It is that time of year again–when Cirque du Monde, the social outreach division of Cirque du Soleil, choses it’s grant recipients for the year. This is the third edition of the Cirque du Monde Grant in Canada, and the 2nd edition in the USA. Organizations can apply with a project under one of the two following categories: special project and organizational development.
In a previous publication describing the mission and work of Cirque du Monde, Cirque du Soleil stated: “Born in 1995, Cirque du Monde is a Cirque du Soleil program that promotes circus arts as a means of intervention with at-risk youth, an approach known as social circus. Cirque du Monde focuses its actions on training for practitioners, support for social circus organizations and advocacy on the benefits of social circus. In 2015, 500 social circus organizations have been identified, in 70 countries, having a direct impact with 200,000+ young people at risk (2015, portrait du cirque social, Cirque du Soleil).”
The aim of the Cirque du Monde Grant is to support and contribute to new ideas, approaches, types of intervention, services, products, work tools, planning, and processes, to foster a positive and coherent social change within the field of social circus and with a focus towards underprivileged youth.
Cirque du Monde representative Patricia Letarte, Senior Advisor – Social Impact, explained their jury process, “Because we highly value the expertise of our neighbors and diversity of points of view, the jury involved committed professionals in the field of circus, from Cirque du Soleil, but also from la Tohu and the National Circus School, which are important institutions that make part of the Cité des Arts du Cirque in Montréal.”
The jury gave points to projects that addressed criteria such as; the needs of the community, the promotion and development of the practice of circus arts and/or of their use for social intervention, and to projects that were combining the right conditions to lead a successful project until the end.
Letarte says Cirque du Soleil is proud to be involved with organizations that work with youth at risk–and also proud to welcome six new organizations in to their family of partners and grantees!
Cirque du Monde Grantees
In Canada – Three grants of 15,000 CAD:
Social circus program, by Spence Neighbourhood Association, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Le Cirque : Langage Universel et Puissant, by L’École du Petit-Chapiteau, Montréal, Québec
Projet de cirque social, by Le Petit Cirque Sablon, Montréal, Québec
In the United States – Three grants of 10,000 USD:
Circus Affects Project, by New England Center for Circus Arts, Brattleboro, Vermont
Pathways YPAR Performance, by The Circus Project, Portland, Oregon
Building Organizational Capacity to Serve Underprivileged Youth in New Mexico, by Wise Fool New Mexico, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Regarding Cirque du Soleil’s 25 years of involvement in local and social circus communities, Cirque du Soleil has this to say, “We are proud to have supported and to keep supporting organizations, through Cirque du Monde Grant but also many other programs and actions such as large scale financial partnerships, workshops, special events and more, to generate a positive social impact.We truly cherish each and every partnership that we have established along the way. We seek to give these young people opportunities of building on their marginal status to forge new links with the community and to contribute to social good with the transformational power of circus arts. Congratulations to all grantees and thank you to all those who expressed interest for the Cirque du Monde Grant and/or submitted a project!”