Victoria is ripe for a circus festival. I am dreaming big but starting small. This is just an initial call to artists, organizers and enthusiasts – let’s make this happen for April 2016!
Since the moment I was thrown off the Russian Swing, I have been fully committed to the circus arts. Among all the other craziness that has happened to me over the last ten years, it has been the one constant in my life. I will never stop doing it. It makes me happy. I want to share that love by building a strong circus community.
So, here is the tentative plan (please feel free to contact and tell me what else I need to do – I would really appreciate the input!):
Gather the circus community in Victoria. Looking for professionals (artists who are currently working or have done important gigs). I would like to organize a meeting just to get the ball rolling and start to hammer out some initial ideas and support. I am trusting that this will lead to an explosion of scintillating concepts for the festival as well as provide a tremendous amount of stoke and motivation for all those involved.
I am thinking that an entire weekend might be too much to begin with the first time out, so I was thinking of making it as simple as possible by doing the first festival as a one day event – an afternoon of workshops and an evening show. Victoria has shown a lot of support for the arts and circus, but I would really like to sell out something small than go big and be half full. If all works well and Victoria loves it, of course, we can go way bigger the following year.
Beyond just putting on an awesome little festival, I am very interested in gathering the professional circus artists in and around Victoria in order to establish a strong, dedicated team. Once the team has solidified, I would like to begin to offer summer camp programs in 2016. Again, looking for a small team to sell out the sessions. Keep it tight and make it funky.
The big goal is to step by step gather the infrastructure necessary to open a small circus school in Victoria. I think the process of starting a small festival, then offering summer camps to gauge community support is a great way to create a minimal viable product and build along the way thereby taking a lot of risk out of just opening up with a “build it and they will come mentality.”
Ultimately, I would like to have a dedicated space that combines a circus school with high school. As a teacher at the mighty Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry (PSII), I am in a very unique position to make this happen. We could be the first high school circus arts diploma program in Western Canada. And it could happen in relatively short order. PSII is growing like wildfire and a circus arts diploma would attract a lot more students.
But I am getting ahead of myself. First things first – a circus festival in Victoria and gather the team. The people that I have spoken to are already madly excited about the prospect and are surprised that it does not already exist. Well, let’s bring it into existence. Please contact me.