The largest theatrical producer in the world, Cirque du Soleil was founded in Baie-Saint-Paul on 7 July 1984, by two former street performers Guy Laliberté and Gilles Ste-Croix. They had toured as a performing troupe in Quebec in 1980 and after receiving funding from the Canada Council for the Arts, they hired Guy Caron from the National Circus School to re-create their performance as a “proper circus”. Their theatrical and character-driven approach without the use of performing animals has helped define Cirque du Soleil as a contemporary circus. Their shows adopt circus styles from around the world, and today their Las Vegas shows alone play to more than 9,000 people a night.
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