Welcome to CircusWest

Posted on 09/14/2015 at 5:25pm


CircusWest is...

…a member-run organization that has served Vancouver since 1984. The society is governed by a volunteer Board of directors. There are a number of committees on which you can serve to assist the Board and CircusWest. If you are interested in joining a committee or serving on the Board please contact the office at 604.252.3679 or at

We are pleased to welcome you to our family here at CircusWest. We know that you will thrive in our safe, supportive and inclusive environment where you can grow, expand your boundaries and challenge yourself – truly achieving the impossible.


Our main way of communication is electronic. A newsletter is emailed at least once per month with any important information and updates. If you are not receiving the newsletter, please let us know. Our website is updated regularly with program, performance and event information. Notices are also posted on the bulletin board in the Garden Auditorium.

Please log in to your Member Profile Page at by clicking on Member Login. This is the best way to get all the info you need.


Parking is free for CircusWest students, families and friends. In case of event, tell the attendant that you are here for CircusWest to park for free

Pick Up & Drop Off

Please do not drive directly up to the CircusWest doors. It poses a risk to children and parents.


We accept payments by cash, Visa, Mastercard, debit or cheque. Please contact the office to confirm how your payments will be processed.


CircusWest offers bursaries based on financial need for the CirKids program. Applications, which can be found HERE and on our website, are due Sept. 15 2015.

Supporting CircusWest

Please think of us when planning your charitable giving. CircusWest is a registered Canadian Charity that issues tax receipts for donations.(#11928 1426 RR000) Donating to CircusWest is an excellent investment in your community that allows us to offer the joy of circus to as many individuals as possible. Donations support bursaries, equipment and our extensive community outreach program with a goal to make circus accessible to everyone.We have many donation opportunities available and would be delighted to discuss how you can give. Contact us at 604.252.3679 or



Each family is charged a volunteer fee for CirKids classes above Cubs, Lions & Tigers. In order to be eligible for a volunteer refund between 20 to 30 volunteer hours will need to be completed. CircusWest relies on our talented and dedicated volunteers to make the organization work. A variety of opportunities will be available  throughout the year ranging from Front of House support during our annual  May show to building maintenance and more – stay tuned for details! If you are interested in volunteering please phone 604-252-3679 or email

Annual Show0bf16046-7cd6-4f65-9d4d-8b8b1267182b

Each May, we put on a spectacular circus show featuring our Centre Stage and Performance students. Complete with costumes, make-up and incredible set design, this show is a must-see for circus fans.

Winter Walkabout & Year-end Showcase

Before the Christmas and summer breaks, showcases will be held at the PNE Garden Auditorium for parents to come and see what their children have been learning. Don’t miss out on those great opportunities to support the kids and take some photos.

More at CircusWest…

CircusWest offers a variety of programming and fun to suit everyone’s needs. Check out this sampling of our offerings and visit our website to get all the details.


Have a circus birthday party and spend your special day learning new circus skills. Parties are intended for kids, but adult and teen parties are available upon request. Find out more HERE


Throughout the year, CircusWest offers a variety of camps for children around the Lower Mainland. Ranging from Spring Break Camps to our popular Summer Camps, details can be found online.

Summer Camps @ Stratford Hall & Bayview!

Posted on 07/24/2015 at 3:52pm

Everyone here at CircusWest is very excited to bring our summer camps to Stratford Hall next month, Vancouver’s most up-to-the-minute sports gym!

Just a stone’s throw from the PNE at 3150 Commercial Drive, camps at Stratford Hall are quickly filling!

CircusWest_Camp3_345From the east side to the west side, 2015 marks CircusWest’s 15th year at Bayview Community Centre. Located on West 6th Ave at 2251 Collingwood Street, Bayview camps offer children the opportunity to participate in a circus camp without having to commute for miles.


CircusWest camps are a great place for kids to take their first steps in the wonderful world of circus, and a great opportunity for those already enrolled in CirKids (or dance or gymnastics programs) to improve their skills and learn some new ones, too. Learn to juggle, ride a unicycle, jump on a trampoline and build human pyramids! Campers work towards building a performance to present on the last day of camp to showcase their newly gained skills! All families are invited to attend this performance!

Camps are open to all children aged between 7 and 14 years and offer a jam packed, fun filled week for just $350.00. An additional $20.00 Gymnastics BC insurance fee will be charged per student while a $15.00 CircusWest Membership fee will be charged per family.


Following the roaring success of our camps at the PNE throughout July, make sure your child does not miss the chance to experience the joy of circus this summer!

* Limited spaces available.

Watch the fun our campers are having : IMG_4980

Find us HERE at Stratford Hall and HERE at Bayview!

2015 Yearend Showcase Schedule

Posted on 06/01/2015 at 7:57pm

Join us as we showcase the talents and skills of CircusWest’s 2015 CirKids!

Be sure to bring your camera as there will be plenty of photo opportunities.

Class Call Time Show Time
Wednesday Ringmasters 5:00PM 6:30PM – 8:00PM
Centre Ring (Wed and Sat Class) 5:00PM 6:30PM – 8:00PM
Wednesday Tigers 5:45PM 6:30PM – 8:00PM
Wednesday Lions 5:45PM 6:30PM – 8:00PM


Class Call Time Show Time
Saturday Ringmasters 9:00AM 10:30AM – 12:00PM
Centre Ring (ALL Centre Ring) 9:00AM 10:30AM – 12:00PM
Saturday Tigers 9:45AM 10:30AM – 12:00PM
Saturday Lions 9:45AM 10:30AM – 12:00PM



Class Call Time Show Time
Sunday Ringmasters 9:00AM 10:30AM – 12:00PM
Big Top 9:00AM 10:30AM – 12:00PM



Class Call Time Show Time
Monday Ringmasters 5:00PM 6:30PM – 8:00PM
Centre Ring (Mon and Sat Class) 5:00PM 6:30PM – 8:00PM
Monday Lions 5:45PM 6:30PM – 8:00PM
MondayTigers 5:45PM 6:30PM – 8:00PM


Don’t forget about CircusWest Summer Camps!

Registration is NOW OPEN!


Thank you for all of your support throughout the year – see you in September!


The Circus of Oz

Posted on 03/27/2015 at 4:49pm

We’re definitely not in Kansas anymore!

Certainly not, this is Oz, The Circus of Oz!

This year Alice trades her Wonderland for Dorothy’s Oz in CircusWest’s reimagining of L. Frank Baum’s classic tale. From page to stage to screen and back again, Dorothy and Co. have seen Broadway’s stage and Hollywood’s silver screen but that’s old news, this May the cast of characters join the circus in CircusWest’s stunning presentation of The Circus of Oz.

Led by Artistic Director Jay Nunns, featuring CircusWest’s Performance and Centre Stage students, The Circus of Oz marks yet another astounding production. With past productions including adaptations, Around the World in 80 Days and A Circus in Wonderland along with original productions , A Circus in Time and Kaleidoscope, this year we’re headed to The Emerald City and The Circus of Oz is sure to beguile the masses.

When a ferocious tornado engulfs Dorothy and her canine sidekick Toto and transports them to Munchkin Country, a whimsical land surrounded by desert, the pair have never been further from home. Dorothy soon learns that her only way out rests with the illusive Wizard of Oz and with that she sets out along the yellow brick road with the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion in tow.




A Carnival Past

Many may not be aware of ‘the great and terrible’ wizard’s carnival past but Oscar Diggs or The Wizard of Oz as he is more commonly known, hails from a good old fashioned sideshow where he skillfully hoodwinked the public performing magic tricks and stunts to ruse and amaze.

Using the expertise gained from life on the road Oscar succeeds in duping the citizens of Oz. Arriving aboard a hot air balloon he masquerades real magic with illusion to position himself as the mighty Wizard of Oz.

When he is eventually found out following the splintering of his protective screen, the Wizard is revealed as a tired old man, a lost traveler. Exposed as a fraud, he is relieved having grown weary of his cloaked existence, longing to return to circus life (how could we blame him!) Now, CircusWest is proud to make Oscar Diggs’ dreams a reality.

Fun Fact

Charley Grapewin, the actor who played Uncle Henry in the 1939 film adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s book, began his career in the late 19th century as a circus trapeze artist.




MGM’s version of the story sees even more circus innuendo and the introduction of new characters including Professor Marvel, the traveling showman whom Dorothy encounters just before the cyclone strikes. An itinerant swindler, he represents a profound likeness to the character of The Wizard, his real-life counterpart so to speak. Concerned for Dorothy’s fate he turns to his crystal ball and encourages her to return to her Aunt and Uncle’s house almost premeditating the events to follow.

Fun Fact

The shabby coat that Professor Marvel wore in the film was a thrift store find. It was discovered later that it used to belong to Oz author, L. Frank Baum (his name was sewn into the garment). Baum’s widow and tailor confirmed the find.

Circus runs in and around the entire tale, even the munchkins are reminiscent of circus. The term ‘midget’ was conditioned by P. T. Barnum, founder of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. The midgets were used to create spectacle and provide entertainment in all of the Barnum & Bailey shows. The munchkins in The Wizard of Oz contribute to the story’s mystic setting by creating a sense of curiosity and wonder as Barnum’s midgets did for circus all those years ago.

See it Live

In our circus re-telling of this extraordinary tale we see Dorothy soar over the rainbow on aerial straps as the cowardly lion conquers his fears using acrobatics and contortion. The Tin Man regains his heart in a spirited balancing act while the Scarecrow’s brain is found amidst a juggling conundrum.




A Word from the Creator

The concept of ‘daring to dream’ which is prominent in L. Frank’s story offers an ideal platform for circus storytelling as circus is a place where you can dream big, push limits and defy gravity. The Circus of Oz takes the audience to a magical place where individuals can fly and accomplish amazing things .The show narrates the traditional Wizard of Oz story with scores of breathtaking surprises thrown in to delight audiences and challenge the artists.

We asked Mr. Nunns, if you came face to face with the Wizard, what would your wish be?

More hours in a day and more days in a week!

It takes a village to mount a production of this magnitude! CircusWest coaches meet in October to formulate ideas and start the casting process. Act development begins in January and by March, props are made, the final show order is developed and the music is selected. Then, April comes along and the show is rehearsed and refined for an opening in May.

The Circus of Oz runs from Thursday May 7th to Sunday May 10th with performances twice daily at 12:30PM and 7:00PM at the PNE’s Garden Auditorium.

Don’t miss out on your chance to experience Oz in a circus arena, buy your tickets now and Dare to Dream!

CirKids’ Best Moments & Next Steps

Posted on 08/12/2014 at 1:25pm

Throughout the last 30 years, we’ve seen hundreds of kids come through the doors of CircusWest. With some of these students, we’ve been lucky enough to see them grow from very young circus stars to wonderful young adults. We’ve asked a couple of CirKids graduating students to share some of their best experiences with CircusWest over the years.


PatersonCreativeServices-385When did you start with CirKids and how did you get involved? I began my journey with CirKid’s way back in 2001 when I was only 5 years old. I got involved thanks to the parent of one of the old preschoolers my mom taught, when she recommended the program to us.

What do you love most about your experience with CircusWest? The thing I love the most about my experience with CircusWest is how the majority of the coaches have known me since I was really little and they have watched me grow up and become who I am today. I can definitely say that I’ve learned a lot about myself and how to work with others being in this program. I’ve learned how to push myself even when things get tough, I’ve learned how to trust myself, I’ve learned how to communicate with others and how to listen to what other people had to say. These are some important skills I can use not only at CircusWest but also in my every day life.

Could you share one of the best memories from your time here? One of the best memories, that’s tough because I have been here for so long and I have so many to chose from so it’s hard to only pick one. But the one that stands out the most to me is when I went on stage for the first time in “A Circus in Time”, which was my very first big show. I can still remember how nervous I was back stage right before going on, the butterflies in my stomach felt like they were wanting to fly out of my stomach, my palms were all clammy and I could feel a bead of sweat trickling down my face. It was an awful feeling! But the moment I stepped out on stage I forgot all about how I was feeling 2 seconds ago. The lights, the loud music, the roar of applause, it was all new to me but I definitely fell in love with performing.

What’s your favourite circus discipline?  My favourite circus discipline is definitely tumbling. I love all of the flipping and flying through the air.

What’s next for you? Next year I will be going to the University of Victoria to study psychology. I am going to try out for the cheer team so that I can keep performing and keep up my tumbling. It is going to be very strange to not be going to training on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays anymore but it is all a part of growing up; I need to close some doors in order to open new ones. I’m leaving CircusWest with a smile and a million memories that I will keep for the rest of my life, but I will for sure be back very soon to visit. You can’t get rid of me for too long!


PatersonCreativeServices-326When did you start with CirKids and how did you get involved? I started at CircusWest in 2012, I think. My friend had a friend performing in the Lost Lagoon show, and asked if I wanted to come watch with her. Obviously I loved the show so much I auditioned to get into the program!!

What do you love most about your experience with CircusWest? What I love most about CircusWest is probably the people (and the end of year May show!). I met my best friends there, so training through the year was always my favourite part of the week.

Could you share one of the best memories from your time here? One of my best memories would have to be the last show of Kaleidoscope we did.

What’s your favourite circus discipline?  My favourite disciplines are juggling and handstands for sure.

What’s next for you? I’m not sure what’s next for me! I’ve deferred my acceptance to University and will most likely be working on different organic farms across Canada.

Without a doubt, we’ll be missing a few faces that have contributed so much to the wonderful world of CircusWest. Thank you for your dedication and for making this program so special.

As a new year of circus is fast approaching, we are already looking forward to welcome back the CircusWest families and see a new generation of CirKids stars develop!

Winter Walkabout!

Posted on 11/13/2013 at 11:13am

Attention: Lions, Tigers, Ringmasters, Big Top and Centre Ring

We are happy to announce this year’s Winter Walkabout is happening on Dec 14-15!

pic for winter walkabout post

This is a great opportunity for kids to show their parents what they’ve been learning this year! Parents are welcome down on the gym floor and can take photos of their children (and possibly get inspired to learn how to juggle themselves!)

Don’t miss this wonderful event! The full schedule is HERE.

Spring Camps Circus Congrats

Posted on 03/22/2013 at 8:58pm

CircusWest is so proud of all the young folks who performed today in our first week of Spring Break camps.

For the first time, we offered a week-long circus camp in Surrey, where 24 children learned to juggle, unicycle, make
pyramids, and jump on a trampoline. Their show was wonderful! We’re looking forward to doing more camps in Surrey this summer.

The Vancouver CircusWest Spring camp culminated in a performance of the Awesome Museum at the PNE Gardens. We were all relieved that the tumbling, trampoline jumping, aerial-silk riding, pyramid building thieves didn’t get away with the fabulous golden crown!

Join the fun at the half-day camps next week or at our many Summer Camps throughout the Lower Mainland. Registration for some of the camps is already open: Click HERE to check the schedule.

Student Perspective: Travis

Posted on 08/22/2012 at 10:31am

Travis is clearly passionate about all things circus!

One of our Performance students, Travis Paterson, weighs in on his experience at CircusWest.
I first started Circus Arts when I was in Grade 5. I remember going on a field trip to see ‘Circus Metropolis’ way back when. I was so inspired and mesmerized by all the performers on stage! I remember it so clearly – sitting back in the seats, so into it, the show hadn’t even started yet and I was in love! Our school went every year because one of the performer’s moms was my teacher at the time. Her mom would take the class every year and i would love it! So finally I talked my parents into joining the circus – CircusWest that is!
Over the years I have definitely done and seen some pretty cool things! One thing that I just got into this year is ‘8Rings’ – a form of object manipulation. I’m glad Jay talked me into cause now I’m one of the few in Vancouver that does it! Next year I hope to gain lots more illusions with the rings.
CircusWest has provided me with so many opportunities in the past years, from meeting Cirque Clowns to professional gymnasts! We are also very privileged to have great coaches! They are supportive and want you to fully understand your limits and do things that you never thought were possible!
Not only are the coaches great but everyone who trains along side of you are also great. We’re all one big happy family! Yes, we have our down times,  but its like any family, in the end we all love each other again. I find that circus is a way to relieve stress from a not so great day at school, or a rough day at home! Its a way to release your emotions in a positive way and actually look good doing it.
So every year, the performance troupes are offered opportunities to perform at various events around Vancouver, like the Santa Clause Parade, mall shows, carnivals, fundraisers and more. The most recent show i did was actually at a convention…a funeral convention. Im not going to lie it was a bit strange, but a great experience.  To start the night off we were placed in our green room, which had a casket in the middle of the room with a name on it. I think that was one of the funniest shows I’ve done because it was just so different! I love having the opportunity to try new things and meet new people.
Over the summer I’ve been taking it pretty easy! Done a couple of shows this month and can’t wait to do another! Im also working right now on Bowen Island, so that limits a lot of my day from time to time, but I’m excited to get back into the gym in September.
Next year I want to work ten times harder at circus because I want to prove to myself that there are no limits in circus and break through that wall of ” I can’t do it.”  I want to try new things, but also get better at my specialities! Circus has no ends in what you can do, just new starts.

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!

CircusWest loves Teddy Bears too!

Posted on 06/14/2012 at 12:12pm

Great performances at the Teddy Bear Picnic. Thanks Amy Salvador for the photos!

CircusWest was in Coquitlam at the Teddy Bear Picnic this past weekend and brought delight to many children and bears! Performing two shows as well as an interactive juggling session for festival go-ers.

Ashara, Kaitlynn, Kaja, Travis, Quinn and Anthony put on a great show for an audience packed with youngsters, teddy bears in hand. To get in the spirit, Quinn and Travis dressed like teddy bears, which the kids loved.

Keep your eyes peeled for CircusWest at various events around the Lower Mainland this summer. For the most up to date information, check out our Facebook page, Twitter and sign up for our monthly newsletter.

Stay tuned for photos taken by one of our talented CirKids!