A circus town, and proud of it!

Before the Cirque du Soleil arrived on the scene in the 1980s, there had been little interest in the circus arts. But things really began to take off when this Quebec company scored its first international successes!

Thirty years later, the circus industry in Montreal has grown to such an extent that today it generates some $850 million in revenues while providing employment for hundreds of people. The city even boasts the Montréal Cirque Festival, presented this year from July 4 to 14, during which you can catch circus artists performing throughout the city, in the streets, parks and various venues.

Montreal proudly vaunts the presence of more than 20 circus companies, including:

Throw2Catch

It really didn’t take a crystal ball to figure out that Samuel Roy would pursue a career in the circus industry. Only six when he got his first introduction to this art at the École de cirque de Verdun, he went on to study at theNational Circus School of Montreal andhas since toured the world with Cirque du Soleil, Éloize and The 7 Fingers.

In 2005, he founded his own company, Throw2Catch, which has performed street shows in Asia, Europe and America. The company’s repertoire includes dazzling acrobatic acts, dance, music, juggling, contortion and surrealist illusions, among other disciplines, all of which are presented with singular and surprising originality. This summer, Throw2Catch will present their zany yet sophisticated show Made in Kouglistan in various outdoor venues in Montreal.

Founded in 2005 by Samuel Roy.

Artistic directors: Barthélémy Glumineau, Gisle Henriet and Guillaume Biron.

throw2catch.com

The 7 Fingers

This creative collective has been enjoying a stellar international reputation ever since it appeared in the opening or closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games (Sochi, Vancouver and Turin). The company’s 2019 calendar is already full, with shows booked in some 20 cities in Chile, Switzerland, France, Russia, the Netherlands, the United States and Canada.

The 7 Fingers built their unique brand by mixing the genres of acrobatics andtheatricality with multiple circus disciplines. They further develop their company in their creation and production centre in the Quartier des spectacles.

The collective presents its show Bosch Dreamsfrom July 4 to 11, at the Salle Pierre-Mercure.

Founded in 2002 by Shana Carroll, Isabelle Chassé, Patrick Léonard, Sébastien Soldevila, Faon Shane, Gypsy Snider and Samuel Tétreault.

7doigts.com

Cavalia

Cavalia isn’t a circus company in the true sense of the word, at least not the circus that we’re traditionally used to seeing. The stars of Cavalia are mostly horses—70, to be precise. Under a huge white tent, they share the spotlight with about 50 riders and acrobats, and offer audiences two hours of mesmerizing entertainment, with spectacular special effects, sensational multimedia projections and rhythmic music.

Every show presented by the troupe today, including Voltige, Cavaliaand Odysséo, has met with resounding success and the acclaim of eight million spectators around the globe!

Founded in 2003 by Dominique Day and Normand Latourelle.

cavalia.com

Cirque Éloize

Since its founding in 1993, Éloize has produced some 15 shows, which have been presented in a multitude of cities around the world. Currently, the troupe is performing four of them, both at home and abroad: Hotel; Serge Fiori, Seul Ensemble (a tribute to the works of Serge Fiori); Nezha, the Pirate Child and Saloon.

What makes their shows so enthralling is the audacity and innovative spirit of their performers, which include acrobat-cyclists, acrobat-gymnasts, jugglers, balancing performers, trapeze artists and tightrope walkers. In fact, the world of the circus owes a debt of gratitude to one of Cirque Éloize’s founders, Daniel Cyr for the invention of the Cyr Wheel, an immense steel hoop that a performerstands inside while grasping its rim,causing it to roll and spin. This discipline is now a staple in the vast majority of circus programs.

Founded in 1993 by Daniel Cyr, Jeannot Painchaud, Alain Boudreau, Sylvette Boudreau, Jeannot Chiasson, Robert Bourgeois and Damien Boudreau.

Cirque-eloize.com

Cirque du Soleil

The most famous circus on the planet really needs no introduction. With about 10 shows currently touring all the continents and some 4,000 employees, including 1,300 artists, the Cirque du Soleil is one of, if not the largest circuscompany in the world.

Since its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil has created 32 mega shows along with scores of productions for various events. Founded in the small townof Baie-Saint-Paul, this company has literally revolutionized the art of the circus. Its formula of incredibly talented acrobat-slash-actors, magnificent, richly coloured costumes, stunning make-up, other worldly characters, wonderful music, catchy songs, spectacular acts and original stories has opened wide the doors of countries around the globe. Anyone who’s ever experienced the wonder of a Cirque du Soleil event will tell you it is simply magical.

And to think this whole story started with a band of stiltwalkers and in a little coastal village in the Charlevoix region.

Founded in 1984 by Guy Laliberté and Daniel Gauthier.

cirquedusoleil.com