March 29, 2012 – An uncontested global leader when it comes to circus arts, the TOHU is so much more than just a venue: aside from its full calendar of original shows and events, the large complex is also home to one of the world’s most prestigious circus arts training facilities.
A shining beacon of the Montréal’s fertile creativity, this epicentre of acrobatic prowess is emblematic of innovation, imagination and sustainability on every level. Its transformable circular performance pavilion – the only one of its kind in Canada – is as remarkable for its green architecture as its diversified offering. All year long, performances from here and abroad grace its state-of-the-art stage, with the very best touring shows in the world stopping to delight local audiences.
It goes without saying that TOHU is the home base of Quebec’s legendary circus giant, the Cirque du Soleil. In addition, it houses the celebrated National Circus School, where emerging artists continuously push the limit of human potential and drive the future of circus arts.
What’s more, thanks to the TOHU, in conjunction with a group of daring partners, the circus comes to town every summer with the advent of MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CIRQUE. The world’s first annual international circus festival – born in Montréal, of course – takes over the city, its streets and venues, to bring the ultimate in circus artistry to the people. Wonderfully eclectic, free or not, indoor or outdoor, on a stage or under the big top, the performances draw an increasing number of festival-goers each year, all delighted to discover the incredible diversity of this international art free of cultural barriers. It is yet another demonstration of why Montréal is renowned as the Circus Arts Capital of the world.
And finally, the TOHU must be recognized for its commitment to both the environment and the community. The organization chose to set up in a former urban landfill site, and, with active neighbourhood support, to transform it into the present Saint-Michel Environmental Complex. The site now includes an economic and cultural centre along with a vast urban park.