Cirque du Soleil: Re-defining A Circus 

Written by Kaleb Houle-Lawrence – high school Intern


History Of Cirque


The beginnings of the Cirque du Soleil show trace back to a 1980s group of performers. Founded by Gilles Ste-Croix, Les Echassiers de Baie-Saint-Paul (The Stiltwalkers of Baie-Saint-Paul) performed on the shores of the St. Lawrence River in Québec City. This group of jugglers, dancers, fire-breathers, and musicians would become the core of Cirque du Soleil. A member of this group, Guy Laliberté, proposed bringing the show out of the city and across the province of Québec. This province-wide tour began in 1984, marking the 450th year since the discovery of the Canadian land by Europeans. 

Guy Lalibérte

As the circus act began to spread, they found their name: Cirque du Soleil. According to Laliberté, the sun represented their youth, energy, and strength. They also became known as a trendsetting group, as their show was animal-free to avoid the typical cruelty associated with circus acts. Instead, they relied on incredible dance numbers, original music, and purposeful lighting to immerse the viewer. 

Upon the success of this expansion, the act made its dive into international venues in 1987 with its first US-based tour, beginning in Los Angeles and moving to sold-out shows in San Diego and Santa Monica. Following this success, the same tour was brought abroad to Europe in 1990.


Mystère, Cirque Show

In 1993, Cirque du Soleil established its first permanent show in Las Vegas. Titled Mystère, this show is performed in a custom-built theater on the Vegas strip, decorated with dazzling lights to match the aesthetic. To this day, the show still holds its residency in Las Vegas. The piece is designed to take a look “inside the imagination,” filled with color, music, and athleticism. Since its introduction, Mystère has become one of the top hits for any Vegas trip. 







a performer floats above the audience, lifted by massive balloons

This weekend, Cirque du Soleil is making a stop in Manchester, New Hampshire, to play its show Corteo. On Friday, FAC blog interns Jasmine and myself attended the show at the SNHU arena.

Corteo, which is currently on tour across the US, focuses on the storyline of a clown named Mauro. In the beginning of the story, Mauro passes away, but his spirit remains a vital component of the piece. The rest of the show then focuses on his corteo, or funeral procession. The rest of the cast of characters can be seen having fun and celebrating the life of Mauro, rather than mourning his death. 

Personally, the Cirque experience was absolutely amazing. From the audience engagement from the lady tied to balloons (pictured here) to the lights, dancing, and music all came together to produce an immersive and spectacular show. 

Tickets for Corteo, and other Cirque du Soleil shows, can be found here

2022 in Review

Written by Jasmine Grace,
High School Intern


2022 has come to an end, so we wanted to look back at many of the things that we’ve learned, and remember many of the events that have taken place . 

Pumpkin Winners

Giant Pumpkins

We learned earlier in 2022 about two contests in Québec in which competitors row giant pumpkin-canoes toward the finish line. 

Unfortunately, the 2022 Windsor Pumpkin Regatta was canceled indefinitely, as the lake used for this race currently has almost no water. Lake Pisquid, an artificial lake, is not nearly deep enough to host the race. The tidal gates are now being managed to improve fish passage. 

However, there was a new pumpkin race this year, in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. The very first winner of this competition, Ryan Foley, says he grew up watching the Regatta over in Windsor. Many of his competitors were close friends, and he says they all had a great time splashing toward the finish line. 

World Cup Finals

Another exciting event of 2022 was France competing in the FIFA World Cup Finals! Morocco also made it far in this global soccer event, becoming the first African nation to reach semi-finals. 

But France and Morocco’s performances aren’t the only exciting part of the event. In November of this year, 2 French cyclists set out to bike from Paris to Doha, Qatar, to watch the finals and cheer on France. After 3 months and more than 7,000 kilometers, they made it! They traveled about 15 kilometers each day, through 13 different countries. Along the way, they crossed a variety of terrains, from flooded forests in Hungary to desert in Saudi Arabia. They overcame many challenges on their journey, but both said they had a great time on their trip.

A Look Ahead

France will be involved in global sports in 2023 as well! It will host the next Rugby World Cup. And Canada is scheduled to be one of 3 host countries for the next FIFA World cup in 2026.

Closer to home, the FAC has plans for 2023 as well! The blog will continue with a variety of articles across many subjects. We’ll post the next edition of the World of French series, and another article about Francophone Legends and Monsters. Stay tuned for more exciting Francophone news!