about west coast flying trapeze
Starting up West Coast Flying Trapeze in BC’s lower mainland was a dream, long before it became a reality. It took us years to find a location big enough for the flying trapeze, but on August 4, 2014, at the base of Cypress Mountain, Chris, Dave and Colleen taught our first flying trapeze lesson.
We quickly became part of the local fitness community, participating in lululemon’s annual SeaWheeze Festival in beautiful Stanley Park.
The outdoor trapeze season is a short one, so we moved to a temporary indoor location in Richmond. However, we then quickly faced our next challenge: the majority of our equipment was stolen. Luckily, the circus community again rallied around us: we managed to raise enough to reopen.
When our temporary lease expired, we had cultivated relationships with other local circus schools, and worked in partnership with CircusWest to set up the flying trapeze on the PNE Fairgrounds for summer 2015.
Since we were outdoors and in another temporary location, we continued our search behind the scenes for a more permanent home.
On April 1, 2016 (no joke), we held our first lesson in Pitt Meadows and started the next chapter. Pitt Meadows is where we have really been able to plant some roots and build our community. Hosting carnivals and getting involved in community events, we really believed in building something special here.
This location has given us time and space to expand our offerings. From our flying trapeze roots, we’ve added a robust kids program, as well as lessons for all ages on silks, hoop, hammock, tumbling, partner acrobatics, duo trapeze, handstands, trampoline, juggling – and we want to keep adding more! We’ve put on over a dozen showcases where our students have had the opportunity to demonstrate their skills, as well as held fundraisers, raising over $10k for the Heart & Stroke Foundation.
We have a diverse student group, and are proud of each and every one of them – over 300 students each week. From ages 2 to 80, our circus artists range from bucket listers to those who have gone on to be professionals. We have also created special programs, such as our Adaptive Circus Program (ACP), working with the Canucks Autism Network to make circus available to even more people in our community.
In 2020, COVID forced us to think outside of the box. We moved what lessons we could to an online format, and it was again our community that really pulled us through. We reopened to our biggest registration numbers in our school’s history.
Though not without its challenges, we’re proud of our story. We look forward to all our future adventures and growth opportunities for both our school and students.