Why We Exist
8 year-old Baseer is new to Canada. He and his family were forced to flee their home in Syria. For 2 years they lived in poor conditions in a safe house in Lebanon. Arriving in the spring of 2013, the family lost their home in the Calgary floods. It was a difficult adjustment, coping with so much loss and trauma.
When Baseer and his brother were chosen to be part of the Green Fools Social Circus Program in July 2013, they were apprehensive, as they did not speak English. The Green Fools Social Circus Program welcomed Baseer and his brother and provided an inclusive, supportive, inspiring, and breakthrough week. Baser and his brother were championed as they braved new experiences, trying out stilt walking, juggling, unicycle and trapeze. The program and the instructors made it possible for the participants to excel at their new skills. This gained confidence and inspired Baseer and his brother to make new friends and overcome fears, all while building a sense of joy and self worth. When Baseer’s father saw the final performance at the end of the week, he said: “My children learned so much from the camp: motivation, self esteem, courage and self confidence. They were so happy at the camp you cannot imagine!”
Opportunity’s that provide inclusion and support are proven to help youth in need become productive and positive members of a community. This work can subvert the possibility of depression, suicide, gang association, or violence. Giving kids a chance makes all the difference in the world.
As we take our award winning theatre works and Cirque du Soleil endorsed Social Circus Programs to young people all over the world, we see that the spark of creativity is in everyone. We have worked with youth from Africa to Nunavut desperate to find their place. At Green Fools, we aspire to make social circus a life changing experience, engaging audiences from all walks of life, diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. We create theatre and circus that isn’t always bound to a theatre. We bring it to the street, to communities, to schools. Our stilt walkers perform in hand crafted masks and costumes, inspiring so many different people at festivals and events around the world. Our theatre shows have garnered awards and have toured internationally, shining a light on social issues and the enduring spirit of the human heart with our original stories and puppets. Our training opportunities have also earned acclaim and tour worldwide, offering programs in circus skills, puppetry and mask for all levels.
The Green Fools believe that a positive arts experience can have a profound effect on an individual or community. It is often difficult to measure but when one experiences communities coming together for a common goal – it can be a catalyst for enormous change. The essence of our theatre shows and our social circus programs are an alternative intervention into the lives of young people who need to be inspired, encouraged and given the opportunity to succeed. Our past experiences implementing social circus projects in remote communities have demonstrated to us that a simple belief in young people gives youth the motivation to believe in themselves. And with the valued support from the greater community we can ensure our most vulnerable youth can and will continue to thrive well into the future.