Circus Photo Contest Winners Announced


Fédération Mondiale du Cirque Competition Draws Entries from 13 Countries


7 December 2009, Monte-Carlo, Monaco – The Fédération Mondiale du Cirque (Fédération) today announced the winners of its First Annual Circus Photo Contest.  Ron Mikkenie of Huizen, The Netherlands won the “best of show” in color photography with his photo of a leaping tiger from the German Probst Circus.  Janeric Dahlin of Tibro, Sweden won the “best of show” in black & white photography with a photo of clown Oleg Popov performing in  Circus Benneweis.  Dahlin was also a finalist in multiple photo categories, as were Roy and Linda Himsel of Sweden and Oliver Stegmann of Switzerland.


 The two “best of show” photos were selected by the Fédération’s Honorary President H.S.H. Princess Stephanie of Monaco from a group of finalist photos in four categories – circus performance, circus life, youth circus and performing animals.  The color and black and white winning entries will become cover photographs for European-style and American-style 2010 calendars respectively, and each finalist photo will be presented on individual month.  The calendars can be viewed at Winning photos also will be displayed in Monte-Carlo from 14-16 January, 2010 in conjunction with the 34th Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo.


“Our first photo competition attracted entries from professional and amateur photographers from around the world,” said Laura van der Meer, Executive Director of the Fédération.  “All the entries reflected a high level of quality and artistic merit, and represented the myriad facets of circus arts, culture and community from dramatic performances in the ring to everyday life behind-the-scenes.”


Ron Mikkenie, 45, was 16 when he saw his first circus and later learned that a great uncle had been a circus owner after World War II.  He combined his love of photography with his passion for the circus, and began taking photographs at circus performances.  “My good contacts with circus directors and performers made it possible to take photos in a unique way,” he said.  An electronics engineer in high-tech imaging systems, Mikkenie also writes pro-circus animal articles for newspapers and online, as well as maintaining a circus-related website that keeps the Dutch Congress informed about the care and welfare animals receive in Dutch circuses (  His winning photo, taken in August 2009, captured a tiger in mid-leap from the Rudiger Probst tiger act and will be the cover of the calendar featuring color photos.


Janeric Dahlin, 69, is now retired after a career in the hardwood business.  He learned how to use a camera as a youngster, started developing his own black and white photographs, and has spent a lifetime chronicling the circus.  He served as chairman of the board of the Swedish Circus Academy from 1981-83.  “With my camera I have tried to show what happens in the fantastic world of circus and how hard people work to keep the circus alive,” he said.  His winning photograph was taken in 1981 in Copenhagen during a performance by the famous Russian clown Oleg Popov.  It will be featured on the cover of the calendar featuring black and white photos.


The worldwide photo competition, held from June 22 – October 31, 2009, drew entries from Argentina, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, India, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States.  The selection of finalist photos was determined by an international jury of circus historians comprised of Julio Revolledo Cardenas (Mexico), Charles Ricketts (South Africa), Arthur Hofmeester (The Netherlands), Mark St. Leon (Australia), Pascal Jacob (France), Antonio Giarola (Italy), Greg Parkinson (United States) and Rodney Huey (United States). 


The Fédération Mondiale du Cirque (FMC) was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Monte-Carlo under the patronage of H.S.H. Princess Stephanie of Monaco.  The goal of the FMC is to promote circus arts and culture worldwide, to support the circus through proprietary projects, to serve as a voice for the circus community and to represent circus interests to international organizations.  Its six founding members are the Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo, the European Circus Association, the Outdoor Amusement Business Association in the United States, the Circus Federation of Australia, the Animal Interest Alliance in South Africa, and the Canadian organization En Piste. 


            For more information about purchasing the calendars created with these winning photos, please visit


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Press contact: Dirk Kuik


Laura van der Meer

Mobile Tel. (Belgium) +32.473.965.436