Circus arts can be recreational, educational, or therapeutic. They can be professional or ‘just for fun.’ The practice of circus arts, whether it be aerials, acrobatics, balancing or object manipulation, has been linked to positive outcomes in physical, social, emotional and cognitive growth and development as well as aide in personal growth and self-actualization of participants.
PACA's primary focus is the development of education in circus arts, either through recreational programs made available for the public, or social programs with local community organizations to assist marginalized or at-risk groups. PACA also aims to put on at least one production a year, featuring both local and visiting professional circus artists, as well as those involved in their educational programming.
Combining interdisciplinary practices of circus arts with dance, theatre, and other performance arts with cultural influences to the artists’ determination, PACA is pushing boundaries and redefining contemporary art and circus arts. The end results are a diverse array of unique, experimental approaches and collaborations utilizing a variety of concepts, forms and techniques.
PACA helps foster and sustain the appreciation, enjoyment, and permanence of circus arts in Peterborough and continues to make Peterborough a creative hub for circus arts in Ontario. It is PACA's goal to continue to offer local opportunities to artists and community members as well as continue to collaborate with organizations within Peterborough. Because PACA is a non-profit organization, it relies on sponsorships for some of its community and outreach programs; please consider supporting PACA if you have the means to do so. We hope PACA can continue to have a positive influence on the future of Peterborough, ON.
The Peterborough Academy of Circus Arts (PACA) is a non-profit organization currently conducting the bulk of their activities in their hometown of Peterborough. Founded in 2015, PACA was the result of a group of individuals' love for circus arts and commitment to sharing circus with the world.
PACA Mission/Mandate: To nurture the artistic livelihood of the region through education via recreational and social circus programs, as well as facilitate the creation of integrated arts productions.
She is the proud director of a circus entertainment company called Trellis Arts & Entertainment. She now specializes in teaching and performing aerial arts and acrobatics. Nicole is a graduate of OCAD University and holds her certiciates in NCCP Level 2 Gymnastics Coaching, Aerial Arts Online - Hoop Module 1 and GeoArch's Rigging Foundations for Aerialists. Being active in both sport and art, she believes that the two modes can exist beautifully together, especially in circus!. It is always a delight to teach with Peterborough Academy of Circus arts -- a diverse and welcoming community where everyone supports each other, their goals and their imagination.
Patricia Levert-Thorne "Zupetals"
Founder and Artistic Director for the non-profit Organization, The Peterborough Academy of Circus Arts. Matriculated from the National Circus School of Montreal, Thomas is trained to coach 17 different circus disciplines to all age groups in a recreational, advanced, social, or production
setting. A Circus Arts Curator since 2020, Thomas now spends his days designing circus sets to be utilized and played with by marginalized populations. Since 2014 Thomas has been the Artist in Residence of Market Hall Performing Arts Centre in Downtown Peterborough and has used his residency to produce/direct original full length circus arts productions.
Opal (Jennifer) Elchuk
Opal currently co-manages PACA for which she also teaches, performs, and produces shows. Holding degrees in both Fine Arts and Education, Elchuk is also a graduate of Circus Instructor Training at the National Circus School, and has completed Aerial Teacher Training with Nimble Arts (New England Circus School), Yoga Teacher Training with Peterborough Living Yoga, and Expressive Arts at Haliburton College. She performs aerial arts, fire dancing and stilt walking with Trellis Arts and Entertainment and Uncommon Entertainment. Now mainly focused on circus, her background includes practices of contact improv dance, yoga, visual arts and teaching environmental education and wilderness adventure.
Freelance Makeup Artist and proud owner of Faces by 2 Peterborough. After graduating from Cosmetology and Makeup Artistry at Sir Sandford Fleming College in 2010, following her entrepreneurial spirit, Rosie started her own small business offering makeup for brides. After 10+ years, her practice has grown and diversified into different disciplines of makeup which has made her a recognized artist in her community. As part of her portfolio are Face and Body Painting, Special FX, Theatrical Productions, Prosthetics, Makeup for Runway and Editorial. Currently offering Online Makeup Classes and hoping to soon resume to social and artistic events where she can offer that personal touch through makeup to her clients again.
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