Media Release | Westside Circus | Monday 25th May 2015

Government cuts clown around with Westside Circus’ future

Westside Circus is a successful Youth, Community and Social Circus in Brunswick.

Today, it faces significant impact from Federal Minister for the Arts Senator George Brandis, announcement that a there is to be a $110M reduction in funding for the Australia Council.

The measures revealed in the 2015 federal budget will mean close to a 30% reduction in funding from the Australia Council for individual artists and small to medium companies.

Westside Circus CEO, Simon Clarke said “ We are deeply concerned after spending the last week trying to make sense of these moves”.

“For Westside Circus, existence is never ‘easy’. What we deliver and the community engagement we achieve is often surprising considering the resources we have available.

“We might have a small engine, but we generate an awful lot of torque”, says Clarke.

The Australia Council, the Government’s Arts and Cultural Advisory Body established over 40 years ago, last week announced a $110 mill funding reduction over four years, with major arts organisations and services quarantined from loss of funding. This leaves only $62mil to support individual artists and small to medium sized companies in the 2015/16 allocation.

“We make really powerful community connections here and there’s no doubt that the new budget will risk all of this at some level. In the end, it’s about the kids, and our community fabric.’’ says CEO Clarke

In 2014 Brunswick based Westside Circus delivered events and activities for young people with disabilities and culturally linguistically diverse communities, filled 23,000 workshop places, provided quality circus experiences for 3500 young people and employed nearly 50 artists.

Despite the Budget threatening the excellent work of companies such Westside Circus, they are still finding reasons to celebrate.

On June 20 at 4pm, Westside Circus will throw open its doors to families and friends for a WINTER SHOWCASE.

Our annual Showcase is an opportunity for young circus artists to challenge themselves in front of an audience and put their learning into action.

Said Clarke; “We want the community to see us in action and help us to beat the budget cuts by supporting us and getting involved.’

At this year’s showcase, we will have performances from a whole age range of our ongoing workshop program, including:

  • Circus Family (3 to 5 yr. olds and a parent partner)
  • Primary Circus (Prep to 8yrs)
  • Pre‐teen Circus (9 to 12yrs)
  • Teen Plus (13 to 18yrs), and
  • Westside Circus Performance Troupe

There will be soup, performances by professional circus artists and the Westside Circus Staff ukulele band!

Saturday June 20 @ 4pm
Westside Circus Hub
2/29 Cameron St Brunswick
Contact information ‐ WESTSIDE CIRCUS on +61 3 9383 2299 or

IMAGE CREDIT: Westside Circus, supplied