Come play with us …

In  2017, three ocean-based communities – Malcolm Island, Gabriola Island and the Sunshine Coast – began the creative development of The Rainforest Circus – Submerged, inspired by the story of water.

This journey continues in Spring of 2018 when professional artists will work with core teams of youth, children and local artists to catalyze a community-engaged creation process exploring and celebrating the role and story of water in their region. Submerged will incorporate acrobatics, clowning, music, visual arts and physical theatre. The entire process, from story collection to production, will be documented, filmed and showcased on-line across the country.

Creating with Community

Professional artists from the Rainforest Circus have worked each community to collaborate with youth, elders and local artists to collect stories, ideas and concepts.  This year, these insights will help inform a touring production of the Rainforest Circus involving the locals in each destination.

Submerged … the story of water

Water is life, and—for many in these communities—it is our livelihoods. It is also one of Canada’s most precious and abundant resources. The Rainforest Circus has always been an exciting medium to explore challenging and emotional themes. Our relationship to—and our dependence on—water is a theme that speaks not only to our 150 years of nationhood but to the thousands of years of human settlement before European contact.

Rainforest Circus Camps

In 2017 Artists from the Rainforest Circus visited Malcolm Island, Gabriola Island and the Sunshine Coast to host week-long Circus Camps.  Participants explored creative themes for the development of their own rendition of The Rainforest Circus – Submerged, inspired by the story of water.  Artists worked with community members to develop their stories into circus scenes, incorporating acrobatics, clowning, music, visual arts and physical theatre.

Past Rainforest Productions

Looking back at 7 Years of Rainforest Circus

The Rainforest Circus began with a simple vision: an audience wandering through the woods, stumbling upon performances and installations; a violinist on a tree stump, a story-teller at the foot of a tree, a ceramic creature dangling from branches above.

In 2009, our first year, 350 audience members showed up, donned masks and—trundling through some surprise August rain—turned this vision into reality. Since then, the circus has grown exponentially. In 2014 & 2015, the Circus went on the road, with sold-out shows in Porpoise Bay Provincial Park in Sechelt and Shirley Macey Park in Gibsons. The productions included aerial hoops, duelling drum kits and the wildest dinner scene ever set in a forest.

The Rainforest Circus is now undergoing another evolution that involves collaborating with youth, elders and artists to produce a community-engaged arts show.  Submerged is the first of these projects.

Special thanks to our 2017 Rainforest Circus partners, sponsors and funders.

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