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Balloon twister entertaining Saskatoon for two decades

Warren Johnson's balloon creations have delighted children for more than 20 years.

SASKATOON — Warren Johnson has been providing balloon entertainment for more than two decades at a wide range of events in the city; from kids’ birthday celebrations to events organized by community associations.

Corporate and seasonal parties like Halloween and Christmas, school (pre-school, kindergarten and daycare) and summer functions, church events, Treaty Day even weddings and anniversaries, which have guests composed mostly of adults are all among the venues he has attended,

“I enjoy all of these places but my favourite is twisting balloons at restaurants,” Johnson, who is also frequently invited to entertain guests in several establishments in the city, told SASKTODAY

“I enjoy everything about it [my job]. I am paid to have fun and most people are very happy. I try to make the event special for the child who is celebrating his or her birthday. \ I have been [hired] back to several houses multiple times.”

Johnson is self-taught learning from a how-to book on balloon twisting. He became more serious about his skill with the help of a fellow balloon twister.

“This book had instructions to make 20 different balloon animals. With that book were 20 balloons and a very small pump. That is how I started. I was [also] lucky to meet a local twister who showed me a few basic things,” he added.

He studied and learned the skill even before the internet with only the book to guide him and with the assistance of his fellow balloon twister, whom he is very thankful for helping him find more information.

Event competitors

Johnson said that unlike some of his competitors who have other ways of entertainment — like doing magic or face painting, he knows balloon twisting only, honing his skill over 20 years.

“When it comes to the competition, we all have it. If the balloon twister is not good the people will hire a magician. If the magician is not good, the people will hire a face painter. If the face painter is not good the people will get a petting zoo.”

And despite the competition among party entertainers, he still manages to book 30 to 560 events every month.

“I do as many events as I possibly can. The only reason that I will not work for one person is that I am working for someone else,” Johnson added.

COVID pandemic

However, the country not prepared for the coming pandemic ,as the virus jumped from one country to another infecting people, and causing governments to implement lockdowns and other health measures to slow the spread of the disease.

Johnson was among the millions of people whose job was affected by the pandemic and despite he and his wife receiving Canada Emergency Response Benefit, they were forced to have full- and part-time jobs just to support their family.

“The pandemic was very difficult for the entertainment industry. Before COVID shut our business down, balloons were our only income. My wife and I own the business, she does all the booking and deals with every year events, and I do the balloon twisting,” said Johnson.

“We were eligible for CERB payments but both of us had to get ‘real work.’ My wife got a full-time job and I worked five to six part-time and casual jobs. There is work if you will do it. It might not pay what you want but there is work available.”

They also saved as much money as they could even before the pandemic especially if they get fewer events booked and make sure their four kids get the education they deserve.

“Two are in university and two are now working full time. Just like many people, my wife and I saved money so that our children could get a post-secondary education,” Johnson added.

He said that he is not yet ready to retire after creating various animals, fairy wings, trucks, swords and other images that delighted children for 23 years.

“I handed out my first balloon business card in 1999. For me balloon twisting is the easiest job in the world and I do not see myself retiring for several more years.”

Johnson can be reached online at, his email, his mobile number 306-341-FUNN (3866), or through Facebook Balloon Funn by Warren.