Galway Community Circus 2022 Highlights

Just like that, Galway Community Circus's 20th anniversary year comes to an end. And what a year it has been! Below we share some of the highlights of this incredible year. We look forward to creating magic together in 2023 and beyond.

2022 Highlights

  • Delivered 32 weeks of Youth Circus for 550 weekly participants in Galway City and Tuam, Co. Galway and 59 social circus programmes to 1187 participants with partners including Arts Alive, Rehab Care, New Horizons, Direct Provision Services and schools
  • With support from the Arts Council of Ireland, brought back the long-awaited Youth Ensemble show project and produced our annual Mayhem Youth Circus Festival that reached 786 audience members over 6 days
  • Won the first-ever Arts Council Open Call Award for the circus sector to produce ‘LifeLine’ – Europe’s largest highwire spectacle. The project included our first ever national participation programme, and culminated with 125 community participants, youth circus students and professional artists from 15 countries performing a stunning display over the River Corrib and Claddagh Basin on 16th July 2022 to an audience of over 20,000 people
  • Launched world’s first BA curriculum for youth and social circus teachers and a five-year National Development Plan for Ireland as a conclusion of the Erasmus+ funded ‘Circus++’ project in partnership with University of Galway and 10 international university and circus school partners
  • Became a company in residence at University of Galway through the Arts Council YPCE Residency Scheme and produced Ireland’s first Circus Education Conference in partnership with ISACS Network and University of Galway
  • Offered 258 days of professional development workshops for artists and arts practitioners including partnering with Dublin Circus Project, Circus Factory Cork and Cloughjordan Circus Club to deliver Ireland’s first ‘Circus Transformation’ training programme for social circus teachers
  • Represented Ireland internationally as a board member of the International Youth and Social Circus Network Caravan, coordinated four European Erasmus+ projects and partnered in three others, creating life-changing opportunities for artists and young people
  • Staged the first performance of ‘BassAlto’ through our Creative Europe co-operation project ‘Wires Crossed – Head, Heart, Balance’ in partnership with Ecole de Cirque de Bruxelles, Şcoala de Circ and Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Hosted seven European volunteers from Slovenia, Spain, Italy, Catalonia, Serbia and Turkey on an 11-month residency funded by the European Solidarity Corps
  • Won the first-ever Culture and Creativity Award in the Galway Chamber Business Awards
  • Received Erasmus+ Youth Accreditation as a recognition for high-quality European youth programmes
  • Launched our new strategic plan for 2023-2027 ‘Creating Magic Together’

Thank you

We continue to be forever grateful to our funders, members, partners and community who support the work of Galway Community Circus.

Thank you to our funders: The Arts Council of Ireland, Galway City Council, Galway County Council, Mental Health Ireland, Erasmus+, Creative Europe, Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Creative Ireland, The Science Foundation of Ireland, Finnish Institute UK and Ireland, Galway City and County Childcare Committee and Galway City Local Community Development Committee.

Thank you to our networks Caravan, CircusWorks, Irish Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle Network, Youth Theatre Ireland, The Wheel, Business to Arts and Galway Chamber for their unwavering support and depth of knowledge.

Thank you to all our members, their families, participants, audience members, artists, staff, volunteers, board members and partners for your support, friendship and continued inspiration.

Without all of this support and commitment towards Galway Community Circus we would not be in a position to continue to deliver such a real impact to our community and the sector in Ireland and beyond.


A few favourite quotes from the year:

Youth Circus

“It just keeps getting better!” - Youth Circus parent

“I'm blown away by how much our boy has grown in confidence this past year. So proud of him.” - Youth Circus parent

"Circus for me is a whole different life, I’ve gained a lot more confidence and the capability to do more than I actually thought I could. Galway Circus has not only taught me how to use the circus equipment but has also showed my the true value of friendship. Circus is a big part of my life and always will be as I have gained a lot of trust and love from the team who welcomed me 8 years ago. Galway circus has made me feel safe and happy. Every day I walk in, the team there always smiles and welcomes me into the big colourful hall filled with lots of amazing circus equipment. I will forever cherish this place in my heart!" - Youth Circus member

"Circus is an open and safe space, and the end of year surveys show how much our voices are taken into consideration and that is really appreciated. Thank you to everyone on the GCC team for all that you do." - Youth Circus member

"I love how in the classes we are trying things that I would never have tried anywhere else and making great new friends." - Youth Circus member

Adult Circus

"The Circus has a really nice atmosphere where there is a connection established between the group which makes it a safe and nice space! I feel like my inner child is able to roam free ! And obviously it's amazing to be learning so many new things." - Adult Circus member

"Excellent feeling of community, fun and look forward to it all week. Laugh and learn at every class." - Adult Circus member


"The triumph of LifeLine’s community participants was equalled by Galway Community Circus’s vaulting ambition. The madness and challenge of the idea, the beauty and skill of the execution, and the sheer bravery, were literally and figuratively uplifting, an expression of hope, strength, belief, trust and overcoming fear that brought tears to the eyes.” - Deirdre Falvey, The Irish Times

Circus Education Conference

"A brilliant event – a great mix of thought-provoking academic/challenging speakers and panels. Clearly a valuable event for many people. Great service for the sector." - Conference attendee

"What a joy to see the return of many ex-members and how they value the circus." - Conference attendee