One of Queensland’s most unusual exports is also one of its most successful, with Brisbane’s Circa Contemporary Circus taking its talents to 40 countries – more than any other Australian arts company.
Circa travelled over 3.7 million kilometres around the world last year to perform to more than 150,000 people, and was named Queensland’s top Creative Industries exporter at the recent Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards.
Circa Executive Director Shaun Comerford said 2018 was a milestone year for the company, which first toured overseas in 2006 and has now performed everywhere from London’s famed Barbican Centre to New York’s Lincoln Centre and theatres across Europe, Asia and the USA.
‘In December 2018 we became the first Australian arts company to tour to a fortieth country – Slovenia,’ Mr Comerford said.
‘We tour more than any other Australian arts company and we’re helping to put Brisbane on the map internationally for its circus culture.
‘Most people wouldn’t know this but, in the international performing arts community, Brisbane is considered the Number 2 circus city in the world after Montreal.
‘We’re proud to be part of that, along with other great Queensland circus troupes like Company 2 and Casus.’
Mr Comerford said receiving the export award was a welcome acknowledgement for the entire Circa team.
‘It’s great. It’s a really wonderful acknowledgement of a lot of hard work right across the company,’ he said.
‘Being commended for what we’ve done globally is really exciting, and it’s appreciated across the board, from our admin and production staff to our acrobats.
‘We were part of an incredibly strong field and just to be a finalist was a real honour.’
Mr Comerford said Circa’s ensemble of 20 would continue to perform in festivals, venues and theatres around the world in coming months.
‘We employ more performers than any other physical theatre company in Australia, and we have 3 or 4 companies on the road at any one time,’ he said.
‘In the next 18 months, there won’t be a week where there isn’t a Circa performance somewhere in the world.’
Circa was one of 16 winners announced at the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards Gala on 10 October in Brisbane. The export awards are coordinated by TIQ.
Supporting Queensland exporters is a priority under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.
See the full gallery of photographs from the Awards Gala.