returning year after year for the Sun, Fun and Travel – what a great job, a paid vacation.

Our employees leave their own personal touches on our Carnival Company. Our longest and very first employee is James Grey who has worked with us since 1986. Dating back to a time when we all worked with West Coast Amusements for Bingo Hauser in the early 1980’s.

James began his career working our Rope Ladders game. He soon became a Rope Ladder Legend known coast to coast for having climbed those crazy ladders in every possible way – like no other before or after him.

Toad-on-our-Rope-Ladders2-260x300James is like a son to us and is one of the most versatile employees. He can fill any position in our Carnival Company! He has worked on almost every ride on our show, in the games, food concessions, spun cotton candy and sold tickets! Currently James is the foreman of our Zipper Ride.

Betty Minifie, Games Manager – With Shooting Star Amusements Since 1995

Betty Minifie has been working with us for almost two decades. Betty takes care of the animals on our show – the stuffed animals. Ensuring every one of them is huggable and ready to be any child’s next best friend. She can be found sewing up


Betty Minifie, Games Manager – With Shooting Star Amusements Since 1995

toys or washing the ducks in the pond, making sure everything is sparkly and new. Betty manages our Games and has been seen strolling around in our Duck Pond for almost two decades. Betty is the Show Gramma and if ever you need anything, Betty has at least one extra one in her suitcase to share. Betty has rarely missed a day of work in all her years with us.

Rob-199x300Rob Gunn is the next in command on our show. Rob has been with our company for seven years. He oversees the machines both on the lot and in our shop, and trains, manages and mentors our ride crew. The secret love Rob has for the job comes from the hundreds of extra hours he works and never tells us about. Rob created our “Character board” on his own time and then donated it to our Midway, leaving his own personal touch for everyone to put their faces through for a giggle for free!

Paul Alberts has been with us from the time we bought the Sizzler ride! We celebrate this last decade we have all been together. He came with the Ride! Paul is a dedicated hard working individual who is always happy to be here. He sidelines as a Magician, and is a great escape artist and has invented and patented a strait jacket used by many magicians.

2012-Kamloops-Magician-Dinner-10Check out the works of art around our Midway and online. This creative talent and artistic ability comes from within the ranks of the ride and game operators.

We try to encourage and help develop the people who work here to be more than just the expected stereotypical carnies or invisible game/ride operators. Our aspiration is for everyone in our company to be fulfilled, successful individuals who have as much passion for this business as we do.

It is far more than “just a job” to work here. Everyone here wants to be part of something. We are delighted to see our staff sign their own name to our show. We see it in the pride they take in caring for our customers, the rides, the game displays or through the sharing of their own artistic ability.

Our people are not just great carnival characters – they have the character that makes our carnival great.

Shooting Star Amusements is in Penticton for the Peach Festival until Sunday August 12, 2012. See our Ad in the Penticton Western News, and the Penticton Daily Herald, listen for great deals on Sun FM and Like us on Facebook for the Best Prices!