Troupes and performers from near and far take the cultural metropolis by storm for a summer event not to be missed.
MONTRÉAL CiRQUE FESTIVAL features circus shows in all shapes and sizes – some for families, some for late-night thrill seekers – but no matter what, expect to be amazed and delighted by international and local performers doing what they do best in a city known to push the limits of circus.
The 7th edition of MONTRÉAL CiRQUE FESTIVAL, July 7–17, 2016
Official Social Media
Various locations, including TOHU, one of the world’s largest circus arts centres, and Place Émilie-Gamelin and St-Denis Street in the Quartier des Spectacles downtown, plus neighbourhood shows city-wide.
How to Get There
For downtown outdoor venues, take the metro to Berri-UQAM, or Place d’Armes for Old Montréal. For TOHU, located at 2345 Jarry East (above Highway 40 east of Papineau Avenue), take the metro’s blue line to Iberville station and bus 94 north or the metro’s orange line to Jarry station and bus 193 east. If driving, pay parking is available on site.
What to Bring
A sense of humour to go with your sense of adventure.
What not to Bring
A fear of clowns.
What to Wear
Sunglasses, sunscreen and silly hats for daytime outdoor shows. Casual chic for indoor shows – it may be the circus, but it’s still stylish Montréal.
Outdoor Schedule at a Glance
July 7 / Opening night of Fracas at Place Émilie-Gamelin, featuring dozens of acrobats in the air and in the streets, spectacularly performing to a classical-meets-electro soundtrack, every night until July 17.
July 7–17 / Saint-Denis Street in the Latin Quarter closes to traffic for La rue COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE, giving everyone a chance to try the tightrope, trapeze and more circus arts, and to see performances by Les MINUTES COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE and other artists.
July 9–10 / The Week-End Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve celebrates the Olympic Park’s 40th anniversary by taking over the outdoor Esplanade with shows, workshops and a Mini Olympics!
July 9–10 / Ville-Marie Week-end turns Parc des Faubourgs under the Jacques-Cartier bridge into a fun house with Cirque Carpe Diem’s aerial show and trapeze workshops
July 12–13 / Indoors at Complexe Desjardins downtown see parts of Cirque Carpe Diem’s family-friendly Fête foraine and try the trapeze, juggling and more (see the whole show during Week-end Rosemont Petite Patrie, July 16–17 at Le Château de Cirque near Jean-Talon Market.)
July 13–18 / With 15 classic rides and all the cotton candy you can eat, thrills abound for young and old alike at Amusements Spectaculaires mini amusement park at TOHU, also where the Week-End Saint-Michel welcomes kids of all ages to join in circus activities and shows such as Catalan performance Pelat, July 16-17.
July 15 / Relax at the festival’s Plateau Mont-Royal Evening at Jeanne-Mance Park (adjacent to Mount-Royal Park), with interactive workshops, parades and the Made in Kouglistan show by Throw2catch at 7 pm.
Indoor Show Picks
Transit, by Flip FabriQue – Bring the whole family to the world premier of this acclaimed Québecois troupe’s charming and dynamic new show featuring multi-talented acrobats who’ve also worked in Cirque du Soleil and Cirque Éloize.
Hair dryer’s opera, by Blizzard Concept – Laugh it up with this French duo of comedian-magicians who can and will juggle almost anything, including hair dryers.
Pss Pss, by Compagnia Baccalà – An award-winning Swiss-Italian clown duo adept at storytelling, physical comedy and acrobatic surprises.
Bromance, by Barely Methodical Troupe – This UK trio of jokers and daredevils bros out with a wink, a nod and a more than a few daring feats.
Pour le meilleur et pour le pire, by Cirque Aïtal – A real-life couple explore love and trust in an acrobatic show that will truly amaze.
Knee Deep, by Casus Circus – An Australian production that’s one of the coolest and most contemporary shows in the program, with unusual feats joined by a jazz and dream-pop soundtrack.
4 X 4 Ephemeral Architectures, by Gandini Juggling – Professional ballet meets astounding juggling as this UK troupe wows in an elegant show.
Cirque du Soleil’s newest creation, LUZIA, an amazingly colourful and acrobatic spectacle inspired by the culture of Mexico, joins the festival as an “OFF Complètement Cirque” show, playing under the big top in the Old Port to July 17.
Take a 30-minute pre-show tour behind the scenes to learn more about the venues and the circus troupes – add a tour to your ticket for only $7.
Important On-Site Info
Food – Along with numerous downtown and Plateau area restaurant options, from Chinatown’s affordable eats to sunny-day terrasses and ice cream shops, food trucks will be parked at Place Émilie-Gamelin and most outdoor sites. The TOHU site also features a bistro with happy hour specials.
Bathrooms – Bathrooms are available on site at all outdoor and indoor venues.
Shopping – Find all kinds of circus souvenirs, from toys to books, at the Festival and TOHU’s gift shops. Minutes away from Place Émilie-Gamelin and several festival venues are some of the city’s best shopping districts – find uniquely Montréal items, including designer t-shirts, caps, jewellery and bags in Old Montreal and on Sainte-Catherine Street, Saint-Denis Street and Mont-Royal Avenue.