About Cirque

Originally composed of 20 street performers in 1984, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group completely reinvented circus arts and went on to become a world leader in live entertainment. Established in Montreal, the Canadian organization has brought wonder and delight to over 180 million spectators with productions presented in 450 cities in 60 countries. Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group currently employs 4,000 people, including 1,300 artists, who originate from nearly 50 countries.

Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group creates content for a broad range of audacious projects. On top of producing world-renowned shows, the organization has extended its creative approach to a large variety of entertainment forms such as multimedia productions, immersive experiences, theme parks and special events. Going beyond its various creations, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group aims to make a positive impact on people, communities and the planet with its most important tools: creativity and art.

Cirque du Soleil at a glance

From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is a major Québec-based organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment. The company has close to 4,000 employees, including 1,300 artists from more than 50 different countries.

Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to more than 180 million spectators in more than 400 cities in over sixty countries on six continents.

For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com.

The mission

The mission of Cirque du Soleil is to invoke the imagination, provoke the senses and evoke the emotions of people around the world.

The Creation of Cirque du Soleil

It all started in Baie-Saint-Paul, a small town near Québec City in Canada. There, in the early eighties, a band of colorful characters roamed the streets, striding on stilts, juggling, dancing, breathing fire, and playing music. They were Les Échassiers de Baie-Saint-Paul (the Baie-Saint-Paul Stiltwalkers), a street theatre group founded by Gilles Ste-Croix. Already, the townsfolk were impressed and intrigued by the young performers – including Guy Laliberté who founded Cirque du Soleil.

The troupe went on to found Le Club des talons hauts (the High Heels Club), and then, in 1982, organized La Fête foraine de Baie-Saint-Paul, a cultural event in which street performers from all over met to exchange ideas and enliven the streets of the town for a few days. La Fête foraine was repeated in 1983 and 1984. Le Club des talons hauts attracted notice, and Guy Laliberté, Gilles Ste-Croix and their cronies began to cherish a crazy dream: to create a Québec circus and take the troupe traveling around the world.

In 1984, Québec City was celebrating the 450th anniversary of Canada’s discovery by Jacques Cartier, and they needed a show that would carry the festivities out across the province. Guy Laliberté presented a proposal for a show called Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun) and succeeded in convincing the organizers. And Cirque du Soleil hasn’t stopped since!

A Few Statistics

  • In 1984, 73 people worked for Cirque du Soleil. Today, the company hires close to 4,000 employees worldwide, including 1,300 artists.

  • At the Montreal International Headquarters alone, there are close to 1,500 employees.

  • More than 100 types of occupations can be found at Cirque.

  • The company’s employees and artists represent more than 50 nationalities and speak 25 different languages.

  • More than 180 million spectators have seen a Cirque du Soleil show since 1984.

  • Close to 10 million have seen a Cirque du Soleil show in 2016.

  • Cirque du Soleil hasn’t received any grants from the public or private sectors since 1992.

Cirque du Soleil’s Areas of Activity

In 2015, Cirque du Soleil will present simultaneously some 20 different shows around the world. The heart of Cirque du Soleil’s activity remains creating live shows and presenting them under big tops, in theatres or arenas. Since 1984 close to 200 creators from the four corners of the globe have contributed their talents to this end. In 2014, in the context of an on-going strategy of diversifying its content and live-entertainment activities worldwide, Cirque du Soleil has created some subsidiaries among which:


45 DEGREES creates and produces custom-made experiential content bringing the unique expertise and creativity of Cirque du Soleil to discerning clients who are seeking high-end creative services and branded entertainment for corporate, public and private events and special projects.

Cirque du Soleil Theatrical

Cirque du Soleil Theatrical will develop unique theatrical opportunities for Cirque du Soleil. Based on traditional theatrical practices, these new productions will be created using the Cirque du Soleil signature style and aesthetic but will provide a very different experience for Cirque du Soleil audiences. Cirque du Soleil Theatrical productions are developed for Broadway and West End markets as well as global touring.


Outbox offers a strong ticket selling tool in some 20 countries and in 10 different languages using signature interactive seat maps, 3D customized venue plans and one page checkout. Outbox leverages its know-how to find customized, innovative and relevant ways to help its clients better sellout seats. Clients are typically major live event global venues or international promoters looking for integrated, specialized solutions. Outbox helps manage ticket window sales, call center service, group sales, season tickets and special events.


4U2C specializes in developing and creating multimedia visual environments that combine video, sound, lighting and special effects both for the stage and for projects on unusual projection surfaces with or without the use of screens.

International Headquarters

Cirque du Soleil’s International Headquarters (IHQ), located in Montreal, is the unique world-class creative laboratory where creators from all disciplines and hailing from the four corners of the world gather to collaborate on various creative projects. Because of its role as a catalyst in bringing talent together, Cirque du Soleil is able to continually renew itself.

General information 

The IHQ is located in Montreal’s Saint-Michel district, (one of the most sensitive neighbourhoods in Canada), adjacent to the former Miron quarry and the Montreal waste sorting and disposal centre. Construction of the IHQ was part of a major urban development project, the Saint-Michel Environmental Complex, in which Cirque du Soleil represents the cultural pole.


Artists training

Upon being hired by Cirque du Soleil, performers come to the Studio at the International Headquarters in Montreal for a few weeks or months of preliminary training before joining a show. The majority of the artists undergo artistic and acrobatic training while at the Creation Studio.

Performers come from a variety of backgrounds, including artistic and acrobatic gymnastics, tumbling, acrosport, swimming, diving, dance, singing, music and, of course, circus arts. Some fifty nationalities are represented among Cirque du Soleil artists.

To supervise performer training programs, the Studio employs close to one hundred trainers from around the world. These trainers specialize in such fields as dance, theatre, singing, and acrobatics. In addition to these coaches and trainers, an interdisciplinary team of highly qualified specialists is made available to each artist, ensuring his physical and psychological well-being. The presence of these experts helps create a controlled and safe environment.

The training rooms

In addition to a physical fitness training room, the Studio houses various acrobatic and artistic training rooms to address the various training needs of the artists.

Three acrobatic training studios:

  • Studio A/B: a 1,425m2 acrobatic training studio that is 23m high. The room is equipped with a technical “trampoline” 18 m above the ground from which acrobatic and technical equipment can be safely hung. The trampoline is made of 38 km of woven metal cabling;
  • Studio C: a 720m2 acrobatic training studio that’s also 23m high, adjacent to the first room;
  • Studio E: a 785m2 acrobatic training studio containing a pit filled with 25,000 Styrofoam cubes (instead of a traditional net), a trampoline and a fast track.

One artistic training studio:

  • Studio D: a 361m2 dance studio divided into four small all-purpose rooms;


Costumes and their props needed for the various Cirque du Soleil shows are created in Montreal, in the production workshops (ateliers) at IHQ. Specialists of every description (including master shoemakers, milliners, textile experts, sewers, lace makers, carpenters, etc.) devote their painstaking labour to making all of the items needed for the shows.

The second IHQ building, called the Workshops, was inaugurated in early 2001. In addition to office space, it houses the production workshops: a large costume shop that includes sewing and fitting rooms as well as space for shoemaking, hat making, textile design and a workshop for costume props and special effects.

Approximately 300 artisans are employed in the workshops making some 16,000 or so items (hats, shoes, dresses, bodysuits, etc.) required for Cirque’s shows. It takes close to 50 kilometres of fabric just to make the costumes, 80% of it is processed and dyed right in the shop by the textile design team.


In 2007, Cirque du Soleil added a third wing to its international headquarters, to quell a pressing need for more administrative space. The expansion, dubbed Le Mât (the mast), houses eight floors of uniquely-designed office spaces and relaxation areas conducive to inspiration. The building is equipped with a rainwater collection system, which will recover enough water for one part of the complex to function independently.


The landscaping at IHQ is highly original. Constantly in motion with seasons, the look of the vegetables garden and other gardens evolve just like the company. In addition to shrubs, apple trees and rosebushes, the gardeners also sowed a vegetable garden in front of the building, complete with various vegetables and herbs. Of course the harvest goes to prepare meals at the cafeteria, and any surplus is given to staff.


Since the summer of 2003, Cirque du Soleil’s International Headquarters complex has included a residence to house artists who are in Montreal for short periods for their acrobatic and artistic training. The building was designed as part of the development of “TOHU,” the circus arts complex in which Cirque du Soleil is a partner.


TOHU is the name of the circus arts complex and the non-profit organization behind it. The organization was created in November 1999 through the initiative of En Piste (the umbrella organization for circus arts professionals, organizations, and institutions in Quebec), Montreal’s International Circus School, and Cirque du Soleil.

TOHU’s main mission is to make Montreal an international circus arts capital, but the organization has broadened its mission over time to include environmental and community components: to actively participate in the revitalization of the Saint-Michel Environmental Complex (the second largest urban landfill site in North America) and to contribute to the cultural, social and economic development of the Saint-Michel neighborhood in Montreal.

More than 15 years after the organization was created, a true “circus arts village” took shape around the perimeter of the Saint-Michel Environmental Complex. TOHU has become one of the world’s foremost hubs for circus arts training, creation, production, and performance. TOHU is sure to make its mark, both for its infrastructure and for its international profile.

About Cirque du Soleil international headquarters:

Architects: Dan S. Hanganu (the Studio), Éric Gauthier (the Ateliers and Le Mât) 
Inauguration: Feb. 1997 (the Studio), Jan. 2001 (the Ateliers), May 2007 (Le Mât) 
Total area of main buildings: 387,500 square feet
Area of grounds: 807,293 square feet
Address: 8400, chosen to echo 1984, the year of Cirque du Soleil’s creation

The Costume Workshop

All Cirque du Soleil costumes are custom-made and the majority are produced at the Costume workshop at the International Headquarters (IHQ). The workshop, the only one of its kind in North America, employs specialists in shoemaking, textile design, lace-making, wig-making, patternmaking, costume-making and millinery. The Costume workshop has approximately 300 full-time employees.


Renowned Designers

To create its costumes, Cirque du Soleil employs the talents of designers renowned both in Canada and abroad. Here is the list of designers who have signed costumes for Cirque du Soleil shows:

Renée April ZED
François Barbeau Dralion and Wintuk
Kym Barrett TOTEM et TORUK – Le premier envol
Stefano Canulli Viva ELVIS
Mérédith Caron CRISS ANGEL Believe and Amaluna
Zaldy Goco Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL and Michael Jackson ONE and VOLTA
Philippe Guillotel The Beatles LOVE, IRIS and Kurios – Cabinet de curiosités
Alan Hranitelj Zarkana
Eiko Ishioka Varekai
James Lavoie JOYÀ
Dominique Lemieux FascinationSaltimbancoMystèreAlegríaQuidam, «O», La NoubaCorteo, ZAIA, Banana Shpeel and SeptiMo Dia
Thierry Mugler Zumanity
Michel Robidas DELIRIUM
Marie-Chantale Vaillancourt KÀ and KOOZA
Liz Vandal OVO


Research and development serving designers

Research and development plays a big role in costume design. Cirque du Soleil is constantly on the lookout for new materials or products that are likely to stimulate the imagination of costume designers. Working with the Workshop's teams of specialists (patternmakers, textile designers, dyers, costume makers, etc.), they produce the designs they have imagined for their show.

There are many aspects to research and development:

  • The various existing technologies are of interest to the specialists, who study the possibility of applying them to costume designing. Certain materials, called starting materials, are used as is, while others are transformed to give texture to a costume, create a special effect or even an illusion. Materials used for dentistry, plumbing, aviation or even water sports may be found in the components of one costume or another.
  • A technological watch is performed on certain types of products (batteries, adhesives, miniature lights, etc.) in order to see how these various elements can be incorporated into a costume and what effect they would have on the weight or maintenance of the costume, for example.


The production of costumes

In 2016, the Costume workshop has produced some 14 000 pieces (bodysuits, hats, wigs, dresses, pants, shoes, etc.) and used close to 30 kilometres of fabric from around the world. 92% of all fabrics are treated and dyed in-house by the artisans of the textile design team. To dye fabric, various techniques are used, such as bath-dyeing, silk-screening (a stencil-based printing process done through a silk screen made), direct application (hand-painted fabric) and sublimation (a process in which an image is changed from a solid into a gas then transferred onto material).

Hats can be seen in every Cirque du Soleil show and are a key part of the costumes. Like the costumes, they are custom-designed and made in the workshop. To do this, precise measurements of each of the artist's heads are taken by a portable scanner and the milliners build the hats with the help of 3D prints obtained with these figures.

Versatility is key in the work of a props person. Cirque du Soleil's team of props people must know how to sculpt, weld, paint, mould, sew and saw, be familiar with such fields as mechanics, electronics and plumbing, demonstrate ingenuity and especially have an artistic approach to all projects.

A wig-making team is also part of the Costume workshop. These artisans master "ventilation," one of the longest and most arduous wig-making techniques, which involves building the wig one hair at the time onto a base using a hook.

Shoes are hand- and custom-made for all artists by the artisans of the Shoe Workshop. The leather pieces are dyed, trimmed and assembled on location. Brand new sports or dance shoes are sometimes altered to meet the specific needs of a costume. Approximately 1,200 pairs of shoes will be produced by the Workshop this year.

With the need to dress 1,300 artists appearing in Cirque du Soleil shows in performance, and costume doubles also required for each, we estimate that nearly 4,500 costumes are found on all show locations every night. Numerous costume replacements for one show or another are made with great care and attention to detail by the Workshop artisans.


Some interesting facts: 

  • Moleskin is the type of Lycra most used at Cirque du Soleil.
  • Among the materials most commonly used in making and designing costume accessories are an array of composite materials such as silicone, latex, plastics, leathers, foams and urethane.
  • In OVO, which is inspired by insects, the dragonfly’s wings are evoked by pants made of veined lace, and the mosquito’s stinger by a ‘Mohawk’ of fine red stems. The ten crickets have detachable legs that break away from their bodies, which give the impression that there is an insect invasion going on.
  • The Bungee costumes used in Mystère each have over 2,000 hand-glued sequins.
  • The wig that takes the longest time to make is the one worn by the Diana character in KÀ. It takes more than four weeks to make such a complex piece. It requires the implementation of two cones on the top and then it is fully ventilated, hair by hair. The wig is then carefully cut and styled. It is renewed four times a year.
  • The Workshop artisans created a continuous spiral effect for the Trickster costume in KOOZA. The same line starts at the hat, goes through the jacket and ends at the shoes. As a result, it echoes the image of some of our big tops to perfection.
  • The Crystal Man is a recurring character in the show TOTEM who represents the life force. His (literally) dazzling costume is entirely covered in small mirrors and crystals to create a ball of energy when he comes down from the sky in a beam of pure white light. The glittering mobile mosaic is made up of about 4,000 mirrors of three different sizes and 155 crystals on a stretch velvet leotard.
  • In Zarkana, the lead singer, who plays three of the four mutants characters, had her entire body, together with the harness she wears throughout the show, scanned with 225 precise measurements. The data were used to produce a cast that minimized the need for in-person costume fittings.
  • In Amaluna, Queen Prospera wears a large golden mantle composed of four rectangles on which are printed in sublimation the cover image of GAIA, the book of photographs taken in space by Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté. It shows a majestic cloud system captured at a distance of 350 km above the earth's surface.
  • The material of the trench coats worn by the “Smooth Criminal” characters in Michael Jackson ONE looks like silk. It is made of a high-end French fabric woven from a plastic material that gives the costume a liquid shine. When the rhythmic gymnasts do cartwheels, their coat seem to hang in the air, emphasizing their graceful, swirling motions.
  • To make the Accordion Man’s attire from KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities, the costume- maker spent an entire week sewing inside the costume!
  • To create the Master of Water character in JOYÀ, the coral effect on the hand-balancing artist’s costume gives the impression that her body has gradually been taken over by sea whips and other types of coral. It is the result of a long and arduous process of hand sewing pieces of fabric to create textures that could well be found in the natural world.
  • The flowers of the Tawkami costumes in TORUK – The First Flight require 437 yards of fabric and 120 fishing rods.
  • One of the singer’s dresses in LUZIA is fit with 98 white, individually programmed flowers, each one equipped with a small motor. When the flowers open their petals, they reveal their red interior, thus triggering the metamorphosis. The dress weighs a whopping 9 kg.
  • For PARAMOUR, 80% of the costumes are made with sublimated fabrics, which means that more than 1000 yards had to go through the sublimation process.

Cirque du Soleil history

Creation of Cirque du Soleil 

It all started in Baie-Saint-Paul, a small town near Quebec City, in Canada. There, in the early eighties, a band of colourful characters roamed the streets, striding on stilts, juggling, dancing, breathing fire, and playing music. They were Les Échassiers de Baie-Saint-Paul (the Baie-Saint-Paul Stiltwalkers), a street theatre group founded by Gilles Ste-Croix. Already, the townsfolk were impressed and intrigued by the young performers – who included one Guy Laliberté who became founder of Cirque du Soleil.

The troupe went on to found Le Club des talons hauts (the High Heels Club), and then, in 1982, organized La Fête foraine de Baie-Saint-Paul, a cultural event in which street performers from all over met to exchange ideas and enliven the streets of the town for a few days. La Fête foraine was repeated in 1983 and 1984. Le Club des talons hauts attracted notice, and Guy Laliberté, Gilles Ste-Croix and their cronies began to cherish a crazy dream: to create a Quebec circus and take the troupe travelling around the world.

In 1984, Quebec City was celebrating the 450th anniversary of Canada’s discovery by Jacques Cartier, and they needed a show that would carry the festivities out across the province. Guy Laliberté presented a proposal for a show called Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun), and succeeded in convincing the organizers. And Cirque du Soleilhasn’t stopped since!


Cirque du Soleil is born with the assistance of the Quebec government, as part of the celebrations surrounding the 450th anniversary of Jacques Cartier’s arrival in Canada. The first production, Le Grand Tour debuts in the small Quebec town of Gaspé, and is then performed in 10 other cities throughout the province. The first blue-and-yellow big top seats 800.


After performing in Montreal, Sherbrooke and Quebec City, with Le Grand Tour, Cirque du Soleil leaves its home province for the first time to take its show to neighbouring Ontario. It performs in Ottawa, Toronto and Niagara Falls and the show is simply named Cirque du Soleil.


Cirque du Soleil takes La Magie Continue across Canada, including Vancouver, where it puts on several performances at the Children’s Festival and Expo 86 and in seven other Canadian cities. The big top now has room for 1,500 spectators.


Having triumphed in five cities in Quebec, We Reinvent the Circus is performed at the Los Angeles Art Festival and then moves on to San Diego and Santa Monica. Exhilarated by the Californian public's response, Cirque du Soleil is an overnight success. The participation of Cirque du Soleil at the L.A Art Festival is not only an important milestone in its history but also its first visit to its American neighbours.


We Reinvent the Circus continues its North American tour, after a brief appearance at the Calgary Winter Olympics. Wherever it goes, the result is the same: the performances sell out, and the critics rave.


Montreal is the setting for the world premiere of a brand-new production, Nouvelle Expérience, in a new, 2,500-seat big top. With this new production, Cirque du Soleilshatters all previous records for ticket sales. Meanwhile, Cirque makes its first foray into Europe, staging We Reinvent the Circus in London and Paris.


Fascination, a collage of the best acts from past shows, enables Cirque to make a name for itself in Japan. The show opens in Tokyo and then moves on to seven other cities. Meanwhile, in Europe, Cirque du Soleil joins forces with Switzerland's Circus Knie and stages a show in over 60 towns throughout the country. In North America, 1992 sees Cirque du Soleil make its Las Vegas debut when Nouvelle Expérience kicks off a year-long engagement under a big top at the Mirage Hotel. Cirque du Soleiladds a monument to its repertoire of shows: Saltimbanco. Premiering in Montreal, this latest production begins a lengthy tour of North America.


Following the successful Las Vegas run of Nouvelle Expérience, Cirque du Soleil moves into a theatre built to its specifications at the new Treasure Island Hotel. A 10-year contract is signed with Mirage Resorts to stage Mystère, a gigantic production befitting this show business capital.


Cirque du Soleil celebrates its 10th anniversary with another production, Alegria. True to tradition, the world premiere is held in Montreal. Saltimbanco embarks on a six- month run in Tokyo that attracts a great deal of attention.


Cirque du Soleil responds to a request from the Canadian government and creates a show for the heads of state gathered at the G7 Summit in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Also in 1995, Saltimbanco sets out to open officially the European market. Cirque's spectacular white big top with seating for 2,500 spectators makes its first stop in Amsterdam, followed by Munich, Berlin, Düsseldorf, and Vienna.


In April, Cirque launches Quidam in Montreal. After finishing its hometown run, Quidam heads off on a North American tour. Meanwhile, Alegria sets out to tour Japan for a few months.


In Montreal, the inauguration of the brand new International Headquarters is held; the Studio is now where all of Cirque's shows will be created and produced.


In October, the second resident show for Cirque du Soleil, “O”, takes to the stage of a new theatre at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. This production is Cirque's first aquatic show and an important milestone in the company history. With this show, Cirque is now known internationally. In December of the same year, Cirque inaugurates yet another permanent show, La Nouba, at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida.


A brand-new Cirque du Soleil production, Dralion, launches its North American tour in Montreal. With Saltimbanco, Cirque sets up shop in Asia and the Pacific.


Movie fans come out in droves to see Cirque du Soleil on the IMAX screen for the first time ever, as its large-format film production Journey of Man (Passages in French), distributed by Sony Pictures Classics, premieres worldwide.


Cirque du Soleil keeps on growing with the inauguration of a 15, 000-square-metre addition (Les Ateliers) to its International Headquarters in Montreal.


In April, a fifth touring show is added to the seven Cirque du Soleil shows already performing simultaneously in 2002. Varekai premieres in Montreal, and from there begins a tour of North America. Cirque du Soleil made its first stop in Mexico this year with Alegriá. Cirque’s Multimedia Division, called Cirque du Soleil Images at the time, produces its first television series, Cirque du Soleil Fire Within, for the Canadian and American television market.


The newest addition to the Cirque family, Zumanity is born in August. It is an adults- only resident show at the New York-New York Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The filming of a new television series—the first to be produced entirely by Cirque du Soleil Images—is wrapped up in the late summer. This unique family TV series brings together acrobatic acts within a dramatic comedy framework. The series is aimed at international television markets, including Canada and the United States.


Cirque du Soleil celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2004. A number of events mark the occasion: among other things, a book is launched, entitled 20 Years Under the Sun, which recounts the unusual history of Cirque du Soleil step by step, and Cirque sets the first Guinness World Record for the largest number of stilt-walkers (544) at the same time and place. Cirque du Soleil launches a new resident show, KÀ, in the fall at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.


The year 2005 is marked by the Montreal launch and world premiere of Corteo, Cirque’s latest touring show. In July, Montreal hosts the XI FINA World Aquatic Championships, for which Cirque du Soleil creates the opening ceremony show.


Cirque du Soleil first-ever musical show in arena, DELIRIUM, premiered in Montreal in January and has begun its US tour. Cirque du Soleil is also preparing a fifth permanent show in Las Vegas: The Beatles LOVE, which celebrates the musical legacy of the Beatles and premieres in June at The Mirage. After touring in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, Cirque du Soleil has set out to make a name for itself in South America by presenting its show Saltimbanco in Chile, Argentina and Brazil in 2006.

Cirque du Soleil has entered into an exclusive agreement with CKX Inc..


KOOZA, a new touring show, is launched in Montreal in April 2007. In February, Cirque du Soleil puts on a pre-game show performance for Super Bowl XLI in Miami. In November, Cirque presents Wintuk, a show designed exclusively for the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York. Starting in 2007, this seasonal show has been performed for 10 weeks for four years. Cirque du Soleil has also launched a fiction/non- fiction book entitled TheSpark, which invites readers to discover the power of creativity and imagination and apply it in their own lives. Written by John Bacon and based on an original idea by Lyn Heward, the book is distributed in several countries. After having toured for 14 years and being performed before more than 9.5 million spectators, Saltimbanco is reborn in July as it takes off on an arena tour of more than 40 cities in Canada and the U.S.


This was an historical year for Cirque du Soleil as the company launched three new permanent shows that year: ZAIA at The Venetian Hotel in Macau (China), ZED at the Tokyo Disney Resort in Tokyo (Japan) and CRISS ANGEL Believe at The Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas (United States). Cirque du Soleil also created a show-event presented at Colisée Pepsi in Quebec City in the scope of the 400th anniversary of the city. Istithmar World, the investment arm of Dubai World, and Nakheel have together acquired a 20 per cent stake in Cirque du Soleil.


Cirque du Soleil celebrates its 25th anniversary and launches the 25th production of its history. This new creation, OVO premieres in Montreal in April. The publication of a book on Cirque costumes and the launch of a double CD containing a music compilation, are among the commemorative activities of this anniversary.

In September 2009, Guy Laliberté became the first Canadian private space explorer. His mission was dedicated to raising awareness on water issues facing humankind on planet earth. Under the theme Moving Stars and Earth for Water, this first Poetic Social Mission in space aimed at touching people through an artistic approach: a special 120-minute webcast program featuring various artistic performances unfolding in 14 cities on five continents, including the International Space Station.


Cirque du Soleil launches three new productions in 2010. Viva ELVIS, Cirque’s seventh show in Las Vegas begins in February at ARIA Resort & Casino. Banana Shpeel is presented from November 2009 to June 27, 2010 in Chicago and New York. In April, TOTEM, first show designed to adapt to various performance spaces such as Big Top and arenas, celebrates its world premiere in Montreal. Cirque du Soleil, James Cameron (Titanic, AVATAR), and Andrew Adamson (Shrek, Chronicles of Narnia), joined their creative forces to develop and produce immersive theatrical 3D projects. In November, Cirque du Soleil’s founder, Guy Laliberté gets a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Cirque du Soleil will launch three new shows: Zarkana, written and directed by acclaimed film and theatre director François Girard will begin at the legendary Radio City Music Hall in New York City on June 9. Written and directed by director-choreographer Philippe Decouflé, IRIS created exclusively for the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center will begin on July 21. The show Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour™ written and directed by Jamie King will begin in Montreal on October 2nd.


Cirque du Soleil launched a new touring show in Montreal called Amaluna. The company has developed a new creative and production service dedicated to businesses and artists wanting to call on Cirque du Soleil’s creative know-how for their projects. Within that context, Cirque du Soleil collaborated with pop star Madonna providing artistic direction services for her performance at the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show. In December, Cirque du Soleil and Bell Media created a new joint venture to develop media content for television, film, digital, and gaming platforms. Cirque du Soleil Media’s mandate is to develop original entertainment projects, leveraging Cirque du Soleil’s creative inventiveness and resources, consumer insight, and infrastructure, with Bell Media’s production experience, media platforms, and diverse distribution capabilities.


Cirque du Soleil launched a new resident production inspired by pop icon Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson ONE, at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas. Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL show ranked among the 10 more lucrative tours of rock history, a first for a Canadian artist.


Cirque du Soleil celebrates its 30th anniversary and launched a new touring show in April in Montreal, Kurios – Cabinet de curiosités. In November, Cirque opened a new resident show in Riviera Maya (Mexico), JOYÀ, in a custom-designed theatre. In December, as part of its 30th anniversary, and for the first time in its history, Cirque du Soleil presents a unique, exclusive music event in Montreal celebrating 30 years of music.

In the context of an on-going strategy of diversifying its content and live-entertainment activities worldwide, Cirque du Soleil has created some 10 subsidiaries among which: 45 DEGREES, Cirque du Soleil Hospitality, Cirque du Soleil Theatrical, 4U2C, Cirque du Soleil Média and Outbox.


Cirque du Soleil announced an agreement under which TPG, a global private investment firm, was to acquire a majority stake in Cirque du Soleil to fuel growth and take Cirque’s iconic blue and yellow big top to exciting new markets.

On December 21, Cirque du Soleil launched TORUK – The First Flight, an arena-touring show inspired by the world of James Cameron’s history-making motion picture AVATAR.


Two new productions launched in April: LUZIA, a touring show under the big top inspired by the rich Mexican culture launched in Montreal, and PARAMOUR, a production created specifically for Broadway presented at the Lyric Theatre in New York.


In March, a new arena show will begin a South American tour. This show called Sep7imo Dia is inspired by the music of a popular band from Argentina, Soda Stereo. The most recent touring show VOLTA, inspired by action sports, will lift its marquee at the Old Port of Montreal in April.

The international success story known as Cirque du Soleil is, above all, the story of a remarkable bond between performers and spectators the world over. For at the end of the day, it is the spectators who spark the creative passions of Cirque du Soleil.