Arts Flashback

To celebrate Arts Victoria's 40th anniversary we've hit the archives
and uncovered some choice moments in the development of
Victoria's arts sector.

Click on the images below to view the stories and photo galleries, share them with others, and find out how Victoria grew to be the arts and cultural powerhouse it is today.

Circus Oz big top – Courtesy of Circus Oz
Circus Oz big top – Courtesy of Circus Oz


Circus Oz is born

Circus Oz was founded in 1978 as an amalgamation of two already successful Australian groups, Soapbox Circus and the New Circus. The founding members of Circus Oz loved the skills and tricks of traditional circus but wanted to make a new sort of show, adding elements of rock'n'roll, popular theatre and satire.


They sewed and welded together their own circus tent, got together a collection of old trucks and caravans and went on the road. Fresh, funny and irreverent, Circus Oz was an immediate hit with Australian audiences and soon began to tour internationally.

Since that time Circus Oz has performed in 26 countries, across five continents to over three million people. They have performed everywhere from 42nd Street and the Tivoli Gardens, to refugee camps and the Brazilian rainforest.

Circus Oz is currently working with Arts Victoria on the development of its new home in Collingwood. The project will transform the long derelict site of the old Collingwood Technical School in Johnston Street, into a world-class, purpose-built facility for the company.

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