Local circus arts centre pivots for pandemic

A local circus arts centre is one of many businesses that are patiently waiting to reopen, but have managed to pivot during the pandemic.

In-person performances and lessons have been put on pause at the Tri-City Centre for the Circus Arts and has made for two quiet summers that are usually jam packed.

“We teach aerial silks, aerial hoop, handstands, hand to hand partner work, trapeze,” said co-owner Lindsay Bellair. “Throughout the pandemic we’ve been the first to close and the last to re-open.”

The centre has been able to keep the lights on and do some renovations thanks to government grants as well as virtual lessons and performances.

“We have been taking time to learn more about this virtual stuff,” said Bellaire. “We’ve also learned more about lighting, sound, and composition for music.”

Performance couple and instructors Christa Wilson and Erick Dossantos have been working hard to keep their students motivated while the doors are closed.

“I hope that our enthusiasm for circus and our passion translates to our students and that they feel that and they believe in themselves,” said Wilson.

The centre and the instructors have also been encouraging people of all ages and skill levels.

“It doesn’t matter where you’re from, what you look like, or how old you are,” said student Maryann Zamora. “I’m 43 years old and I’m doing this. They welcome you with open arms.”

Tri-City Centre for the Circus Arts plans to resume full lessons and performances in stage three of the province’s reopening plan.