While walking through Centretown, you may have come across incredible aerial circus performances that amazed you (and made you a little nervous!). These highly trained professionals are from Cirquonscient, a group of Ottawa-based circus artists who have the desire to promote creative expression and awareness of contemporary culture and social topics through circus.

Cirquonscient was founded by seven women: Melissa Landry, Rachel Conlon, Francisca Lanthier, Renée-Claude Goulet, Regina Taptich, Sophie Goulet, and Christal Washer, several of whom are Centretown residents.

When the pandemic struck and these talented artists had more time for introspection, the idea was born. They all had vast experience in this line of work within corporate gigs but wanted more creative freedom and to work directly within the community. Slowly Cirquonscient began to build and their name started to spread across Centretown. They love bringing their unique skills, fun ideas, and creative focus out into the community. Their core group has also started bringing in additional performers such as jugglers to further wow audiences.

“People are always curious to see what we’re doing, they’re impressed by the feats of strength that are on display. Some of our moves are terrifying to audiences and we often hear their gasps,” says one of Cirquonscient’s founder, Renée-Claude Goulet.


At its core Cirquonscient is inclusive and loves to create opportunities in the community for circus arts. Their performances are rooted in environmental and social activism, while watching you witness their higher-level messaging. They’re also heavily into community involvement and development, they host art parties and create collaborative spaces. This inclusive and collaborative brand of circus helps others see that they too can find community within performance art.

“Our brand of circus is inclusive, people who might not be able to imagine that they can do it, they can be inspired to take up performance art,” says Renée-Claude.


Cirquonscient recognizes the value of art and how incredible it is at bringing people together. They bring even more life into our vibrant community as residents are able to connect with and witness an art form that is often only accessible through a screen. The endless smiles they see on faces throughout their stunning performances are proof of the added buzz and spark they bring to Centretown.

“We love to create magic in our community. There’s so much life in Centretown and we want to be part of that spark and buzz,” says Renée-Claude.

The members of Cirquonscient have become familiar faces in the community and plan to become increasingly integrated within Centretown with workshops and additional performances to create more memorable community moments.

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