Galway Community Circus wins Culture and Creativity Business Award from Galway Chamber

Galway Community Circus wins the 2022 Culture and Creativity Business Award from Galway Chamber!

On Friday, 18th November, Galway Community Circus won the Culture and Creativity Award at the Galway Chamber Business Awards. We feel so incredibly grateful to have won, and to be nominated alongside such incredible organisations such as Branar and Galway International Arts Festival is an honour.

2022 was the 20th anniversary of Galway Community Circus. In the first 20 years of our operations, over 50,000 participants have taken part in our programmes. We have produced 130 shows, delivered 64 European-funded projects, and provided professional development to 701 artists and circus educators.

We offer accessible arts participation to diverse audiences, delivering early intervention and preventative care through circus that promotes wellbeing and social inclusion for youth. Our dynamic circus school in Shantalla, Galway City, has currently 500 weekly students with a plan in place to expand to Galway City East and Tuam with regular programmes starting in these locations in 2023.

We believe that access to arts and culture is a basic human right. Equality, diversity and social inclusion are at the core of our work and our beneficiaries and audiences come from diverse backgrounds. We deliver community programmes in formal and non-formal educational and social settings across Ireland, creating engagement programmes in partnership with communities who have specific social or developmental needs.

We are very proud of some recent milestones, which include receiving the prestigious Arts Council Open Call Award for ‘LifeLine’ - Europe’s largest highwire spectacle that took place in July 2022, being awarded the Erasmus+ Youth Accreditation and ESC Quality Label in recognition of our high-quality European programmes, and having the first home-grown generation of circus educators graduate from our Youth Circus to work with us as professionals.

We are currently company-in-residence at the University of Galway via the Arts Council funded residency scheme, allowing us time and support to evaluate, codify and document our methodology. The residency follows our 7-year research project Circus++ which resulted in the creation of a curriculum for the world’s first degree-level course for youth and social circus teachers.

We are deeply committed to high-quality in governance, impact measurement and continued learning. We provide innovative, ambitious evidence-based programmes that deliver positive wellbeing for the community of Galway and we provide high-quality placements for people from all parts of society through employment schemes, internships and volunteer programmes.

Galway Community Circus develops creative capacities and skills in young people, helping them to be creative and inventive, to solve problems, to work collaboratively and experimentally and to think conceptually. As well as developing physical and creative potential, we also encourage social responsibility and deliver readiness skills in children and young people. Circus arts are a proven, effective tool for fostering self-reliance among even the most hard-to-reach young people. Youth Circus promotes physical and mental health and wellness, fosters a sense of belonging, encourages citizenship, empathy and socioeconomic integration and builds resilience.

We provide a safe space where all young people can play, take risks, be brave, and discover connections with each other and the world as creative, physical and social individuals. By empowering young people through circus arts, we give them agency. We pass on the unique values of the circus community. And we create long-lasting positive change.

Galway Community Circus is a successful social enterprise and has been a member of the Galway Chamber for the past few years. This award enables us to highlight the growing importance of the social enterprise-model for the cultural and creative sector in Galway as a way to increase sustainability, employment and social value of this vital sector.

Thank you

Thank you to Galway Chamber and the Shannon Airport Group, and thank you to the Galway Cultural Development and Activity Company for establishing and sponsoring the first award for Culture and Creativity at the Chamber of Commerce.

And of course a massive thank you to our community, who are the reason we do everything we do. Congratulations to all finalists and winners.

Galway Chamber wished to recognise the importance of the arts, cultural and creative sector to Galway. The Culture and Creativity award was open to organisations who contribute to the cultural landscape through the creation and promotion of art and culture, to those who support the livelihoods of artists and to those who encompass what is good and great about our Galway and our cultural global reputation.