Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions2019-08-30T16:16:09-07:00

You can select a category of questions to narrow down your search. If you can’t find the answer, you can also contact us here.

How can I contact CircusWest or my child’s coach?2019-08-30T14:15:45-07:00

All contact questions can go to (or an email you have been given by a coordinator). We can also be phoned at 604-252-3679.

What kinds of activities are taught in CirKids?2019-08-30T14:16:25-07:00

It depends on the level. On our CirKids registration page we include a list of activities students will try over their 10-month circus education.

When do I pick up my student? When’s the show? When are you closed? When are payments due?2019-08-30T16:06:51-07:00

Don’t worry, the answer to all these questions (and more) are included in your confirmation email when you are registered for the CirKids program. We have a closures list here and at the front desk that you can reference any time (as well as in the confirmation email).

Our full programming calendar is viewable online here. Payments are due on the 1st (or 15th) of every month for CirKids. More information about payment is included in your confirmation email and the “Tuition” section of this FAQ.

Are age ranges flexible?2019-08-30T14:17:40-07:00

Not exactly. If your child’s birthday is on or before November 1st, and they will age into the program in question, we can accept their enrollment. If they’re more than two months younger than the minimum age, we ask students to wait.

Sometimes parents/guardians ask to move their child up a level because they have other experience (gymnastics, dance, martial arts, etc). If this applies, let us know and we can discuss the case with you.

Why did I receive a charge more than the tuition posted online?2019-08-30T16:08:44-07:00

Those charges are most likely a membership fee ($15 yearly) and an insurance fee (currently $25 per year, subject to change with GymBC’s 2019 policy). If you have an upper level student, they could also be the volunteer deposit (up to $30 monthly), and performance fee (up to $20 monthly).

What do those fees mean?

Membership: goes to CircusWest overall, and affords you a discount to our May shows.

Insurance: goes to GymBC, covering equipment and any accidents on the gym floor. You can read more about GymBC’s policies here.

Volunteer deposit: during the year we sometimes need volunteer assistance. These tasks sometimes involve set construction, working on our May show, costume/hair/makeup design, and more. If parents cannot commit that time, we charge the volunteer deposit to ensure we have the resources needed. Volunteer deposits are charged to upper level classes, and the total hours are indicated in your confirmation email.

You can keep track of your volunteer hours and get your deposit back by filling out the volunteer deposit form through the year, returning it to us before August 15, 2020.

Performance fee: If you are part of the Performance troupe, you will be traveling to other locations representing CircusWest. You will also have a major role in the May show. The performance fees offset the costs of running circus shows for the public through the year.

Can I try circus for a short period?2019-08-30T14:20:32-07:00

Yes. If your child is under 18, they can look into our CirKids Sessionals (AKA: TGIC – Thank Goodness It’s Circus). These usually last for a few weeks and focus on a specific circus skill. Check out class options here.

If you’re signing up for a Primary Program class (ages 3-7), you can enroll for a trial class. To do so, select “Trial” when asked in the registration form.

I didn’t get recommended to move up a level but my friend did, what happened?2019-08-30T14:21:37-07:00

Many factors decide whether a student stays in their CirKids level or moves up, and our coaches strive to make the best call for each student. Especially determining the students who enter Performance level.

If you want your coaches to reconsider, we are open to discussing the matter with you. A likely outcome is a probation period in the recommended level (eg: 3 months of the recommended level with terms and goals to achieve in that time).

Is circus safe?2019-08-30T14:22:57-07:00

When done correctly, yes, circus is safe. Further, we are insured by GymBC and follow all necessary procedures to help students recover in the unlikely event of an accident.

It is critical that students listen carefully to their instructors at all times. Our team of instructors work very hard to keep students safe in a healthy learning environment. If a student ignores their instructor, uses circus equipment alone, or pushes themself too hard, the student can get injured. These risks rise at higher levels of circus arts (Ensemble, Apprentice, Performance) – and again, it is essential that every student follows instructions to maintain safety.

All that said, part of why people do circus is to go beyond their limits, and the thrill of nailing a difficult circus act is what keeps circus artists coming back for years. It is up to the individual whether the risks are worth the rewards.

My child is having a problem with another student, coach, staff member. What can we do?2019-08-30T14:23:35-07:00

Firstly, we are very sorry if this the case. CircusWest aims to maintain a safe environment physically and emotionally, and understand how difficult it can be when interpersonal problems arise.

We take proper conduct very seriously. Every student and staff member is required to sign a Code of Conduct before working with CircusWest. If a student or staff member is found breaking rules, we will discuss consequences and next steps with everyone involved.

I’m a student having a problem, who can I talk to?2019-08-30T16:27:34-07:00

First, you are not alone. And there are plenty of resources to help with whatever you’re going through. Our coordinators are more than happy to help you, as well as help you find support outside CircusWest with what you’re going through.

For a list of resources (phone numbers, community groups, counseling services, etc.) click here.

Do you have classes for adults?2019-08-30T14:25:19-07:00

Yes. Sessionals, private workshops, and special event workshops are all open to adults, as is Informal Training (which is not a class, but designed for adults to use the circus floor).

Do you have open training time?2019-08-30T16:44:20-07:00

Yes. We have Informal Training (IT) and Circus Artist Training Sessions (CATS) intended for students, staff, Fireflight performers, and active circus artists. If that applies to you, check the CATS/IT schedule here.