The Circus was founded by Thomas Wehrli in 1989. It had its head quarters in its own recreational park - Mini Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. Mini Cape, a 4ha park, included various attractions, such as a miniland (miniature buildings to scale 1:25), a farmyard, playgrounds and the Children Circus. Magic and Circus shows took place every weekend throughout the year.The Circus toured the Western and Eastern Cape, and even Johannesburg. The Shows included international performers from Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria, Sweden and Italy.
It all started outdoors. A small amphie theatre was built. Many visitors enjoyed the Children's Circus Roll Play Show, Magic Shows, Puppet Shows and Summer Camps.
Cirque Du Cap - The Circus founded in Cape Town, South Africa. The founder was involved in Satarama, an educational park in Johannesburg which had a relationship with Boswell Wilke Circus. When asked, why South Africa, the reply was “it is the only country where the barriers of race and culture could be overcome with comedy and laughter, and the audiance enjoys laughing at themselves and each other!".
Cirque Du Cap bought its first tent and established the Children’s Circus. A show that was both educational and recreational, where children could participate and believe anything was possible.
In the changing face of South Africa, the concept became a platform on which the children had a voice. They were the stars in their own show, they were the artists in the spotlight.
Cirque Du Cap presented “Circus with Fantasy” the puppet circus came to light and travelled to the Grahamstown Arts Festival, where it was a complete sell out. In the aftermath of both these hugely successful projects Cirque du Cap embarked on a new addition to the Circus and Greenpoint, N1 City and Melkbos saw the first travelling farmyard. Children could experience the wonder of sheep, chickens and cows from the balconies of their Greenpoint apartments.
1994 - 2002
Cirque Du Cap had brought the farm to the city centre. Cirque Du Cap travelled to various cities in South Africa, including Johannesburg.
The Circus also travelled to Langebaan, the West Coast of South Africa. The then colourful tent played a vital role in a Cinema film production.
Over the years the company become invaluable to the entertainment and education of our children.
Established on the outskirts of Cape Town, Cirque Du Cap catered for all functions from children’s parties to weddings and conferences.
The Circus becomes well know for its annual Christmas Circus. All proceeds go to the Tyger Baer Fundation- a charity for traumatized children treated at the Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town.
A dream was finally fulfilled when the first overseas designed “Chapiteau” tent was imported to South Africa. A tent no longer with quarter poles and queen poles, but featuring only the four king poles and the white coupler with the diameter of approximately 28 meters. For the layman it meant no more poles obstructing ones view, and being close to the artists in the ring. The tent was made from a high grade block out material ensureing a moderate 22 degrees temperature inside the tent at all times. This modern tent was the first to offer chairs in tiered levels, and could seat 1000 people in cinema style seating, or 400 people with table settings and a dance floor.
This special tent deserved a special show and in December 2003. The Swiss Circus "Balloni Circus Theatre" was invited to perform in the “Chapiteau” at Ratanga Junction. This brought a whole new concept to the South African entertainment industry, a circus performance with no animals; you may even call it the mix and match of circus, theatre and cabaret.
The 2003 season proved that the South African public was hungry for more family entertainment, good clean fun, a show the children, parents and grandparents could all enjoy together and Cirque Du Cap took up this challenge.
2004 - 2008
To the question of how Cirque Du Cap sees the future the founders replied... “Cirque Du Cap” Circus of the Cape. This time we are doing it for Cape Town. In retrospect Cirque Du Cap is a success story,
but more than anything else, our willingness to try something new and to explore the possibilities of the “Big Top”. Every year the Circus created a Circus Show of high standard which included many well known performers from around the globe.
2008 - 2016
Cirque du Cap relocated to Canada. A 100 acre farm was devided into 25 acres for Recreational Educational purposes. The farm was bought and rezoned. Many Circus Shows, Special Events and Children's Circus Camps were held at FARM AYR.
Cirque Du Cap was renamed the "Canadian Swiss Dream Circus". The Circus started its South West Ontario tour at FARM AYR in August. The tour was a huge success! The shows took place in the "Event Tent" with a capacity of 700 people as well as in the "Big Top" which has capacity of 2500 people (diameter 49M).
I saw your show last night (August 26th) in St. Thomas. It was spectacular and dazzling. Each performer has so much stage presence. It is truly stunning the stunts and tricks that they can achieve. Such beautiful and talented people. Thank you for coming to St. Thomas and making this a wonderful Summer for us. Best wishes on your tour. Sincerely John Allen
For Thomas Wehrli, the Swiss founder of "Cirque Du Cap" and the "Canadian Swiss Dream Circus", the Circus is not a goal or an objective, a hobby or even a career, it is simply a burning passion for which the flame will never die.
May his flame always light our hearts!