watch our video below to learn about Community programs - this focuses on mlse launchpad based program in partnerhip with soy (supporting our youth) and pedestrian sundays kensington
Our SoCirC community program initiative has run since 2014, Thanks to our long time funders: the Toronto Arts Council, and Cirque du Soleil. We run weekly drop in social support programs through circus arts, for young people ages 16-29. SOCIRC facilitators along side a community support worker run "social circus" workshops for street involved, LGTBQIA2S+ and other youth living on the margins in an inclusive space, to build community, self esteem, communication, trust, sense of belonging, and circus skills.
In January 2020, we participated Canada's first National Social Circus Gathering: CIRKASKINA in Montreal, with our community youth troupe performing and exchanging with 17 other social circus groups from across the country, an event put on by Montreal's Cirque Hors Piste.
In 2017, we partnered with our new host venue: MLSE Launchpad, and teamed up with SOY Getout Program, for our weekly community workshops culminating in performances hosted by Pedestrian Sundays Kensington, Pride Fruitloopz Youthstage and SoCirCs Carnival Fundraiser Event and youth show: "The Carnival of Life"!
Our community program started in 2013 as part of AGO's Free After Three program with Syrus Ware, evolving later into a program called "The Red Light Project", hosted by SKETCH working arts. Performances presented as a series of vignettes for busy pedestrian street traffic walking through Kensington Market, inspired by buskers in South America doing quick performances at busy intersections for a captive audience in vehicles waiting at the red lights. Our performances continue to evolve as our veteran performers become more experienced, and we get fresh new creative ideas and perspectives coming from our new participants. Watch out for us as on the streets of Kensington Market as we are always sure to make an appearance during the annual Pedestrian Sunday Kensington street festivals!
2015-2017 -sketch community arts with Kerri
"The Red Light Project", supported by the Toronto Arts Council, is was a SoCirC project hosted by SKETCH Working Arts and Artscape Youngplace and Trinity Bellwoods park, with the amazing support of SKETCH community support worker: Kerri. SKETCH is a Toronto organization that creates opportunities for young people (ages 16 to 29) living street involved, homeless or otherwise on the margins, to experience the transformative power of the arts, and providing a free hot lunch daily. We ran our community workshops for SKETCH and SOCIRC youth, creating short circus vignettes inspired by the quick red light street performances in many parts of South America and through the world. The group performed these vignettes twice annually at Pedestrian Sundays Kensington street festivals, where we continue to perform and play in the idea of Red Light Performances, performed amongst pedestrian traffic.
Thanks to our partners and funders supporting these community programs from 2014-2020
2013-2015 : ago - free after three with syrus ware
SoCirC began our first regular free community programming thanks to Syrus Marcus Ware, as a part of Art Gallery of Ontario's free youth programs from 2013-2015. With the help of Syrus' unwavering support, approach and care for youth and a group of committed young new artists of all skill levels, we created a community and safe supportive space for youth to continue to build self esteem, trust, social skills, creative expression and engage in physical activity through circus outside of school spaces. This included many opportunities to visit the AGO exhibits to make connections and inspire creativity. The youth had opportunities to perform in the beautiful AGO space once a season through fall, winter and spring. Although we have moved locations over the years since we left the AGO, our community program could not have become what it is today without the support, creativity and guidance from Syrus at the AGO programs.