Our Story

Background history

Circusplaneet vzw was founded in 1999 as an independent association as a continuation of the initiative of some young people in Ghent. They dreamed of a better world, a place under the sun, a Circus planet! With circus as their weapon, they worked on the growth of children and young people. With a small van they went out into the world to spread the circus virus. Everyone was allowed to participate, regardless of race, rank and position.

This educational and social-artistic commitment is the DNA of our working, the potting soil from which a beautiful tree has grown in the meantime. In 2005, we gained a solid foothold thanks to the Ghent city council, which renovated the buildings on the Drongensesteenweg for us. At the same time, we were recognised by the province as a youth work organisation. Under the impulse of a few motivated professionals and volunteers, our community grew.

In 2015, just a 5-minute walk from our home base, we bought the church in the social housing district of Malem. A big step and a fascinating start of a new period. Our circus church will become a symbol of our past and of our dreams: we humbly continue to work in a building, a residential area, an art form and a society with an enormous tradition and history. At the same time, we are building an ambitious future.

We show our skills in the middle of the piste. In the spotlight we smear ourselves with the dust from which things have come and will go back.

Core task, Mission and Vision

Non-formal cultural education based on our art form Circus is the core task of our association. We understand this core task broadly and horizontally. Education focuses on ‘learning’ and is, in our opinion, a matter that is/should be interwoven across all domains of society. We also understand culture in the broadest sense: it is about the customs of people who express their identity (language, art, clothing, …). In order to realise our core task, we also take on other important sub-tasks, such as distribution, creation, meeting, network movement, etc. However, these sub-tasks are always in function of the cultural educational task.

This commitment translates into the following three-part mission and vision:

– We want to spread and develop the art form of circus. Circus invites, inspires and sets people and things in motion. Exploring and transforming our art form in all its facets is an essential part of our practice. As an art form, Circus has always stood on the fringes of the artistic landscape. Circus is our goal and is central! Desire and fun are our arguments.

– We want to give people the opportunity to develop individually and in groups, both physically and mentally. A human being is a learning being who, through trial and error, is permanently involved in a lifelong, personal transformation. Circus has a number of strengths to support people in a non-formal way in their learning process: it is wordless, invites to undertake and work together and carries diversity in its genes.

– We want to set up a positive project that contributes to a sustainable and inclusive society. Circus has the potential to contribute to a social transformation. The round circus piste is a symbol for the equality and diversity in which we believe. Circusplaneet is a community of people with a common passion: circus. Our community enters into dialogue with other networks in society: arts, politics, health care, …

What makes Circusplaneet unique is that it is more than a youth work organization. It is more than just a circus workshop. It is more than a social project. It is the combination of all these factors that ensures that Circusplaneet occupies a unique position within the Flemish youth and culture field, by being participative without letting the artistic go to waste, by focusing on young people without pushing the elderly aside, by supporting professionals without skipping the socially vulnerable.

Policy Plan

In a new policy plan, we at Circusplaneet focus on four strategic objectives. Our entire operation will always be based on these objectives.

– Circusplaneet is committed to talent development. We touch and affect. We offer people opportunities and a safe environment to develop talents and realise circus dreams.

– Circusplaneet is committed to diversity. From the vision ‘Circus for everyone’ we bring people closer together and work together, each based on our own individuality, to create a community where diversity is an asset.

– Circusplaneet focuses on community. We make Circusplaneet an open house with a view of the world. We bring Circusplaneet to the world and the world to Circusplaneet.

– Circusplaneet is committed to quality. At Circusplaneet, we put sustainability, safety and quality first. We are committed to an organization that continuously learns and changes. As an organization we are a member of Greentrack

Do you want to know more? You can download the complete policy plan here.