Canada, and Quebec in particular, plays an important role in the circus world. Montréal is home to circus institutions such as En Piste, and the National Circus school (Ecole nationale de cirque), as well as circus North America’s premier circus presenter, TOHU. Several of the world’s most well-known circus companies (The 7 Fingers, Cirque du Soleil, Cirque Éloize,) call Quebec home.But for the past six months, like the rest of the performing arts world, Montréal circus has taken a hit. Although the pandemic is not over, some circus organizations are taking tentative steps to adjust their programming and to move towards helping the circus sector recover in new, and surprisingly accommodating ways. In Quebec they are imagining the continued role Cirque du Soleil may or may not play in their institutions. It was announced in an article at BNN Bloomberg the day after this interview was recorded, that a settlement had occurred with Cirque du Soleil in which the creditors promise (among other things) that the company headquarters will remain in Montréal for at least the next five years. In spite of so many uncertainties, the Quebec circus sector is uniquely positioned and supported in these attempts to revitalize and reinvent the circus industry. Let’s check in with our experts in the region and ask, ‘What’s up with Canadian circus?’
Feature photo design and technical support courtesy of Emily Holt.