A Cirque du Monde performer shows off her juggling skills during the December 2020 virtual edition of Le Bal du Maire. (Photo courtesy of Centre Jacques-Cartier)

Centre Jacques-Cartier needs to protect its social circus program

Myariam Labbe

On Dec. 4, 2020, a few young participants from Centre Jacques-Cartier’s Cirque du Monde (CDM) performed the opening and closing musical numbers at Le Bal du Maire.

At the height of the COV- ID-19 pandemic, the virtual event provided relief and a sense of accomplishment for the young artists. In April 2022, (CDM) reached out to the crowdfunding non-profit organization La Ruche to safeguard its social program.

CDM was created in 2002 to provide youth in need with a space to develop their creativity and accountability by breaking social isolation and improving their ability to connect with others. Through teaching circus arts, the program promotes healthy eating, exercise, teamwork and communication. The program also creates a safe space where the participants can feel respected and heard, and be referred to specialized services when needed.

Before the pandemic, the program yearly helped over 300 participants between 16 and 35 years old. Their instructors and collaborators mostly come from professional circus organizations like Cirque Hors Piste, Machine de Cirque, the École de cirque de Québec, St. John’s International CircusFest and Montréal complètement cirque.

In the press release about the crowdfunding campaign, CDM stressed that the pandemic restrictions heavily impacted the program’s reach with its participants and its funding. The performances that provided funding for the program could not be held and a major financial contributor, the world-renowned Cirque du Soleil, withdrew its support ($25,000 annually).

To compensate for the financial losses, CDM launched the crowdfunding campaign with La Ruche. With the help of Fonds Mille et UN (a COVID-19 emergency fund to help alleviate the financial pressure on youth organizations), CDM’s $50,000 funding objective would be doubled. On May 1, three days before the campaign’s closure, the project had reached 98 per cent of its objective.

CDM hopes this funding will allow it to not only compensate for the negative impacts of the pandemic but also to sustain its mission. Specifically, the funding would be used to employ new certified instructors and hire a social worker as part of the regular team.

The Centre Jacques-Cartier, the founder of CDM, is a residential and social organization in Quebec City that helps people between 16 and 35 develop their talents and social aptitudes. They offer social housing and a wide diversity of social activities, including community dinners.

The CDM crowdfunding campaign is hosted by La Ruche at laruchequebec.com/en/projet/cirque-du-monde–le-change-ment-social-par-le-cirque

Centre Jacques-Cartier needs to protect its social circus program was last modified: May 3rd, 2022 by qct_admin

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