Circus News

The World Circus and Stories Mapping Project Launches July 8th–And You Can Join In

On July 8th, 3:30 pm EST, a team from Concordia, spearheaded by Dr. Louis Patrick Leroux (of the Montreal Working Group on Circus Research) will launch The World Circus and Stories Mapping Project at MICC with an online event. The following day, on July 9th, there will be a webinar involving international moderators vetting stories in French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese. The core idea behind the project is to map circus stories from around the world, with special focus on contemporary circus stories, historical circus stories, and lastly, pandemic based circus stories.
circus researcher
Dr. Leroux

The World Circus and Stories Mapping Project

In March 2020, with the rapid spread of COVID-19, bringing the initially localized virus to pandemic proportions, most performing arts ceased their activities around the world. We are interested specifically at what impact this has had on the contemporary circus scene worldwide through an interactive open-source participatory mapping model. Circus practitioners, producers, and scholars are all welcome to identify significant sites and venues, tour itineraries and recollections. Users will be able to write short narratives that are attached to locations.

Official launch: 8 July 2020during the MICC conference.

Webinar and 24-hr follow-up: 9 July 2020, 3:30 p.m., 4th Space event.

Visit the Montreal Working Group World Circus and Stories Mapping Project Web page

Three Ways to Put Your Story on the Map

  • Your story (contemporary circus sites and stories)
  • History (historical sites and stories)
  • This pandemic story (Where were you and where did you go when COVID-19 stopped your show, rehearsals or other projects?)


  • To offer an accessible and moderated online space for the circus community to identify, tag and to share stories and informed observations on specific circus sites.
  • To create a world map of circus sites of significance to the circus and circus research communities.
  • To harness much oral and unwritten history through the online portal.
  • To identify sites of multiple significance.
  • To identify sites of interest, both historically and in contemporary practice
  • To map passages, trajectories of tours of important shows for historical reference.
  • To build a lively, ongoing resource for artists, teachers and circus studies researchers

Who is involved: Concordia University Professors Louis Patrick Leroux (English and Études francaises) and Sébastien Caquard(Geography, Planning and Environment) working with their students Anna Vigeland, Alison Bowie and José  Javier Alavez have developed an OpenSource form-based map. The team is responsible for the design and maintenance of the map and its moderating and ongoing functionality.

The project is run out of Concordia University with the support of The Montreal Working Group on Circus Research and The Geomedia Lab, where the map is housed.

Partners: Montreal Working Group on Circus Research; Geomedia Lab; Concordia University; 4th Space; En Piste – The National Circus Arts Alliance; MICC – Marché International de Cirque Contemporain / International Market of Contemporary Circus, An initiative of TOHU/Montréal Complètement Cirque and Circus Talk!

The map is open to the entire circus community. Share your stories!