Following this week's run of Blue Sky Circus at the PNE Gardens in Vancouver, the people behind CircusWest will start to focus on Surrey and classes for kids here.
The company has partnered with School District No. 36 to offer introductory circus arts to some 500 students, with workshops on juggling, partner balancing, basic acrobatics, theatre skills and clowning.
It's all part of a plan to bring CircusWest to Surrey in a big way, said Jay Nunns, the company's artistic director.
"We've really taken steps to be more involved in Surrey," he told the Now. "We're well known in Vancouver but we haven't done a lot in Surrey, so we're an unknown commodity out there, in some ways. We're trying to improve that over time, to build some recognition there."
The CircusWest school headquarters are at the PNE Gardens, site of Blue Sky Circus performance dates from Thursday to Sunday (May 10-13). This time around, the company's yearly springtime show does not involve any Surrey residents in the cast of 37 teens - but many previous participants in CircusWest shows have come from this part of the region, including champion juggler Quinn Spicker.
In Surrey, CircusWest has worked for several years with SuperChefs, the program launched by Surrey dentist Greg Chang as a way to combat the evils of junk food.
"Part of the reason of doing things in Surrey is to let people there know that we're a SkyTrain ride away - get off at Renfrew (Street) at you're almost at the PNE Gardens," Nunns said.
The company, formerly known as CirKids, was founded in 1984.
Looking ahead, the creation of a satellite CircusWest space in Surrey is an idea being explored by the company, Nunns added.
"We're interested in finding something in the city centre of Surrey, possibly a bricks-and-mortar site for us - maybe in one of the highrises as a cultural amenity," he said. "Surrey really is where it's at, because of so many young people who live in the city, so we're looking to partner with someone out there."
Nunns said circus arts are back in vogue, thanks to the continuing popularity of Cirque du Soleil. "When they come to Vancouver, it's the city where tickets sell out the fastest," Nunns said.
Blue Sky Circus will feature skilled young circus performers in a 90-minute original production that chronicles the journey of four stargazers guided by mystical Zodiac characters. It's a chance to "witness performers explore space, constellations and the moon while bringing constellations to life, juggling to create a midnight sky and creating a meteor shower of acrobatics, all while seemingly defying gravity with aerial artistry." The show also showcases trapeze, acrobalance, uncyclists, stilts, dance, tissu (also known as aerial silk) and trampoline.
Nunns created Blue Sky Circus, which is staged at the PNE Gardens twice daily (at 12: 30 and 7 p.m.) through Sunday.
Tickets range in price from $9 to $20. Call 604-252-3679 for show info, or visit www. circuswestshow.com.