Kitsie and Marie came from Philadelphia to visit for the weekend. One day we took a bike ride over to l'Ecole de Cirque de Quebec, just to check it out.
As you can see from the picture (from their Web site: www.ecoledecirque.com) this is a beautiful place.
Some things we learned:
Quebec has a population of 659,000 people, as opposed to Philadelphia’s 1.5 million.
Cirque-fever is definitely higher here than in the U.S., and l’Ecole de Cirque de Quebec was formed in 1995.
So they certainly have a head start on us. But check out these astonishing figures:
- they have 1100 recreational students.
- Their Intro Workshops for kids (which welcome school groups) reach 18,000 kids per year.
- they also offer advanced and specialized classes in all disciplines, for adults and kids.
- non-profit, supported/funded by the Canadian government
- Canadian students do not pay to attend the pro-track program, but foreign students must pay
- the main space in the picture is used primarily for the pro-track students. There are separate rooms on a lower floor for the children's classes, which include quite a bit of kid-specific apparatus (like a miniature aerial hoop, for example).
-they settled into their current home in a giant old church in 2001, after 6 years of operations.
- all this success, even with the National Circus School just three hours away in Montreal.
It was inspiring, and reminded me, too,of how young the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts is, and how much more we can grow. The best line from the administrator today was when I told her about PSCA and how we opened 2 years ago. She laughed. "Une bébé école!"
Thanks, Kitsie and Marie, for visiting - we had a great weekend with you!