After 7 years of Synchronicity ...the Art Farm is embarking on a new adventure.
Laboratory: Creating with Community
The Rainforest Circus is beginning a new 2-year project that involves collaborating with youth, elders and artists in three ocean-based communities to design and co-create a Rainforest Circus show. This new direction towards community engagement means that there will not be a Synchronicity Festival or Rainforest Circus show in 2016. Scroll down to learn about some exciting projects that are happening instead. Learn more.
The Rainforest Circus is working with three communities—Esquimalt, Malcolm Island, and the Sunshine Coast —to explore the story of water. Professional artists will visit these communities and collaborate with youth, elders and other community members to collect local stories, ideas and concepts. With these in hand, a troupe of artists will gather on the Art Farm in August 2016 to explore how to integrate these ideas and participating community members into a touring production. In 2017, in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, each community will produce and showcase their own Rainforest Circus, incorporating themes inspired by water. Learn more.
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 Shows in 2017
In 2017, each community involved in Submerged will develop their stories into circus productions, incorporating acrobatics, clowning, music, visual arts and physical theatre. Professional artists, local youth and other participants will produce and perform their own professional-calibre Rainforest Circus.
The entire process, from story collection to production, will be documented, filmed and showcased on-line across the country.
What does this mean for the Sunshine Coast?
The Rainforest Circus will act as a catalyst for Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations, providing all three communities we’re collaborating with a signature event and powerful theme to gather community members from diverse backgrounds and ages together as performers, participants, volunteers and audience members.
And this means we will be reaching out to the Sunshine Coast: the very community who helped us grow the Rainforest Circus into what it is today. We will be asking for your stories and—if you so desire—participation in the circus creation and production. We have big plans for the next two years: pushing the edge of creative engagement once again… and we want you to be a part of it
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—both in audience numbers and artistic ambition.
In 2014 & 2015, the Circus went on the road, with sold-out shows in Porpoise Bay Provincial Park in Sechelt and Shirley Macey Park during the Synchronicity Festival in Gibsons, and included aerial hoops, duelling drum kits and the wildest dinner scene set in a forest ever. The Rainforest Circus is, after all, a circus. It’s pure unadulterated fun. And yet it is much more than that.
Special thanks to our 2016 Rainforest Circus sponsors and funders.