Cirque 25: “The Dream Continues”

Cirque du Soleil turns 25 and…THE DREAM CONTINUES

Montreal, February 18, 2009 — Cirque du Soleil is celebrating its 25th anniversary in2009 with the theme “the dream continues.” Since June 16, 1984, this youngQuebec company has never stopped dreaming. For Cirque, 2009 marks 25 yearsof dreaming, daring, and pushing the limits.

For Guy Laliberté and his original street-performer friends, dreams have been a partof the troupe’s philosophy from the very beginning. The motivation behind this happy group that would eventually become a high-quality international artistic entertainment company has always been to take the adventure ever further, tolive out their dreams and, especially, to never stop believing in those dreams.“Twenty-five years later, the dream continues, and these celebrations will kick offthe next 25 years,” says Guy Laliberté, Founder of Cirque du Soleil.

“Our journey over the last 25 years was scattered with opportunities, some of which we decided to take, and others we found better to pass on. These choices sealedour success,” he continues.

“Without being extravagant, 2009 will be a festive year for Cirque du Soleil,” headds. “We will celebrate this milestone with sobriety and humility. First internally,with those who have contributed to the success of Cirque du Soleil, and then withthe various Quebec communities who have decided to pay us tribute.” The celebrations will unfold in keeping with this community spirit, as it speaks to Cirque’s origins.

Cirque and ONE DROP in the future
Cirque du Soleil will, of course, continue to pursue its dream by creating newshows, but Guy Laliberté also wants ONE DROP to continue to forge ahead in thefuture. With its participation in a number of varied activities, 2009 promises to be aturning point with the addition of various activities related to the ONE DROPFoundation, to which Cirque du Soleil will provide its support:

Benefit events
At each official opening of its new show Cirque 2009 (working title), inMontreal, Quebec City and Toronto, Cirque du Soleil will break with traditionand, for the very first time, organize a 25th anniversary gala evening tobenefit the ONE DROP Foundation. Each of these three special evenings willculminate in a unique celebration under the company’s 25th anniversarytheme and colours.

To raise public awareness of the urgency and necessity of using waterresponsibly, the ONE DROP Foundation will launch its AQUA project at theMontreal Science Centre on April 14, 2009. People will be invited to dive intothe world of water and experience it in an unprecedented way.

New show launches
In addition to developing several other projects, Cirque du Soleil will be launchingnew shows in 2009 that are not specifically tied to the company’s 25th anniversary:

Cirque 2009 (working title)
Cirque 2009 is a new touring show opening in the Old Port of Montreal inApril. It is a foray into the insect world, a link that is essential to the balanceof the planet’s ecosystem. Coincidentally, Cirque 2009 is the 25th showcreated by Cirque du Soleil since 1984!

A show about Elvis
This is a new Cirque du Soleil resident show that will be playing atCityCenter’s Aria hotel in Las Vegas as of December 2009. The productionaims to pay tribute to Elvis’ music and life, fusing dance and acrobatics, livemusic and iconic tracks, nostalgia and modernity, high technology and rawemotion. In short, the show will be in Elvis’ image: powerful, sexy, whimsicaland truly unique.

Tributes to Cirque du Soleil
Over the last 25 years, people from all over the world have been paying tribute to Cirque du Soleil. Cirque, however, has never lost sight of its humble beginnings atthe Baie-Saint-Paul street festival known as “La Fête foraine” in the 1980s.

A few organizations have offered to pay tribute to Cirque du Soleil in honour of its25th anniversary:

L’Éveil du géant in Baie-Saint-Paul
L’Éveil du géant is an event honouring the Échassiers de la Baie, the originaltroupe that would become Cirque du Soleil. This event is organized by thecity of Baie-Saint-Paul. Several activities related to this event will be held inthis city between May and October.

The Old Port of Montréal Corporation
The Old Port of Montréal Corporation will mark 25 years of working withCirque du Soleil with the inauguration of a new, permanent activity alongthe Quays, starting in the spring of 2009. The Corporation wishes to highlightwhat circus arts in general bring to the cultural life of Montreal whilerecognizing what Cirque du Soleil in particular contributes to the city’sculture, economy and tourism industry.

Loto-Québec International Fireworks competition at La Ronde,presented by TELUS
With the support of Loto-Québec and the participation of Cirque du Soleil,the most prestigious pyrotechnic art competition in the world will close its25th edition with a magnificent 45-minute tribute show combining themagic of fireworks with that of Cirque and its music—an evening thatpromises to light up the sky for the hundreds of thousands of spectatorsexpected in and around Montreal’s La Ronde.

Montreal Tour de l’Île
In 1987, Cirque du Soleil was at the starting line of Montreal’s Tour de l’Île,providing encouragement to all the riders. In honour of our respective 25thanniversaries, Cirque du Soleil will once again be on hand at the bike fest in2009.

In the town of Gaspé, on June 16, 1984, Cirque du Soleil gave its very firstperformance as part of the 450th anniversary celebrations of the discoveryof Canada. The history books tell us that Jacques Cartier disembarked inGaspé in 1534; the town of Gaspé therefore wants to pay special tribute toCirque du Soleil on June 16, 2009.

The Radio-Canada Tous pour un TV show
Radio-Canada’s Tous pour un will dedicate an entire show to Cirque duSoleil in May. Contestants will have to answer questions about Cirque duSoleil, its history and its activities. The episode will air on May 6, 2009.

A few commemorative activities
It goes without saying that Cirque du Soleil will celebrate its 25th anniversary with itsemployees, artists and artisans. The company’s success is largely due to thepassion of its employees. Among the activities planned are:

Stilt-walking Guinness world record
In 2004, employees at Cirque du Soleil International Headquarters inMontreal set the first Guinness world record for the most stilt-walkerstogether in one place at the same time. The Japanese beat this record in2006! The 25th anniversary is the perfect opportunity to set a new record.This time, claiming back the title from Cirque du Soleil will be a majorchallenge.

CirQuiz tournament
Inspired by popular quiz shows such as Génies en herbe and Reach for theTop, CirQuiz is a friendly competition between teams of employees wantingto put their knowledge of the company to the test.

Clown noses given to all spectators on June 16
On June 16, everyone attending any Cirque du Soleil show anywhere in theworld will receive a clown nose, which they will all be asked to wear atsome point during the performance as a nod to Cirque’s 25-year history.

A book on Cirque costumes
As a tribute to the contribution, passion and know-how of the costumedesigners and craftspeople at Cirque du Soleil, this fall the company plansto publish a book in several languages featuring the costumes of its shows.This book is an overview of the quarter-century of Cirque du Soleil history,celebrated through the heritage of the costumes from the 25 showscreated over the past 25 years.

Double CD
To mark Cirque’s 25 years in music, a double CD containing 25 trackscompiled from the entire show catalogue will be launched during 2009.

Business partners acknowledge the anniversary of Cirque du Soleil
Some of our business partners would also like to acknowledge the 25th anniversaryof Cirque du Soleil as they celebrate their own milestones. FUJI (partner of theCorteo tour in Japan) is one of them. The company is celebrating its 50thanniversary this year. The port of Santa Monica, California, where the Cirque duSoleil big top will be set up for KOOZA in the fall, is another: it is celebrating itscentenary in 2009.

The end of celebrations in 2010
Various other projects will mark the 25th anniversary of Cirque du Soleil in 2009. Butit is during an important event to be held in a foreign city in 2010 that celebrationscommemorating this key anniversary will officially come to a close and that thenext 25 years of Cirque’s history will begin.

{ SOURCE: Cirque du Soleil }