Axe 2 : Interactions culturelles

Social Circus and Health Equity : An Interdisciplinary, intercultural, international collaboration

Social circus combines physical demands with humour and creative expression to develop perseverance, self-esteem and teamwork especially within marginalized communities. The past 15 years have seen a rapid expansion of social circus projects in over 25 countries, and Canada is certainly a world-leader in this area. Although there are claims of amazing positive impacts of social circus on mental and physical health, little scholarly research has been conducted to critically evaluate this, or examine the role of factors such as gender, sex, disability, age, ethnicity, or geographical settings in determining success. This experienced interdisciplinary intercultural team aims to address this gap, combining arts and humanities with social and health sciences, to examine Ecuador social circus program-the world's largest publicly run social circus program. The team will conduct a systematic literature review, focus groups, interviews and surveys, as well as analyze existing data and observe programs in action. Working closely with the communities involved, the team will contribute to world knowledge on theory, ethics and methods regarding social circus for addressing health disparities, then disseminate this knowledge in Canada and abroad so that others could implement and study social circus programs with the aim of better promoting health equity.

Chercheurs principaux


  • Katherine Mary Boydell
  • Susan Margaret Cox
  • Jennifer Beth Spiegel
  • Jamie Breilh
  • Lynn Margaret Fels


  • Subventions de recherche (Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada) - de 2014-01 à 2017-01