© TQ/D.Poulin

Circus in Québec

Circus arts have become a cultural phenomenon in Québec, world capital of the form. Québec circus began its dizzying rise in 1984 with the foundation of Cirque du Soleil by Guy Laliberté and Daniel Gauthier, two innovative entrepreneurs who reinvented the discipline by eliminating animal acts and focusing on music, theatrics, acrobatics and aerial feats. Today, Cirque du Soleil alone presents well over a dozen themed shows and nearly as many touring productions, performed all around the world. Circus arts as a whole in Québec have only continued to evolve and garner international acclaim.

Québec flying high

Beyond Cirque du Soleil, Cirque Éloize has also enjoyed great success thanks to its innovative performances and unique staging. The province is home to endless shows, festivals and events throughout the year. You can even embark on a circus-centric dinner cruise. In other words, when it comes to high-flying acrobatics, Québec isn’t coming down any time soon!

Circus arts have even made an impact on schools in the province. Québec is now home to a wealth of specialized educational programs and institutions, including TOHU – Cité des arts du Cirque, which promotes sharing, creativity, experimentation and learning. The organization presents circus shows and other performances.

© TQ/J-F.Hamelin
Cirque du Soleil © TQ/A.Quenneville

Events you won’t want to miss:

Montréal Cirque Festival
The city comes alive with fun and surprises! Streets, parks, sidewalks and venues provide a stage for colourful shows. Enjoy audience participation, international entertainers, outdoor circus performances and endless magic!

Québec City
Féria by FLIP Fabrique
This summer, FLIP Fabrique invites you to enter a realm where dreams become reality. The troupe’s innovative artistry and delightful lyricism translate into a show to stir your mind, body and soul. A free outdoor event!

Festival Détour
Drumroll. Silence. The acrobat launches, spinning, into a double somersault and executes a hair-raising landing. The audience explodes with applause, faces beaming. This festival celebrates circus in the heart of nature, welcoming artists from across the province to amaze audiences of all ages!

Le Festif de Baie-Saint-Paul
This festival hosts lively musical and circus performances at over 20 different event sites in the heart of downtown Baie-Saint-Paul. Founded and run by a dynamic team of youths, this is considered an essential Québec event.

Cirque du Soleil – A Tribute to Les Cowboys Fringants
This show combines circus performances with the music of Québécois band Les Cowboys Fringants.

NEZHA, The Pirate Child – Cirque Éloize
The rightful heir of the Red Flags must confront her destiny and become the most powerful pirate of all time! This family-friendly production from Cirque Éloize is staged at Cité de l’énergie’s revolving, covered and heated outdoor amphitheatre, rain or shine.

Festival de cirque Vaudreuil-Dorion
This festival presents performances by circus artists and big names in music in Québec, free circus workshops, an amusement park, a parade of locals, fireworks, street food and more!


Cirque du Soleil © TQ/A.Quenneville