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Rainforest Circus offers ‘magic otherworld’

Rainforest Circus offers ‘magic otherworld’

nobile chSummer is here and that can only mean one thing: the circus is coming to town! The Rainforest Circus will be performing at Porpoise Bay Provincial Park on August 15 and 16, and as part of the Synchronicity Festival, August 21 to 23. Chad Hershler, Artistic Director for Deer Crossing The Art Farm, promises a spectacular show, which has The Cosmos as its theme. Nothing like taking on the universe and distilling it into a one hour show with acrobats, storytellers and musicians. “The bigger the theme, the easier it is somehow,” laughs Hershler.

P 10 anna nobile circus pic 2

Members of the Rainforest Circus fly through the air – and trees. The circus comes to the Coast August 15-23. Complete details at Jane Smithers photo

Deer Crossing The Art Farm has been presenting the Rainforest Circus since 2009, but Hershler sees Deer Crossing’s main role as creative community builders. “Many of our projects have creativity at their core but the outcomes aren’t necessarily artistic,” he explains. He cites initiatives such as The Smart Farm (a land use mitigation project), Fuse (establishing a shared work space with other local organizations), and Ignite (a collaboration with Community Futures on a social enterprise start up), as examples of Deer Crossing’s engagement with the broader community that isn’t tied to performance or art creation. One of their current projects, The Imagination Network, has them working with Christenson Village in Gibsons. Residents with dementia are creating stories based on photographs and Deer Crossing staff, working collaboratively with caregivers, family members and volunteers, are creating short theatre and film pieces based on the residents’ stories. It’s a meaningful project for all involved, supporting Hershler’s claim that “anyone can be an art farmer.”

The “magical otherworld,” as Hershler puts it, of a circus, appeals to people young and old, not just as audience members, but as participants. The circus has approximately 15 performers, including children, taking on all kinds of roles. There will be dancers, including some in the trees, storytellers, and musicans, engaging audience members in an exploration of the vastness of space, and yet, “we remain connected,” says Hershler. “That comes up every year. We are all connected and that’s our main focus. Building relationships with the people we live with and depend on.” Tickets to the popular circus are $15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors and its recommended those wanting to attend purchase them in advance at There are multiple performances on each day so check the website for full details. Hershler promises a “spectacular journey through the forest like nothing you’ve experienced before.”

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