COVID-19: Reopening the National Circus School in Montreal – A Case-Study - CircusTalk

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COVID-19: Reopening the National Circus School in Montreal – A Case-Study

For the National Circus School (ENC), as well as all circus schools around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic represents an exceptional challenge, one for which there are no preconfigured guidelines that can dictate appropriate responses. As Dr. Caroline Quach, a researcher from Quebec, said: ‘’Fighting COVID-19 is like building the plane while you’re flying it’’. This statement certainly applies to circus schools all around the world. At ENC, the decision to reopen the school and the question as to how to reopen the school was guided by a risk-based approach to maximize the education, well-being and health benefits for our students, teachers, staff, and thus, the wider circus community.
The Circus Health and Safety Committee It all began with the establishment of an internal committee on April 29 at ENC. Marie-Pier Rousseau, Human Resources Advisor, and Christine Thibaudeau, Director of Technical Services and Production, managed the new Circus Health and Safety Committee throughout the crisis. Said committee was divided into three subcommittees: development committee, equipment committee, and support partners. Each subcommittee being composed of representatives from the School’s various departments (technical, teachers, communication and administrative). My role within this group as a researcher from the Center for Circus Arts Research, Innovation and Knowledge Transfer (CRITAC) was, and is still today, to provide an evidence-based decision-making process built on a fast-evolving scientific literature about COVID-19. The goal of this committee was and remains to advise,...
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Marion Cossin

Marion Cossin is a research engineer at the National Circus School's Center for Research, Innovation and Transfer in Circus Arts (CRITAC). She holds a PhD in biomedical engineering from Université de Montréal and a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Polytechnique Montréal. Her research focuses on the interaction between acrobat and equipment, with particular emphasis on the design of new circus equipment, digital integration and performance enhancement. Marion Cossin est ingénieure de recherche au Centre de recherche, d'innovation et de transfert en arts du cirque (CRITAC). Elle détient un doctorat en génie biomédical à l'Université de Montréal et Polytechnique Montréal, en partenariat avec l'École nationale de cirque. Elle a une maîtrise en génie mécanique de Polytechnique Montréal. Ses travaux sont consacrés à l'interaction entre acrobate et équipement de cirque, dans une perspective d'amélioration de la performance, l'intégration du numérique, ainsi que de la conception de nouveaux équipements de cirque. Son site web: