In 2012, I had the pleasure of starting the last circus school I would ever build with my father, sadly he died just two days after I returned from this trip. A team of instructors from the Vancouver Circus School. Meregon Kiddo, Nigel Wakita, Jonathan Ferland-Valois, a photographer Jonathan Evans, my father Aaron and myself, Travis Johnson travelled to Pattaya Thailand to build a circus school at the Child Protection and Development Centre.
During that trip, we had the opportunity to meet Dan Roberts of Red Nose Foundation (Jakarta Indonesia) Jerry Snell (Asian Action Arts) and Gil Favreau (Cirque Du Soleil).
Founded with support from Cirque du Soleil in 2013, ASCA is an association that connects and empowers youth art-based organizations (social, community, and for-profit) in Asia. It has members spanning from Kabul to Canberra. The association’s two core objectives are:
- Child rights and child protection advocacy throughout Asia
- Introduction of social circus as an empowerment medium for underprivileged communities across Asia
Founding members of ASCA include Dan Roberts of the Red Nose Foundation in Indonesia, Travis Johnson of the Vancouver Circus School in Canada, Jerry Snell from Street Arts for Street Kids in Thailand-Vietnam-Malaysia, David Mason from Mobile Mini Circus for Children in Afghanistan, and Jean-Noel Walkowiak from Phare Ponleu Selpak in Cambodia.
Travis fell in love with Social Circus and wanted to bring more happiness and joy to those who needed it the most in Canada. In 2017 Travis along with fellow founding board members, Alex Boldizar and Adam King the Social Circus Foundation was founded with the support of Blakes Cassels and Graydon LLD.
Currently, the Social Circus Foundation provides programs for Squamish Nation, SOS Children’s Village BC and facilitates an international volunteer program with SOS Children’s Canada.
To date, we have worked in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Turkey.