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Circus Oz Artistic Director steps down after 17 years

Circus Oz Artistic Director steps down after 17 years
April 2, 2015

Having overseen the company’s recent relocation to its purpose-built Collingwood headquarters and the development of a range of new activities, including Strong Women and the Indigenous development program BLAKflip, Mike Finch has this week announced his resignation as Circus Oz’s Artistic Director as 17 years in the role.

Commenting on his impending departure, Finch stated “this has been an incredible 17 years, immersed in a close-knit, collaborative and highly supportive circus culture.

“In my mid 20s I joined the company as Artistic Director because I was drawn to the values of Circus Oz and 17 years later those values still match.”

Finch’s last day with the company will be Tuesday 30th June 2015.

With the one-year anniversary of the company’s move to Collingwood coming up, and knowing that its new programs and initiatives were now secure, Finch said he felt that time was right to move on.

He explained “the Spiegeltent is completely up and running, we’re running Comedy Festival and Fringe Festival seasons in there; with the BLAKflip program we’ve  (had) success after success with integrating Indigenous connection.

“All of the other satellite programs, such as the beginning of the disability program that Loki Rickus is doing, the Classics program that Batton and Broadway are doing, all of the classes and the open training program – a lot of that stuff, as you know, the start-up of each thing can be a lot of work and it can be a huge distraction for the central artistic goal of the company, and so we feel like we’ve done all of the hard yards to put those things in place.”

Under Finch’s artistic leadership, Circus Oz has performed to more than 1.7 million people in nearly 150 national and international locations, including tours from Arnhem Land to New York, and from the Kimberley to Madrid.  

Last year the company moved into its new purpose-built home in theCollingwood contemporary arts precinct with the assistance of the Victorian Government, representing the culmination of a shared vision and a decade long effort to build a vibrant hub of artistic activity and a secure base for a sustainable future. 

Circus Oz Board Chair Wendy McCarthy congratulated Finch on his many achievements as Artistic Director, adding “Mike has lived and breathed the values and creativity of Circus Oz for over 17 years.  It has been a compelling and exciting contribution to the growth of the company. 

“Coming home to Collingwood into this fabulous building has been part of the dream for Mike and the company members. I thank him for his commitment, contribution and vision.”

The return Melbourne season of But Wait…There’s More (opening on 17th June at Birrarung Marr) will be Finch’s farewell season as Circus Oz Artistic Director.

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