18 January 2018
Philip Astley Monument

In presence of HSH Prince Albert II and HSH Princess Stephanie, Honorary President of the Federation Mondiale du Cirque, Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo, Federation Mondiale du Cirque and European Circus Federation inaugurated the Philip Astley Monument to celebrate the 250th anniversary of modern circus and its creator Philip Astley.

January 2018, 42nd Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo, Monaco. 
Left to right on the picture below : Dr Alain Frère, Mr. Urs Pilz, Mrs. Marie Chevalier, Mr. Louis Ducruet, HSH Prince Albert II, HSH Princess Stéphanie, Mrs. Pauline Ducruet, Mrs. Zsuzsanna Mata, Mr. Helmut Grosscurth, Mr. Andrew Vanburen
Copyright : Monte-Carlo Festivals

28 November 2017

Circus Culture is put on the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO.

The good collaboration with the traditional, contemporary circuses and youth circus schools, the serious work of the whole Finnish circus community resulted in the historical recognition of the circus culture. It has been accepted and included into the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of the UNESCO.

Finland became the third country in Europe where circus arts has been given that prestigious status.

The National Board of Antiquities is responsible of the implementation of the UNESCO ICH Convention (2003). Finland signed the convention in 2013.

From the document:

“The resulting inventory is a tool which can be used to identify, describe and convey knowledge about and information on living traditions….

The selection of an element into the National Inventory of Living Heritage is recognition to the communities that work with the traditions. The inclusion in the Inventory makes the traditions more visible than before. At the same time, it brings them one step closer to being recognized internationally.”

The Fédération Mondiale du Cirque initiated in 2012 the so called UNESCO project. The main idea was to raise awareness at national level of the cultural values of circus arts.

Since that the Netherlands and Hungary were able to accomplish the important triumph: having the Circus listed in their National Inventories of ICH of the UNESCO.

The Federation’s objective is to getting prepared for a multinational application for recognition of circus arts at international level. Partners in the international projects could be countries where the national recognition is completed.

14 November 2017
Warm welcomes to our new Friend of the Federation : the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

The partnership continues between the two organizations:  the Smithsonian Folklife Festival (SFF) accepted the invitation to be Friend of the Federation.

SFF was founded in 1967. Every year late June and beginning of July the Festival brings together hundreds of tradition bearers from around the world on the National Mall of the United States in Washington to share their culture. The Festival became an international model for presenting the vitality of the cultural heritage in our society. Through the voices of the communities themselves, the Festival shows that cultural traditions are living, dynamic part of contemporary life.

In 2017, celebrating the 50th anniversary, one of the main themes of the 10 days event was circus arts. Unprecedented attention was given to that performing art form: to its past, present and future. 

Almost 7 million peoples visited the different programs allowing them to get a better knowledge of circus arts, to meet artists, to follow training sessions, to look behind the scene, to participate in narrative stages and to enjoy the performances. 

The National Endowment for Arts (Ministry of Culture by European terms) organized a conference for stake holders, and professionals of circus during the festival, and it expressed a firm and very important opinion on circus saying that it is a peoples’ art that deserves unilateral support all over the country.

The Federation was the first international partner of the SFF and our colleagues actively took part in the preparatory works and in the festival. That partnership laid the base of good relationship and possible cooperation on the long run.

Preservation and promotion are of shared interest and common fields where both the Federation and SFF wish to collaborate in the future.

Learn more about SFF:

27 October 2017
2018, 250th anniversary year of modern circus arts

The upcoming 250th anniversary year of modern circus arts moves the circus community worldwide towards celebrating this
exceptional date.
Activities in the birthplace,Newcastle Under Lyme, of Philip Astley, the founder of modern circus, have already started.
Beginning of October within the frame of "Philip Astley Project" a meeting with Charlie Cairoli took place and the organizer, Mr. Andrew van Buren, took the opportunity to pay tribute to the Monte Carlo Circus Festival as well. 
Mr. van Buren and his family worked continuously for decades to succeed honoring Philip Astley in his birthplace. Congratulation for the achievements.

More information: and

18 October 2017
Prince Rainier III statue inauguration

The statue of Prince Rainier III was solemnly inagurated in Bucharest honouring  the founder of the International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo and  his historical contribution  to  circus arts in the presence of Princess Stéphanie on the 4th of October 2017.
The ceremony was conducted by the Mayor of the Romanian capital.
Prince Rainier passion for circus opened a new chapter in its history.
The tradition of organising  circus festivals was created and circus as a performing art form gained and regained more prestige in popular entertainment. Monte-Carlo became the most prestigious meeting point of the best artists around the Globe since 43 years.
It was Prince Rainier’s idea to establish a worldwide organisation for preserving and promoting circus arts and of course for representing its interest.
The Fédération Mondiale du Cirque embodies his ideas and we pledge to serve the best possible way the international circus community.

02 August 2017
Smithsonian Folklife Festival

A milestone in the history of American circus arts

This summer the Smithsonian Folklife Festival celebrated its 50th anniversary choosing as main theme circus arts.

The Mall in Washington for 10 days became a "circus site" where close to 800 000 visitors enjoyed the different programs.

It showcased the past, the present of circus arts and focused on its future. Besides professional artists young  performers from circus schools, youth and social circuses entertained the public under the Big Chapiteau of Circus Sarasota.

The prestigious Industrial Building was converted into a temporally circus school and coaches introduced the long and difficult process of learning tricks. The Wallenda family presented daily their open air high wide act. An open air flying trapeze practice with the instructor explaining and coaching the students was a special attraction. There were a couple of thematic so called heritage stages all over the place featuring the heritage side and grassroots movement of  circus arts.

During the closing ceremony the organisers paid tribute to Monaco, to the Grimaldi family for their contribution to circus arts. Ms. Pauline Doucret, President of the Jury of the New Generation Festival of Monte-Carlo took part in that event.

The Federation Mondiale du Cirque was the first international partner of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and played an active role during the preparatory works and at the festival too.

The National Endowment  for the Arts organised a full day conference on the present and future of circus arts.

On behalf of the Federation Zsuzsanna Mata spoke about the importance of the World Circus Day and called upon the American circus community to join the common celebrations with massive participation.

That conference for the first time ever brought together the stakeholders of the American circus arts.

The Folklife Festival marked a historical milestone in the history of the American circus arts: it raised public awareness and prestige, it opened the possibilities for wider and most effective collaboration between the stakeholders.

Now it's the responsibility of the community to explore these possibilities.

The success and achievements of circus arts in one country has a global effect as this performing art form is truly international. 

Federation News
30 June 2017
Letter of Condolences to Mrs Christel Sembach Krone

To Circus Krone Family
On behalf of the Fédération Mondiale du Cirque I would like to express our deepest condolences.
Ms. Christel Sembach Krone belonged to the greatest generation of artists and circus directors.
We lost the Lady of the Circus, but her legacy will be remembered forever. Her life will be always an exemplar and a source of inspiration for the generations to come.
We lost our Circus Ambassador who contributed so much to the preservation and promotion of circus arts. Her reputation and her unconditional labor helped so many times to overcome difficulties and to raise the public awareness and the status of the circus.
Sincerely yours:
Urs Pilz                          Zsuzsanna Mata
President                      Executive Director

28 June 2017
Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Expectations are high before the opening of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival(SFF). The Festival celebrates its 50st anniversary and on this special occasion one of central themes of the event is circus arts.

The National Endowment for Arts of the United States takes part first time ever in a circus related project offering a whole day conference on the 5th of July about the present and the future of circus arts. FMC has a panel during the discussions and Zsuzsanna Mata, executive director, will speak about the importance of World Circus Day celebrations.

The SFF will be opened on the 29 June. The following 10 days the Mall of Washington will be loud by interesting programs offering entertainment and an open platform for visitors to get acquainted with the less known features of this performing art form and have their personal experience in the circus world which has very strong social cohesion strength.

FMC is proud to be an official international partner of the Smithsonian Institution. The Federation actively took part in the preparatory works and our representatives will be present during the festival.


Federation News
21 June 2017
Big Top Label

The Circus Manifesto, initiated by István Újhelyi, member of the European Parliament, has foreseen the elaboration of the Big Top quality assurance system for circuses.

The Big Top Label (BTL) first workshop took place in Brussels on the 31st of May. It was a historical event as two circus-theme meetings never have been held within 7 months at the European Parliament.

The workshop focused on collecting ideas how to build up an objective, effective, transparent, comprehensive, impartial and fair system. The professional framework will be developed by circus stakeholders and independent, external experts.

Mr. Urs Pilz, President of the Fédération Mondiale du Cirque and the European Circus Association, represented both organizations together with Zsuzsanna Mata. Mr. Pilz emphasized the importance of the creation of the new system and accentuated that both organizations are ready and willing to offer a platform and professional input for BTL.

The new project aims to distinguish circuses by quality regardless whether they are small or big, whether they are traditional or new, with or without animals, touring or permanent, performing in tent, arena or theater.  It is a complex task but the only viable method to make it work.

It will be designed to operate all over Europe independently from national regulations.

BTL would be great for promotion and for business too at the same time. It should offer advantage for all those ready to participate and support those circuses, companies which are willing to participate.

All your ideas and comments are welcome. Please share your thoughts on the Federation’s Facebook site.

Federation News
11 April 2017
Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s communication on World Circus Day 2017

The Fédération Mondiale du Cirque is an official partner of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival(SFF), which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The Festival, first time ever, has chosen circus arts as the main theme of the 10 days events end of June and beginning of July on the Mall in Washington.

Read the SFF communication on 15th April, World Circus Day 2017

Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Circus Arts program

Federation News
11 April 2017
Circus in the focus

The Féderation Mondiale du Cirque (FMC) in close collaboration with István Ujhelyi, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) launches a campaign on World Circus Day 2017 to present the diversity of circus arts and its reality behind the curtains.

The Circus Manifesto ( was announced and signed in Monte-Carlo during the FMC circus directors’ luncheon on the 22nd of January 2017. The document contains MEP Ujhelyi’s initiative to create a system of evaluation for circuses: the so called Big Top Label. This quality assurance system will allow promoting high quality circuses, to help the public to go for real values.

On the way of getting prepared to work out the principles and methods of the Big Top Label we want to present the best examples of circus arts, its beauty and wonders, its difficulties and of course its growing social effects.

We invite you to participate and tell your opinion ( Enjoy the video and support us by sharing it please.

Federation News
07 April 2017
World Circus Day 2017 - 15th of April, 2017

Held on the third Saturday each April, World Circus Day is a special day to celebrate Circus Arts and Culture.

The 8th World Circus Day will be held on 15 April 2017.

This is the biggest common international feast of the circus communities around the Globe. It"s a special opportunity to celebrate together, to get more supporters and fans of the art of happiness. Our possibilities are borderless.

The Fédération Mondiale du Cirque asks all its partners, circuses of all kind, circus friends, schools, and other organizations to find a partner to plan and host World Circus Day events. Please make sure your registration names all the partners collaborating on an event.

Register your event now here.

We are looking forward to your inspiring photos taken during the events for further publication!

Federation News
10 February 2017
The Circus Manifesto was officially presented in Monte Carlo

Dr. Újhelyi István, member of the European Parliament, officially presented the Circus Manifesto during the circus directors’ luncheon of the Fédération Mondiale du Cirque in Monte-Carlo on the 22nd January.

The Manifesto was initiated by Dr. Újhelyi at the conference on Circus Arts held in the European Parliament last October. The document was prepared on a wide range of consultations with circus professionals and it summarizes the values of circus arts, its needs and tasks for the future.

FMC’s Honorary President H.S.H. Princess Stéphanie of Monaco was the first to sign the book of Supporters.

You can read and study The Manifesto on the internet in several languages. Though it is a European initiative but its content and influence is far beyond of the continent.

If you share the principles and tasks stressed by the document please sign it online.

Federation News
02 February 2017
Circus Ambassador 2017

The Fédération Mondiale du Cirque has the tradition since 2009 to award the prestigious title of Circus Ambassador each January to a personality whose contribution to the preservation, development and promotion of circus arts is an example to follow.The nominee in 2017 is Mr. Maxim Nikulin.

The plaque was handled by Mr. Urs Pilz, President of the Federation, at the Circus Directors’ luncheon in Monte-Carlo during the 41st International Circus Festival.

20 October 2016
Conference on the future of circus arts in the European Parliament

Brussels, 18 October 2016

Under the Big Top - Round-table conference
Mr. István Újhelyi, member of the European Parliament, deputy chair of the Commission of Transport and Tourism, offered the opportunity of having a conference about the present and future of circus arts in the Parliament. This is a historical event for our sector as we witness the circus becoming a debutant topic there.

Members of the Parliament, numerous representatives of the industry and circus related organisation, young artists and those being interested in the event attended the meeting. Commissioner Tibor Navracsics (responsible for culture) delivered the keynote speech. He underlined the importance of the cultural sector in Europe, which is an engine of creativity, mobility, and economic growth. 2018 will be the European Year of Cultural Heritage and that year our community will celebrate the 250 years of of the European circus therefore there are many possibilities for collaboration.

Mr Újhelyi in his turn said: " Circus arts, in all its varieties is a valuable and remarkable part of the European Culture. The traditional circus is a blend of organised artistic and musical entertainment in which acts featuring acrobats, clowns,and domesticated and wild animals are performing in the same ring in turn.......circus arts is still one of the most influential artistic product, which plays a key role in the entertaining, and tourism industry. Our conference in the European Parliament aims to bring European decision-makers and the representatives of the traditional and the new generation of circus arts closer, in order to find out how we could preserve the traditional circus values."

Mr Újhelyi called upon the Commission to work on a new study about the present situation of circuses in EU countries.

Mr Újhelyi had 2 other proposals:

  • stressed the necessity to work out a quality certificate system for circuses
  • suggested to work out a CIRCUS MANIFESTO in collaboration with all stake holders, to formulate the challenges and needs to assure the future.

FMC was represented by its President and Executive director, Mr. Urs Pilz, and Zsuzsanna Mata among the panelist.

Federation News
16 September 2016
Congratulation HUNGARY

Mr. Fekete Péter, general director of the Hungarian State Circus (MACIVA), announced to the Board of Directors of the Fédération Mondiale du Cirque that Hungary has placed circus arts, with its traditions, on its national list of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH).

The official ceremony takes place on the 16th of September.

Hungary became the second country in Europe, and indeed in the world, to reach this highly important objective.

Warm congratulations to all of you who made this possible!

MACIVA took the lead and worked hard involving all circus related organizations and in close cooperation with the UNESCO office in Budapest.

A working group of 5 people dedicated months of labor to prepare the application to UNESCO which was finally approved as a clear sign of appreciation of circus arts in Hungary.

The Hungarian story is an example to be followed by other countries!

FMC continues to work on its UNESCO project to reach the acceptance of circus arts on the international ICH list.

We invite representatives of countries working on this to contact FMC and to make use of our accumulated experience and knowledge we can offer.

Federation News
18 June 2016
Press release of Pope Francis audience

Vatican City, 16.06. 2016

During the Jubilee year of Mercy, in a festive audience Pope Francis greeted the representatives of circus organizations, among them the delegation of the Fédération Mondiale du Cirque, circuses, artists, street performers, employees of amusement parks and fairs from all over the world. Addressing the circus and travelling people the Pope said: " you are champions of are artisans of festivities, wonder and beauty. And with these qualities you enrich all world society, even with the aim of nurturing sentiments of hope and confidence. You do it through performances that have the ability to elevate the soul, to fascinate with the wonder of beauty and to offer opportunities for healthy entertainment."

Pope Francis enjoyed a short circus performance. At the end a young panther cub and a six months- old tiger appeared on stage, approaching the Pope, who stood up and touched the cat. This sign of appreciation of wild animals as an integral part of the shows is a powerful support for traditional circuses.

The event was supported by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People.

25 April 2016
The 2017 Smithsonian Folklife Festival to Celebrate CIRCUS ARTS

Smithsonian, the world's largest museum and research complex, announced on World Circus Day that CIRCUS ARTS will be the theme of its 50th Folklife Festival on the National Mall in Washington, DC, June 29-July 4, and July 6-9. According to its website, the celebration “will bring the rich history, mystique and diversity of circus arts to life.” Festival visitors will get an up-close and personal look at the arts and culture of the circus through the people who make it possible – performing artists, coaches, costume designers, makeup artists, musicians, lighting and sound engineers, riggers, cooks and prop managers among others. The Festival will also feature live circus performances, demonstrations and workshops “under a big top tent” focusing on the disciplines of acrobatics, aerial skills, equilibristics, object manipulation, and clowning. To learn more, see

16 March 2016
Federation President Mr. Urs Pilz Surprised with Ambassadorship awarded by HSH Princess Stephanie!!!

Moments after the Federation President named Mr. Zhigang Su as the Federation’s 2016 Ambassador of Circus, Honorary President H.S.H Princess Stephanie of Monaco surprised Mr. Pilz by naming him Ambassador due to his lifelong contribution to Circus Arts and Culture and extraordinary achievements as Artistic Director of the Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo since the early days of the Festival. Congratulations Mr. Pilz! 

16 March 2016
Mr. Zhigang Su named Federation Ambassador of Circus 2016

Mr. Zhigang Su became the second Chinese national to be named Ambassador of Circus by the Fédération Mondiale du Cirque and was honored at the annual Circus Directors’ Luncheon at the Hotel Hermitage in Monaco on 17 January 2016. Mr. Su is the Chairman of the Guangdong Chime-Long Group, which owns and operates the Chime-Long theme parks, including the Chime-Long International Circus. Mr. Su joins previously named Ambassadors, Mr. Tadashi Kinoshita (2015); Mr. Kenneth Feld (2013); Frau Christel SembachKrone (2012); Madame Xia Juhua (2011); Mr. Franz Czeisler (2010); and Mr. Alexander A. Volkov (2009). H.S.H. Princess Stephanie of Monaco was named “Extraordinary Ambassador” in 2014 for her unending commitment to circus and work in rescuing former circus elephants Baby and Nepal from euthanasia. 

Federation News
30 April 2015
World Circus Day Celebrated in 42 Countries Australian Circus Royale Wins Circus Selfie Competition

The Sixth World Circus Day was again celebrated with great enthusiasm around the world. A total of 202 circuses, festivals, museums, friends associations, youth groups and others organized 185 separate World Circus Day events in 42 countries. Australian circuses battled it out to get visitors to post the most “Selfies”.


30 April 2015
World Circus Day Greetings from H.S.H. Princess Stéphanie of Monaco!

H.S.H. Princess Stéphanie of Monaco, Honorary President of the Fédération Mondiale du Cirque, sends her greetings on the occasion of the Sixth World Circus Day!




Federation News
04 March 2015
Tadashi Kinoshita Named Sixth Circus Ambassador

Mr. Tadashi Kinoshita became the 6th “Ambassadeur du Cirque” to be named by the Federation for his outstanding contribution to Circus arts and culture. Mr. Kinoshita was honored at a Federation reception held on 17 January 2015 by President Urs Pliz who complimented Mr. Kinoshita on his excellent work in continuing the circus family tradition in Japan.


Federation News
30 September 2014
Photographers Capture Circus Celebrations Around the World

Dutch coach and choreographer Vincent Michels has been selected as the winner of the Federation Mondiale du Cirque’s 2014 photography contest for his black and white photograph of a young contortionist attired in zebra stripes. A total of 115 images were submitted by photographers from 19 countries for this year’s contest under the theme of “World Circus Day”.


Federation News
30 April 2014
World Celebrates Circus

A record 185 celebrations took place in 47 countries during the month leading up to the Fifth World Circus Day on 19 April 2014. As is customary for circus people, the show went on despite attempts by hackers to bring down the Federation website!