Archive for July, 2012

Deaf Youth Today @ CircusWest

Posted on 07/25/2012 at 11:16am

CircusWest was very excited to have had the opportunity of working with Deaf Youth Today program two weeks ago.

A group of 35 young students learnt how to juggle, walk hand stilts, perform acrobatics, build pyramids and learn skills on the trampoline. The group had a mixture of speaking and deaf students and their interpreters were on hand to relay the information from the coaches to the deaf students. As students achieved a new skill, it was awesome to see the group applaud for each other by raising their hands to shoulder height and shaking hands back and forth – much like if they were doing ‘jazz hands.’

The students attended a total of four circus lessons and took on  many new circus challenges like try aerials, unicycles and much more! As well, there was a small group of students in wheel chairs that took on juggling, object manipulation and balancing challenges.

CircusWest is excited to be working with a wide variety of diverse students and inspiring them through the magic of circus arts while allowing them to reveal their unique abilities.

Mad Skillz @ CircusWest

Posted on 07/18/2012 at 9:04am

By Marchel Eang

For anyone in the circus community who hasn’t heard of Mad Skillz (nothing to be ashamed of either), simply put, it’s one of the best annual ground-circus festivals in Vancouver! The festival is three days long and is hosted at CircusWest. Mad Skillz celebrates mostly object manipulation: juggling, staff, poi, diabolo, and contact – but there’s also the occasional person that pulls out something different, like a unicycle. This year, the rou-cyr made an appearance as well and many people had the fun of trying it for the first time.

During the day from about 11am to 6pm there is an open gym juggling jam at CircusWest. It’s the perfect time to practice those stills that are giving you trouble and meet new people. These new friends often understand your juggling problems and can help you! Throughout the open gym time are workshops led by various artists in the community. You can learn anything from clowning, to juggling, to hoop, to how to better yourself as a business person if you’re interested in the business aspect of being a performer. All the workshops are an hour to two in length and open to all skill sets.

Following open gym on Friday and Saturday nights, there are a series of performances and parties.

Friday was night at Sideshow Studios (a shared studio space owned by a collective of Vancouver circus artists) featured the Emerging Artists of Vancouver’s circus community and was followed by the Renegade Juggling show. The Emerging Artists showcase was open to all ages and featured many performers from CircusWest; you may have even seen them in the May production of Blue Sky Circus!

After that showcase is a more adult-oriented juggler’s sketch-comedy cabaret called the Renegade Showcase that was for audiences 18+.

Saturday night was the Mad Skillz Gala which featured jugglers and artists from all over North America. Due to the venue, this year’s gala was unfortunately 19+ but there was a live stream of the show hosted at CircusWest for those who still wanted to watch, which was a party on its own!

All in all, I would highly recommend this festival to anyone interested in circus. Everyone’s extremely friendly and the open gym jams are the perfect time to learn new skills or try a new prop. Youth are encouraged to come by as well; we had a couple of boys, aged 9 – 12 from Portland who could juggle 5 clubs… WOW!

Don’t miss it next year!

13 years of Circus

Posted on 07/05/2012 at 9:09am


Zoe in various CircusWest shows! Clockwise: practicing hand to hand with Daisy, porting, bottom left, with a unicycle team, and showing some acting skills with Tarise and Megan.


Zoe has been at CircusWest for 13 years. Along with graduating from high school, she’s also graduating from our programs at CircusWest. She takes a moment to look back on all 13 years of memories at CircusWest.

“13 years, 3 gyms, and an uncountable number of shows later I’m hanging up my bodysuits and saying good by to the circus family that has been so dear to me for so long. I started at CircusWest when I was 5 in their Lions program. My parents had enrolled me in the program after a number of friends had participated and had raved about it’s uniqueness. The most memorable experiences I have from my first year, is when I lead my group in our little lion costumes though our routine, when the girl who was supposed to lead didn’t show up for the performance.  I will always hold the numerous hours spent discovering new tricks on double uni, stacking bike and hand-to-hand dear to me and will carry the scars as fond memories. Cirkids has taught me how to work in a group and given me leadership skills that I will continue to use as I move on. Now I am off to try my luck at Capilano’s film program where I will be studying this fall.  I will continue to keep in touch with my circus family and come to see as many shows as I can. For everyone I have had the opportunity to work with I thank you all and for those thinking of joining the program I strongly encourage it.”

It’s been a great run Zoe and we’ve been so happy to have had you here at CircusWest. All of us wish you the best in your studies and hope you take your circus skills wherever you go!