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Kingston Social Circus

This application is for two partnered social circus projects—Soar Circus for Girls and the Invisible Youth Circus Project.

Both projects are part of a growing social circus movement that combines training in circus techniques with social goals. Like most social circus initiatives, the programming is offered for free to participants to ensure accessibility and inclusion of a diverse population. Emphasis is on having fun, building confidence and community, and safe and appropriate risk-taking.

Soar Circus introduces girls involved with partner organizations to circus skills in a safe and supportive environment. Through instruction in aerial silks, partner acrobatics and physical theatre, participants gain self-confidence and trust in themselves and others. Because circus encourages the development of strength and values what diverse bodies can do rather than what they look like, circus can be particularly beneficial to helping girls develop self-esteem and a positive body image. This project is based on a successful pilot project carried out with girls from Big Brothers Big Sisters Kingston in 2015. This year, Soar will offer programming to girls involved with Big Brother Big Sisters, Girls Inc., and Roots & Wings.

The Invisible Youth Circus Project focuses on offering social circus programming to youth who live in the transition homes under the umbrella of the Kingston Youth Shelter. The goal of the program is to provide a safe space for youth experiencing mental health or addiction issues, or who experience homelessness, while allowing them to develop trust, explore their creativity, and learn new skills. Youth meet on a weekly basis to learn circus skills. The hope is to give these often marginalized youth a voice in the Kingston community through the circus arts.

We are pooling our resources for these projects to make social circus a reality for the Kingston community.

Funded by Kingston, ON (January 2018)