Free Events


Friday, June 21 | 4pm
Venue: Campus Saint-Jean

Join us for the Canadian premiere of a contemporary acrobatic short film.

Through unique, female-driven circus and movement art, BRANCHÉ traverses time and the lush, natural landscapes of Quebec in a poetic exploration of our potential to work in harmony with nature in the face of the rising conflicts and chaos of climate crisis. As diminishing resources and livable land drive an existential collapse, the daring three-high formations and breathtaking falls remind us that a oneness of nature and humanity is undoubtedly worth preserving.

Official Selection at San Francisco Dance Film Festival, Dance Camera West (LA), Dance on Camera Film Festival (NYC), CineDans (Netherlands)… and Long-Form Award Winner at Portland Dance Film Festival

5@Cirque (Circus Happy Hour)

Friday, June 21, 2024 | 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Location: Café Bicyclette
*No Registration Required

5@Cirque, or Circus Happy Hour, began in Montreal in 2020 during the pandemic. It was a way to connect, relax and exchange with other circus artists. The tradition is being kept alive by the Alberta Circus Arts Festival, in partnership with EnPiste, the National Circus Arts Alliance.

Join us on Friday, June 21 , from 5:00-7:00pm on the patio at Café Bicyclette.
There will be spectacle. There will be performances. Your drink might even be poured with flair! Soak it up with the circus!

After Hours Juggle Jam

With Aythan “The Great Belanzo” Ross
Friday, June 21, 2024 | 9:00 pm
Location: La Cite Francophone
*No Registration Required

Tired of juggling alone in your mom’s basement? Us, too!

So crawl out of your den, come down to the circus festival, and throw things into the air with like-minded individuals. Beginners are welcome and encouraged, professionals will be awed and admired, and everyone in between will be celebrated! We will be on the patio if it is nice, or in the rotunda if not.

Drop-In Stilt Walking & Juggling Outdoor Workshop

with the National Stilt Walkers of Canada
Saturday & Sunday, June 22-23, 2024 | 11:00 – 2:00 pm
Location: Campus Saint-Jean Lawn
*No Registration Required

Have you ever wanted to learn how to walk on stilts? Professional artists and instructors from the National Stilt Walkers of Canada will be on hand to show you how it is done! Fun Fact: One of the NSW team got her start at the ACAF in 2022! She volunteered with ACAF, learned to walk on stilts, and now works with the National Stilt Walkers. True Story!

Are you the more grounded type? Prefer to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground and throw objects in the air instead? Well, we have you covered! Come down to the circus festival and we will show you how to juggle. Throw some scarves, throw some balls, who knows – maybe there will even be clubs! It could happen!

La Famille Golden Crust

les deux de pique
Saturday & Sunday, June 22-23 | 2pm
Venue: On the Grass at Maurice Lavallee School

When the GoldenCrust Family arrive in their magical Winnibago, they bring with them excitement, hilarity, and a generous dose of exaggerated ridiculousness! Grace and Kevin GoldenCrust, contemporary nomads, invite you to experience their grandiose show staged in front of their mobile home. Overflowing with good intentions and ambitions, these snowbirds have created a comedic smorgasbord of unusual talents, personal triumphs, and the wonders of the sea, featuring sets and props originating from Florida’s most prestigious flea markets. The GoldenCrusts are where circus, love, and humour meet!

Write Your Artist Statement

Saturday, June 22 | 11:30 am
Venue: Campus Saint-Jean Drama Classroom

Have you ever wanted to write an Artist Statement?

As part of the ACAF’s Public Experience, you are invited to take part in this FREE activity!

From your truth
Access your truth and create an artist statement that will nourish your creative process.

This is a workshop that will guide you through a journey of self-discovery and creative exploration. Through a combination of journaling, active meditation, play, and movement exercises you will be led through the process of articulating your creative vision by crafting your artist statement. This workshop is meant to assist circus artists who want to use their technique as a tool to express their artistic voice. 

 Instructions: Please wear comfortable clothes you can move in, a pen and some paper. You will not need your circus apparatus during this workshop.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:  SABINE JEAN, Montréal Complèment Cirque Festival
Sabine Jean thrives best within a flexible form of performance. A form that respects and accepts the truth of the present moment, a contrast from the pre-determined performance she experienced professionally after graduating in Cyr Wheel at Montreal’s National Circus School in 2006. Sabine now enjoys exploring artistic direction through an approach that lies somewhere between the research process and performance art, incorporating sound captured in real time, and personal growth exercises.


Structure Your Training

Saturday, June 22 | 3:30 am
Venue: Campus Saint-Jean Drama Classroom

Do you want to make the most of your training time?  Regardless of discipline?

Crafting Independent Performers: Structuring your free training like a pro is for you! As part of the ACAF’s Public Experience, you are invited to take part in this FREE activity on Saturday, June 22nd @3:30pm.

Getting started with solo training can be overwhelming. Should I take more private lessons? How many times a week should I stretch? What should I do when I lack motivation? 

Crafting Independent Performers is aimed at artists with the goal of becoming a professional circus performer, or simply to better plan and manage their training. It is an overview of some concepts surrounding the practice of circus arts such as the biomechanics of flexibility and physical conditioning, injury prevention, nutrition and motivation. This intensive workshop gives key points and tools for a prosperous circus career.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Chloé St-Jean-Richards, École de Cirque de Québec
Born between two Cirque du Soleil tours, Chloé has circus in her blood. She began performing as a professional circus artist at the age of 9, alongside her father and her aunt. During her 24 years of experience, she has trained under many renowned coaches in dance, gymnastics, Silks and German wheel. She attended the prestigious École nationale du Cirque de Montréal and obtained her diploma. Currently she an instructor at École de Cirque de Québec.

The Myth of Perfection

Sunday, June 23 | 11 am
Venue: Campus Saint-Jean Drama Classroom

The Myth of Perfection
A FREE wellness workshop as part of the ACAF Public Experience

Circus attracts folks who are willing to work hard and try to achieve the impossible.

Perfectionism can do us a lot of mental and emotional harm if we leave it unchecked.

It is created and maintained by unequal systems that trick us into believing some people are inherently more valuable than others.  In this workshop, we will explore sneaky signs of perfectionism, individual strategies to manage it, and how to recognize and resist some of the larger systemic issues that reinforce perfectionism.  

Janelle Peters, LSW, (they/she) is a queer circus artist, choreographer, director, and circus coach. Specializing in contortion and aerial hoop, Janelle draws upon their background in martial arts, and dance to create work with the goal of leaving audiences feeling seen, and whole.  Alongside their artistic and coaching work, Janelle creates materials and facilitates conversations about mental health, wellbeing, and systemic change in circus. This work stems from the question, “What if circus were KNOWN for valuing the wholeness and humanity of everyone involved?”. Janelle offers individual, trauma-informed, social-justice-oriented psychotherapy from a queer lens in their small private practice in Colorado, USA.