Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Circus desperately seeking new home

Circus desperately seeking new home

Chief executive of Phare Performing Social Enterprise, Huot Dara says Phare is seeking help to secure a permanent venue for the future security.
Chief executive of Phare Performing Social Enterprise, Huot Dara says Phare is seeking help to secure a permanent venue for the future security. Miranda Glasser

Circus desperately seeking new home

Soaring rents in downtown Siem Reap have caused several businesses to relocate, the latest among them being the town’s favourite – and one and only – circus.

After renting a plot of land near Angkor National Museum to install the red Big Top in February 2013, Phare artists have astonished audiences nightly with their passion, emotion and talent and a further plus is that artistes could earn a stable income.

But because the rental fee for the site is expected to increase, Phare decided to start a campaign to raise funds to purchase land for a permanent home.

Huot Dara, chief executive of Phare Performing Social Enterprise says the organisation is now seeking help to secure a permanent venue for the future of the artists and art revival.

“The big top in Siem Reap is on rented land, which means high costs and an uncertain future and the rental contract will end in February 2016,” he said. Phare needs to raise funds on its own to then enable it to secure social impact loans from Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation and other loan partners.

The big top of Phare the Cambodian circus situated behind Angkor National Museum.
The big top of Phare the Cambodian circus situated behind Angkor National Museum. PETER PHOENG

“We have to raise $200,000 on our own to complete the full financing need,” Huot Dara said. “Our crowd funding campaign on StartSomeGood.com/HomeForPhare has a minimum goal of $50,000. If we do not reach this goal we will not receive anything – the amount pledged will be refunded automatically.”

Dara said that land prices in Siem Reap are high and increasing rapidly as a result of the booming tourism industry.

“We need well situated land in town that is easily visible and accessible to tourists who only stay in town for a couple of days,” he said. “But that will cost a little more. With donors help, a permanent site can be purchased and continued success and sustainability assured.” Changing to the new site will give present some challenges for Phare as Dara claimed that the current site is very conveniently and strategically located.

“It attracts a lot of the passers-by who see the big top right in the centre of town,” he said. “But we are not able to afford the rental fee.”

He feels that because Phare is becoming a must-see top tourist attraction in Siem Reap, tourists won’t mind travelling ab it further for such an amazing show. “A permanent venue could be very accessible as long as it is no further than 10 minutes commute by car or tuk tuk from downtown Siem Reap,” he said.

“Donors help means the difference between a more certain or uncertain future for these young Cambodian artists. Any contribution large or small will bring them one step closer.”

“Owning our own land protects against cost increases, which means more income goes to the artists and to the children of the school”.

Contributions can be made by credit card via http://startsomegood.com/homeforphare or off-line in Cambodia by WING. Please call Ms Sinath on 010 900 223 for more information about the WING transaction.


  • US imposes sanctions on Oknha Pheap and Kun Kim

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed strong dismay on Monday over the designation of Cambodian tycoon Oknha Try Pheap and General Kun Kim under the US’ Global Magnitsky Act. “It is very disturbing when the public figures of a country become the

  • Mother, daughter killed in hotel fire

    The bodies of a mother and daughter were found locked in an embrace after they were killed in a hotel fire in Phnom Penh at around 3:30am on Wednesday at the Phkar Chhouk Tep 2 Hotel and Restaurant in Phsar Doeum Kor commune, in the capital’

  • Rights Day forum denied in Sihanoukville

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration last Saturday denied the request of land communities for a public location in the province to celebrate International Human Rights Day 2019 as the administration had already held forums to discuss land issues. However, the land community representatives said they would

  • EBA withdrawal a destruction of EU achievements, PM says

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the EU’s possible suspension of its Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement amounted to a destruction of its achievements in the Kingdom and the demise of the opposition group. Hun Sen made the remarks while addressing more than 6,700 students during

  • Kingdom calls on Japan to increase number of direct flights to Siem Reap, Phnom Penh

    Cambodia is requesting Japan to increase the number of direct flights from Japanese cities and provinces to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, so as to contribute to increasing cooperation and tourist numbers between the two countries. During the opening ceremony of 3rd Japan Travel Fair

  • Court orders Sokha to stand trial on January 15 for treason

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has set January 15 as the trial date for Kem Sokha, the former president of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) who is under court-supervised bail on a treason charge. In a press release issued on Monday, the municipal