Author: Haley Smith
Photos: Michele Roger & CircusWest
This past Saturday evening, I Love Circus Cabaret kicked off CircusWest’s 30th Anniversary by celebrating the fantastic circus community and Vancouver’s best emerging circus talent and professionals. Those who attended were treated to a spectacular show unlike anything Vancouver has ever seen before. Gathering under one roof, various companies and circus artist came together to celebrate the best way they know how – by showcasing individual and collaborative talents of those who live and breathe Circus! The PNE Garden Auditorium is usually found with students practicing tumbling, aerials, unicycling and just about anything else under the dome – but I had the distinct pleasure of witnessing what is usually used for practice turned into an intimate proscenium stage setting. Upon entering the cabaret styled event, the audience was welcomed with cascading fabric backdrop and projection that proudly proclaimed I heart Circus. Starting a little after 9pm, the event was introduced and moderated by Chris Murdoch, a CircusWest coach and a terrific showman. He gave a brief introduction to the event, touching on the highlight of the evening – multiple acts and companies were performing and ready to put on a spectacular show unlike anyone had ever seen before!
Murdoch called the evening a “smashing success” as he proudly told the audience that they (the organizers) would have been happy if they got only 100 or so people…but they didn’t expect such a stupendous turnout, stating “way to break the doors down guys!” (as I looked around from my seat, and saw a crowd of at least triple that number!) Not only did the evening start off on a fun light-hearted note with some “clowning around,” it became clear that this event was one I will remember for quite some time. There were hoop acts, aerial silk/hoop artists, juggling with hoops, balls, and batons, an astonishing hand to hand act, beautiful and enthralling contact acrobatics and a handstand contortionist – even a brave gold booty short wearing performer stepping inside a balloon – the crowd favourite of the evening by far. Certainly the finest variety of acts I have ever seen, I am left speechless by what the performers could do to wow and impress the audience. It was a treat and thrill to witness the coming together of many different types of circus acts under one roof – and with so many talented people it is clear that CircusWest’s 30th Anniversary will be the best year yet for them.
Don’t miss CircusWest at their next main event – their Annual Show called Kaleidoscope: Circus in Technicolour, from May 1st to 4th. Featuring performers from the CirKids program, this 90 minute spectacular follows a young boy who searches for an is inspired by colourful worlds of circus and ultimately finds his true colours.
Circuswest would like to thank the generosity of the following sponsors: the PNE, Georgia Straight, Breakfast Television, The Beat 94.5, and Ugo & Joe’s. Many thanks to all of the volunteers and organizations that helped make this event possible.