Written by Pixi Robertson  |  14th May 2014.

Congratulations and sincere thanks to all those companies and individuals who, over and beyond the call of duty, once again leapt whole-heartedly into celebrating World Circus Day on 19th April, 2014. Events were staged in every state except NT (come on, you Territorians can do better than that!) and ranged from “come dressed as your favourite circus performer” to specially dedicated performances, open days, a pet show to a Circus Olympics; the list goes on. Read all about it on www.circusfederation.org and follow the links to World Circus Day.

For those of you who may be newcomers to this exciting day, World Circus Day is held under the auspices of the Fédération Mondiale du Cirque and the patron is HSH Princess Stephanie of Monaco. The Princess, her late father, Prince Rainier, and her brother, Prince Albert, have worked tirelessly to promote the legitimacy of circus as an art-form and cultural asset through-out Europe. The carry-over of this good-will is reverberating around the world as many other arts bodies begin to recognize the benefits of creating and participating in the joy of circus.

The Fédération is a huge supporter of social circus programs and for those of you associated with this wonderful movement may I suggest that you investigate this involvement. The Circus Federation of Australia is a member of the Fédération Mondiale du Cirque so there is potential here for a cross-over of interests which would be well-worth exploring. If you are interested in this possibility you are welcome to contact John le Mare, secretary of the Circus Federation of Australia at johnlemare@gmail.com .

World Circus Day aims, as the name suggests, to raise the awareness of people around the globe to the fact that circus, in all its various manifestations, is indeed alive and thriving and still fulfilling its unwritten charter of bringing joy and happiness to audiences and participants, wherever they may be.

World Circus Day aims for inclusion by all who love and/or work in and with circus, whether that be classic, contemporary or traditional circus, social, community, youth, and women’s circus, circus fans’ associations, or individuals from all walks of life who just love the circus.

Held annually on the second Saturday in April, this year marked the 5th World Circus Day, a small milestone perhaps, but one that saw an astounding 184 events registered with the Fédération Mondiale du Cirque in Monte Carlo. In Australia alone a staggering 20 events were registered on the Federation’s website, and across the Tasman 2 events were registered, a 100% increase on last year’s New Zealand participation. I believe that other, non-registered, events also took place.

In alphabetical order the circuses, companies and groups who celebrated were:

Ashton Entertainment/Circus Circus; Circus Akimbo with Circus Avalon; Circus Joseph Ashton; Circus Oz; Circus Royale; Circus WOW; CQ Circus School; Eroni’s Circus; Flipside Circus; Flying Fruit Fly Circus; Hudson’s Circus; Lennon Bros Circus; NICA; RUCCIS; Sandfly Circus; Slipstream Circus; WA Circus School; Webers Circus; and Women’s Circus.

In New Zealand it was a bit of a family affair with Gerry & Xandri Robertson promoting the day at their ActionWorld Auckland site and down in Taumarunui Pixi Robertson launched her novel, Bunty Armitage Circus Girl, based on the reminiscences of Evelyn Hyland Coverly, real-life WA circus heroine.

This year also saw the world circus community coming together with the United Nations to promote their International Day of Happiness on 20th March. As part of this celebration the Fédération created a Virtual Wall of Happiness on their website which asked circus companies to post online pics to build a “Pyramid of Happiness”. These images, including ones submitted by (in no particular order) Circus Joseph Ashton, Ashton Entertainment, NICA, Hudson’s Circus, and Slipstream Circus, ran in a banner at the top of the Fédération’s website and can still be seen at www.circusfederation.org

If you weren’t part this year of the shared experience that is World Circus Day, we sincerely hope to see you join in the fun in the Centre Ring next year.

Once again, heart-felt thanks to all participating companies, groups and people from

JOHN le MARE – Secretary and Oceania Representative, Fédération Mondiale du Cirque

and

PIXI ROBERTSON – Oceania Co-Ordinator, World Circus Day