Cirkaskina – The First National Social Circus Gathering

Cirkaskina – National Social Circus Gathering – From January 17 to January 19, 2020, it is in a spirit of openness that 150 young people from 17 Canadian communities–from Nunavut to Vancouver–will gather in Montreal for this historic event. Besides being a showcase for circus arts as a tool for social change, the gathering will provide opportunities for marginalized youth to exchange ideas, build relationships, and share expertise. The event will also create spaces where marginalized young people can express themselves through an open-stage event by and for the youth and the creation of a group manifesto.

Show at Tohu, January 17, 2020 – The general public is invited to discover the impacts of social circus, a pioneering approach that is used in a diversity of communities across Canada. On the evening of January 17th, 150 youth will perform a unique collective creation: Cirkaskina.

Visit the Tohu website for more information.

Scientific symposium- Before the public evening, the afternoon of January 17 will be dedicated to communications and scholarly presentations. Sponsored by the Montreal Working Group on Circus Research, Concordia University, Jacinthe Rivard of the Université de Montréal, and Cirque Hors Piste, this space will be an opportunity to discuss ongoing research about current practices and prospects for the renewal of social circus.

Social circus- Social circus is an innovative outreach approach that targets populations whose social and personal situations are marked by precariousness, for example, youth living on the streets or in detention centers. Social circus workshops are conducted by a duo composed of a social worker familiar with the community and an expert circus instructor. The movement’s expertise has been developed and well-documented over the last 20 years. The social circus community has grown significantly, now numbering 500 organizations worldwide, including 30 in Canada.

“Such an approach puts forward the rationale of taking young people into account, rather than taking care of them. Social circus is driven by fundamentals and values that remind us that it is the process that matters, not the outcome. A young person may never juggle four balls, but he or she will have experienced tolerance, perseverance, collaboration, imagination, and awareness of his or her boundaries; sometimes a boldness in relationship to their bodies.” (Rivard 2018)

Precious partnerships- We are privileged to count on influential partners from the Montreal circus scene such as: Tohu, la Caserne 18-30, les 7 Doigts de la Main, le Cirque du Soleil, En Piste, Manduco and our 16 national partners. In addition to these, connecting youth across the country for this event was made possible with the financial support from Government of Canada- Service Corp program, the youth Secretariat- Government of Quebec, the city of Montreal through the cultural development agreement, the Fondation du Grand Montréal and the Conseil des arts de Montréal. A huge thank you for supporting this beautiful adventure and believing in the arts as a tool for social change!

About Cirque Hors Piste

Cirque Hors Piste is a Montreal-based social circus organization, that uses circus arts to propose an alternative path to personal development to marginalized or at-risk youth as part of the global movement of arts for social change. For the past 22 years, CHP, an advocate of collaborative work, has built its foundation on inter-organizational partnerships. The organization focuses its interventions on improving the individual well-being of participants and the collective well-being of communities.