Island Circus Space

September 25, 2015 by Tessa Bousfield

Lisa Eckert--2

If you’ve ever been to a Cirque du Soleil show, you know just how extravagant of an experience it is. The room is filled with acrobatic stunts and costumes on a level you’ve never seen before, flawless transitions, orchestra music to set the mood and an audience with excited, bright eyes reflecting their fascination. Just when you’re starting to get comfortable, “BOOM!” a confetti cannon goes off and people are flying all over the room.

It’s a great experience, but you have to wait until the tour comes to your area.


Well, the circus community is growing and arriving right here in Victoria… and you can even participate in it if you want to venture out of the audience and onto the stage.

Island Circus Space (ICS) is a team of dedicated circus artists who are striving to build a contemporary circus infrastructure for Victoria that enables the community to make art, be physically active, collaborate and develop professional talent and shows.

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ICS will soon be offering workshops (November 14, location TBD), putting on more shows as well as finding ways to bring contemporary circus acts to Victoria. In fact, their first big show is April 2-3, 2016 at the Metro Theatre and Jake West, founder of ICS doesn’t think we’re ready for it.

“I am so lucky to have Manjinder Benning, the director of Limbic Media, on board who is currently developing a motion tracking system for movement. We are going to blow Victoria’s collective mind. Seriously, Victoria is not prepared for the show that we are producing at the Metro!”

In the future, they want to have their own space to develop local talent into professional level artists and athletes. They could attract international level talent and create many jobs for Victoria.

“Who doesn’t secretly want to run away and join the circus? Well, we are trying to build something here where Victorians don’t have to run anywhere and can train high level circus right here,” commented West. “There is a phenomenal circus community throughout the world and we want Victoria to be able to tap into this talent.”

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West, who is also a local performer, entrepreneur and educator at PSII, formed the group of 10 performers because when they finally returned home to Victoria from their travelling shows, there was never any work.

“I am super passionate about circus. I cannot get any more happy than juggling underneath a tree in summer. The response [to Island Circus Space] has been incredible. It is so easy to work with extremely passionate people. These artists are a cultural and educational asset for Victoria.”


ICS just launched one month ago and their next goal is to get 1000 fans. They are working in the lean startup model of building a minimum viable product, and with 1000 dedicated fans, they can basically do anything and will provide Victoria with tremendous leverage when negotiating a space.  

You can help by visiting their website, clicking “Stay in the Loop” and signing up for their newsletter.

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