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Streetwise Community Circus offer a wide range of circus-based activities for everyone throughout Northern Ireland


Four months' work came to an end on 11th May when Streetwise delivered "The Country Comes to the City" carnival event for Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council

Over 800 hundred participants took to the streets of Lisburn entertaining crowds of thousands enjoying the good weather. As the "sole supplier" Streetwise oversaw and delivered carnival workshops with local artists in local schools and community groups, creating props, learning skills including crafts, drumming, dancing, circus, and a programme training 20 local stilt walkers. Bespoke floats were created to fit the theme and we worked with companies from both North and South to create a spectacular colourful parade for the the family audience. This included Workhouse Studios from Sligo, Bui Bolg from Wexford and Beat Carnival from Belfast.
In addition to our own team of artists and performers we were pleased to work with Artists from "Artworks" Island Youth Theatre and percussionist Slawek Cichy, enabling over 350 people to participate in the workshop programme. 

This year's parade was also enhanced by the numbers of local sports and community groups who joined us in Lisburn biggest day of the year.


Streetwise are thrilled to announce the award of 5 years funding from the Community Fund, allowing us to continue to develop our Age-ility programme through Northern Ireland. This has secured the future of core programmes based in Belfast, Fermanagh, Mid & East Antrim, Ards & North Down and County Armagh. These programmes enable older people to enjoy regular weekly circus workshops. This funding will also allow us to run outreach programmes in those areas for people living in sheltered accommodation and facilitate them to join the local circus groups in their community.

Kate Quinn (Community Development Leader from Lislea) stated “Lislea Age-ility Group are delighted Streetwise Community Circus have been successful in their application to the National Lottery Community Fund, as this will enable us to keep providing weekly workshops to those who participate and continue to grow the group by welcoming more participants from other areas to attend these wonderful workshops, facilitated by Streetwise’s excellent tutors”

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 Huge thank you to the COMMUNITY FUND for making Age-ility circus a reality for so many !

Hats off to Streetwise from the Lislea Ageility group

If you are living in sheltered accommodation in Belfast, Greater Newry area, North Down and Ards, Fermanagh or Mid and East Antrim you can participate in an outreach circus programme free of charge. We offer 6-week taster programmes free of charge thanks to the COMMUNITY FUND own space. Try your hand at something new. 


Since 2020 Streetwise have been developing "sit-down" circus techniques to make circus accessible to a wider range of abilities.

Belfast film maker Michael McNulty has created this short film demonstrating this new development.


Streetwise Community Circus are now running our full summer programme for 2024. Check the What's On page for more info.

Thanks to the ongoing support from our funders: Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Lottery Community Fund and Belfast City Council we have been able to continue the “social circus” programmes which have supported so many people throughout the covid crisis across Northern Ireland. For the next 6 months we can offer the opportunity for people to enjoy circus across the following programmes:

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Young People can join us on Friday evenings in Morton Community Centre to participate in long term circus skills development across the full range of circus skills including juggling, stilts, unicycle, acrobatics and aerial skills. This programme also includes a pathway for participants to acquire the skills and training required to become tutors and performers.


Youth Circus show September 2022

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Older people are welcome to join us on Friday mornings from 11.00am - 1.00pm to enjoy the full range of circus skills including aerial skills. These sessions currently include an additional experienced “sit-down” circus tutor funded by the Arts Council’s Arts and Older People programme to make the sessions to increase the accessibility of the sessions.

Friday Age-ility session in full swing!

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Streetwise Family Lantern Parade, Lisburn, Halloween 2022


We are currently running a regular Thursday afternoon session for participants who can attend independently while also running an extensive programme of workshops in partnership with health trusts in day centres across large areas of Northern Ireland. These include: Downpatrick, Carrickfergus, Belfast, Newtownabbey, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Antrim, Ballycastle, Magherafelt and Larne.


This programme currently runs regular workshops for older people enjoying circus in their own community groups in Whitehead, Lislea (Newry), Tamlaght (Enniskillen) and Millisle. In addition to this this programme is now developing a new links with sheltered accommodation centres across many areas supporting some of those left most isolated by Covid. Currently these programmes are running in 5 Belfast Centres, 3 in the Ballymena area, 3 in the Ards and North Down area.

Through our ACNI Arts and Older People programme we can run workshops for  3 dementia schemes and add “sit-down” circus tutors to regular programmes encouraging participation from people living with this condition.

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Whitehead community circus


As we continue to develop “post covid”, we are continuing to see new opportunities for our work. This includes the development of a programme for asylum seekers which is currently in the planning stage following a pilot this summer funded by Belfast City Council and the expansion of our work in sheltered accommodation following the need created by Covid in this area.


All these programmes are free to participants, although as financial pressures continue to grow on all areas of society, we are increasingly dependant on income from donations from those able to support our work to enable us to maintain our programmes and grow in the future. 


Check out our Donation Scheme page for more info.

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