1975 : Genesis of a circus story in Auch. The priest De Lavenère-Lussan, teacher at the secondary school Oratoire Sainte Marie, initiated a circus workshop in the attic of the school. The Pop Circus, circus school of Auch was born.

1986 : Members of the Jeune Chambre Economique (Economic Chamber of young business people) wished to create an innovative project with added social, economic and cultural interest. They set their eyes on circus.

1988 : With the support of Auch Town Council, the Jeune Chambre Economique organised an event to unite French circus schools and promote New Circus. The non profit-organisation CIRCA was created and organised its 1st festival, carried out by volunteers.

1989 : The CNAC (National Centre for Circus Arts) and the FFEC (French Federation of Circus Schools) founded at Circa a long-awaited place which made circus schools meetings possible. At this moment, Circa was also looking for financial support and got a favourable response from the Ministry of Culture.

1990 - 1995 : The number of gatherings increased under the big tops in Auch. A new generation of artists emerged from the festival. This meeting space enabled thoughts and exchanges on circus arts. At the time, the Festival was focusing on training courses under the supervision of the FFEC, the National School for Circus Arts of Rosny sous Bois (ENACR) and the CNAC.

1996 : The festival opens its doors to young professional companies. By then it was becoming well known internationally as the ideal meeting place for circus schools, artists and professionals from art industry. All new circus arts forms are henceforth presented at the Festival: theatre, dance, music and other performing arts mixed with circus disciplines in increasingly innovative and amazing shows.

1998, 1999 : Circa signed a convention with DRAC Midi-Pyrénées - Ministry of Culture and Communication, the Conseil Régional Midi-Pyrénées, the Conseil Départemental du Gers and Auch Town Coucil. During this time it further developed its support to the creation process and the promotion of circus arts by running artistic residential programmes and by programming circus shows.

2001 : Circa became CIRCUITS scène conventionnée (nationally subsidised venue) Auch – Gers – Midi-Pyrénées. CIRCUITS took charge of Circa Festival organisation and seasonal programme. By then it was recognised as one of the main “Circus Arts Hub” in France and received the quality-label as a “national subsidised venue for circus arts”.

2003 : Circa Festival took place in Auch-centre, forging a new relationship with the town and its inhabitants.

2007 : 20th edition of Circa Festival. The CIRC, Circus Innovation and Research Centre became true : CIRCa received the quality-label “Pôle d’Excellence Rurale” for the project of building facilities dedicated to circus creation.

2011 : The construction work of the CIRC started on the former Caserne Espagne (a military site) in January. CIRCUITS became CIRCa, pôle national arts du cirque (national hub for circus arts), a new quality-label devised by the Ministry of Culture and Communication.

2012 : After 19 months of construction work, CIRCa moved into the CIRC, allée des arts in Auch in August. For the launch of the venue and as a preview of the 25th Festival of Contemporary Circus, CIRCa welcomed Zingaro equestrian theatre.

2015 : CIRCa created buzz by hosting the last Zingaro show as well as the well known Cirque Plume which then celebrated then its 30th anniversary.

Since 2015, every year, the CIRC receives an average of 100 artistic teams, either artists in residence or shows programmed during the Season or during the Festival of Contemporary Circus.

Download the leaflet "Learn about the history of the circus in Auch"

1986, Achille Zavatta
1988, Programme CIRCa
1996, Acrostiches Machocos, 1997, M.Munoz
Visuel ©CIRCa 2016