Sustainability – About Phare Circus

Phare Circus is one of Cambodia’s most innovative social enterprises and a model of responsible tourism and sustainability. Profits generated through ticket, refreshment, merchandise and private performance sales support the free education, professional arts training and social support programs of Phare Ponleu Selpak in Battambang.

Our Venue

The Phare experience begins from the moment you approach the venue in Siem Reap. You see larger-than-life images of Phare artists on banners and billboards along the street…

Uniquely Cambodian. Daringly Modern.

Phare Circus is more than a conventional circus. Artists create and perform stories based on their own lives. Drawing from recent history, folklore and modern society, the artists use drama, dance, live music and circus arts to tell the stories.

Phare artists are graduates of Phare Ponleu Selpak, a non-profit school and professional arts training center.

THE STRUCTURE – Responsible tourism and sustainability

Responsible tourism and sustainability in the organizational structure of Phare Circus and Phare Ponleu Selpak

Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPSA)

PPSA was founded in 1994 by nine young Cambodian men returning home from a refugee camp after the fall of the Khmer Rouge. At the camp they took drawing classes and found art to be a powerful tool for healing. When they returned home they began offering free drawing classes to street children. Soon they opened a school, eventually offering formal K-12 education and professional arts training in the areas of visual arts (illustration, painting, graphic design, and animation), theater, music, dance, and circus. Today more than 1,200 pupils attend the public school daily and 500 attend the vocational arts training programs. All programs are offered for free.

In 2013, with the aim of financial self-sufficiency, PPSA created Phare Performing Social Enterprise (PPSE) with three missions:

  • Create meaningful employment opportunities for Cambodian artists
  • Create financially sustainable social businesses that provide a reliable income streams for Phare Ponleu Selpak
  • Revitalise the arts sector in Cambodia and promote Cambodian art locally and internationally

Our Social Investors

PPSE is a social business. It means that the organisation is designed and operated as a company but is guided by social-benefit principles. The majority of the profits go to support Phare Ponleu Selpak NGO school, or are reinvested into the business for sustainability and growth. PPSE is a Cambodian Private Limited Company owned: by Phare Ponleu Selpak, Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation, and by private investors.

Phare, The Cambodian Circus - Social Investor

As a social investor, The Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation facilitates the emergence of Social Business projects like ours and assists them in their development, alongside with other partners. The projects supported by GrameenCAe Foundation enhance access by the poorest to essential goods and services (nutrition, energy, health care, and financial services).

Phare Performing Social Enterprise (PPSE)

PPSE is the parent company of: Phare, The Cambodian Circus, Phare Productions International, and Phare Creative Studio.

Website: https://pharepse.org

Phare, The Cambodian Circus


  • Opened in February 2013
  • Based in Siem Reap
  • Nightly professional shows under a 330-person big top, 365 days a year
  • Almost 75% of profit goes directly to PPSA, making PPSA more financially sustainable.
  • Seen by over one hundred thousand people
  • In the media: CNN, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, BBC News, AFP, and many more
  • Organizers of the Tini Tinou International Circus Festival, the only circus festival in Cambodia
  • Oversee Phare Boutique, which sells original paintings, drawings and music CDs from PPSA and local products made by Cambodian NGOs.

Phare Productions International


  • Customized private events MICE, international performances, and tours across Europe, Asia and the USA
    Tour Highlights:

     

    • Korea Ansan Street Arts Festival 2016
    • “Khmer Metal” US Tour (California, Florida, DC and Virginia) 2015
    • “Galaxy Khmer” at the HAU Theater Berlin, Germany and Bergen, Norway, January 2014
  • Co-productions and artist placements:
    • Co-production with Michael Laub’s Remote Control production: Galaxy Khmer
    • Co-production with Global Arts Corps: See You Yesterday, World Tour 2016/2017
    • Amon Miyamoto’s Terrace of the Leper King, Tokyo and Singapore 2016
  • Clients: MasterCard, Porche, BMW, Land Rover Jaguar, Manulife, Prudential, Raffles, Sofitel, Le Meridien, NagaWorld, Give2Asia, Cambodian Royal Family, and more
  • Web page: https://pharecircus.org/special-events/

Phare Creative Studio


  • Launched in 2016
  • Creating original content: 2D animation, graphic design and illustration
  • Professional video and sound recording services
  • Website: https://pharestudio.org

Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPSA)

PPSA was founded in 1994 by nine young Cambodian men returning home from a refugee camp after the fall of the Khmer Rouge. At the camp they took drawing classes and found art to be a powerful tool for healing. When they returned home they began offering free drawing classes to street children. Soon they opened a school, eventually offering formal K-12 education and professional arts training in the areas of visual arts (illustration, painting, graphic design, and animation), theater, music, dance, and circus. Today more than 1,200 pupils attend the public school daily and 500 attend the vocational arts training programs. All programs are offered for free.

In 2013, with the aim of financial self-sufficiency, PPSA created Phare Performing Social Enterprise (PPSE) with three missions:

  • Create meaningful employment opportunities for Cambodian artists
  • Create financially sustainable social businesses that provide a reliable income streams for Phare Ponleu Selpak
  • Revitalise the arts sector in Cambodia and promote Cambodian art locally and internationally

Phare Performing Social Enterprise (PPSE)

PPSE is the parent company of: Phare, The Cambodian Circus, Phare Productions International, and Phare Creative Studio.

Phare, The Cambodian Circus


  • Opened in February 2013
  • Based in Siem Reap
  • Nightly professional shows under a 330-person big top, 365 days a year
  • Almost 75% of profit goes directly to PPSA
  • Seen by over one hundred thousand people
  • In the media: CNN, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, BBC News, AFP, and many more
  • Organizers of the Tini Tinou International Circus Festival, the only circus festival in Cambodia
  • Oversee Phare Boutique, which sells original paintings, drawings and music CDs from PPSA and local products made by Cambodian NGOs.

Phare Productions International


  • Customized private events MICE, international performances, and tours across Europe, Asia and the USA
    Tour Highlights:

    • Korea Ansan Street Arts Festival 2016
    • “Khmer Metal” US Tour (California, Florida, DC and Virginia) 2015
    • “Galaxy Khmer” at the HAU Theater Berlin, Germany and Bergen, Norway, January 2014
  • Co-productions and artist placements:
    • Co-production with Michael Laub’s Remote Control production: Galaxy Khmer
    • Co-production with Global Arts Corps: See You Yesterday, World Tour 2016/2017
    • Amon Miyamoto’s Terrace of the Leper King, Tokyo and Singapore 2016
  • Clients: MasterCard, Porche, BMW, Land Rover Jaguar, Manulife, Prudential, Raffles, Sofitel, Le Meridien, NagaWorld, Give2Asia, Cambodian Royal Family, and more

Phare Creative Studio


  • Launched in 2016
  • Creating original content: 2D animation, graphic design and illustration
  • Professional video and sound recording services

Our Social Investors

PPSE is a social business. It means that the organisation is designed and operated as a company but is guided by social-benefit principles. The majority of the profits go to support Phare Ponleu Selpak NGO school, or are reinvested into the business for sustainability and growth. PPSE is a Cambodian Private Limited Company owned: by Phare Ponleu Selpak, Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation, and by private investors.

Phare, The Cambodian Circus - Social Investor

As a social investor, The Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation facilitates the emergence of Social Business projects like ours and assists them in their development, alongside with other partners. The projects supported by thLogo_GrameenCAe Foundation enhance access by the poorest to essential goods and services (nutrition, energy, health care, and financial services).

Special thanks

to the kind photographers who have allowed us to use their photos in the creation of this website: Peter Phoeng, Régis Binard, Jorge Rodriguez, Camille M and Scott Sharick.

Planeterra Global Community Tourism Network - sustainability and responsible tourism

RESPONSIBLE TOURISM

Do you believe in tourism as a means for sustainability and community development?

Enjoy an amazing travel experience and leave a positive impact on the communities you visit. Phare Circus is a model of sustainability and responsible tourism. Guests engage directly with the performers in intimate atmosphere of the iconic red big top. Revenue generated provides well-paying jobs and funds Phare Ponleu Selpak non-profit school. By attending a Phare Circus show, you enjoy Siem Reap's best live entertainment, financially support the school and provide opportunities for Cambodian artists.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Looking for a performance of a different kind for your event?

Let Phare artists bring their unique style and energy to make your welcome reception, meeting, gala dinner or temple dinner extraordinary. Phare, The Cambodian Circus provides entertainment at venues throughout Siem Reap, across Cambodia and even overseas for groups large and small.

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