Cirque du Soleil turns 25 and...THE DREAM CONTINUES
Montreal, February 18, 2009
Cirque du Soleil is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2009 with the theme "the dream continues." Since June 16, 1984, this young Quebec company has never stopped dreaming. For Cirque, 2009 marks 25 years of dreaming, daring, and pushing the limits.
For Guy Laliberté and his original street-performer friends, dreams have been a part of 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, to live out their dreams and, especially, to never stop believing in those dreams. "Twenty-five years later, the dream continues, and these celebrations will kick off the 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 sealed our success," he continues.
Cirque and ONE DROP in the future
Cirque du Soleil will, of course, continue to pursue its dream by creating new shows, but Guy Laliberté also wants ONE DROP to continue to forge ahead in the future. With its participation in a number of varied activities, 2009 promises to be a turning point with the addition of various activities related to the ONE DROP Foundation, to which Cirque du Soleil will provide its support:
At each official opening of its new show Cirque 2009 (working title), in Montreal, Quebec City and Toronto, Cirque du Soleil will break with tradition and, for the very first time, organize a 25th anniversary gala evening to benefit the ONE DROP Foundation. Each of these three special evenings will culminate in a unique celebration under the company's 25th anniversary theme and colours.
To raise public awareness of the urgency and necessity of using water responsibly, the ONE DROP Foundation will launch its AQUA project at the Montreal Science Centre on April 14, 2009. People will be invited to dive into the 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 launching new 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 in April. It is a foray into the insect world, a link that is essential to the balance of the planet's ecosystem. Coincidentally, Cirque 2009 is the 25th show created by Cirque du Soleil since 1984!
A show about Elvis
This is a new Cirque du Soleil resident show that will be playing at ARIA Resort & Casino at CityCenter in Las Vegas as of December 2009. The production will pay tribute to Elvis' music and life, fusing dance and acrobatics, live music and iconic tracks, nostalgia and modernity, high technology and raw emotion. In short, the show will be in Elvis' image: powerful, sexy, whimsical and 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 at the 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 its 25th anniversary:
L'Éveil du géant in Baie-Saint-Paul
L'Éveil du géant is an event honouring the Échassiers de la Baie, the original troupe that would become Cirque du Soleil. This event is organized by the city of Baie-Saint-Paul. Several activities related to this event will be held in this city between May and October.
The Old Port of Montréal Corporation
The Old Port of Montréal Corporation will mark 25 years of working with Cirque du Soleil with the inauguration of a new, permanent activity along the Quays, starting in the spring of 2009. The Corporation wishes to highlight what circus arts in general bring to the cultural life of Montreal while recognizing what Cirque du Soleil in particular contributes to the city's culture, 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 its 25th edition with a magnificent 45-minute tribute show combining the magic of fireworks with that of Cirque and its musican evening that promises to light up the sky for the hundreds of thousands of spectators expected 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 25th anniversaries, Cirque du Soleil will once again be on hand at the bike fest in 2009.
In the town of Gaspé, on June 16, 1984, Cirque du Soleil gave its very first performance as part of the 450th anniversary celebrations of the discovery of Canada. The history books tell us that Jacques Cartier disembarked in Gaspé in 1534; the town of Gaspé therefore wants to pay special tribute to Cirque 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 du Soleil in May. Contestants will have to answer questions about Cirque du Soleil, 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 its employees, artists and artisans. The company's success is largely due to the passion of its employees. Among the activities planned are:
Stilt-walking Guinness world record
In 2004, employees at Cirque du Soleil International Headquarters in Montreal set the first Guinness world record for the most stilt-walkers together in one place at the same time. The Japanese beat this record in 2006! 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 major challenge.
Inspired by popular quiz shows such as Génies en herbe and Reach for the Top, CirQuiz is a friendly competition between teams of employees wanting to put their knowledge of the company to the test.
A book on Cirque costumes
As a tribute to the contribution, passion and know-how of the costume designers and craftspeople at Cirque du Soleil, this fall the company plans to 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 shows created over the past 25 years.
To mark Cirque's 25 years in music, a double CD containing 25 tracks compiled 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 anniversary of Cirque du Soleil as they celebrate their own milestones. FUJI (partner of the Corteo tour in Japan) is one of them. The company is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The port of Santa Monica, California, where the Cirque du Soleil big top will be set up for KOOZA in the fall, is another: it is celebrating its centenary in 2009.
The end of celebrations in 2010
Various other projects will mark the 25th anniversary of Cirque du Soleil in 2009. But it is during an important event to be held in a foreign city in 2010 that celebrations commemorating this key anniversary will officially come to a close and that the next 25 years of Cirque's history will begin.