What is CircusWest?
CircusWest is Vancouver’s circus performing arts society – a comprehensive circus arts centre for all ages. Located in the historic Garden Auditorium on the PNE grounds in east Vancouver, CircusWest offers children, teens, and adults an opportunity to explore Circus Arts in an encouraging, non-competitive environment. CircusWest’s programs encourage respect for oneself and others and provide an environment to learn responsible risk-taking. As a collaborative community in which everyone can develop skills, find their artistic voice, and realize their potential, CircusWest is a creative space where individuals can dream big, push limits, and defy gravity – all while having fun.
What does CircusWest do?
CircusWest helps individuals develop circus arts and performance skills, fitness, confidence, passion, community, and fun in a safe environment. A not-for-profit registered charity, CircusWest is best known for its youth training and performance program, CirKids. Over the years, CircusWest has developed additional programming to meet the needs of the community, becoming a centre for recreational adult circus as well. CircusWest also does outreach to schools and communities as well as corporate circus workshops, bringing laughter and teamwork to the working world. Through a wide variety of classes and circus experiences – and performances, too, everyone is able to partake in the fun and feats of circus.
CircusWest’s programming includes:
• CirKids – for children 3 to 19, a 10 month program throughout the school year
• Camps – fun children’s camps during Spring Break and throughout the summer
• CATS (Circus Artists Training Sessions) – drop-in practice for professional circus artists
• Adult & Teen – classes for those aged 13 and up in various circus arts
• Birthday parties – for kids, teens, and adults
• Workshops – personalized workshops for groups, companies, and more
Beginning as Vancouver Children’s Circus Society, CircusWest has grown significantly since its beginnings in 1984. Inspired by circus performances at Vancouver Children’s Festival, a small, non-profit circus school was begun in a south Vancouver gym. Outgrowing that space, a new site was needed and in 2003, CircusWest moved to its current home in the PNE Garden Auditorium, at Hastings Park. Renamed CircusWest Performing Arts Society in 2008 to reflect a much wider and more comprehensive organizational mandate, CircusWest is a registered charity, governed by a volunteer board of directors and supported by over 400 community members.