To mark the 20th anniversary of its involvement in the St-Michel district, Cirque du Soleil inaugurated an art garden, in the presence of its President and Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Lamarre, its founder, Guy Laliberté, and Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre. Offered as a gift for Montreal’s 375th anniversary, the garden presents 16 major works of art. The project was born out of Cirque du Soleil and Guy Laliberté’s desire to establish art in public spaces for the benefit of the surrounding community.
The flagship pieces of the new landscape design, which features a vegetable garden and a labyrinth devised by Cirque du Soleil employees, include Quebec artworks such as Armand Vaillancourt’s imposing L’Enchantement and the remarkable sculptures Dans le jardin du roi heureux, by Glen Lemesurier, and La Contorsionniste, by Philippe Allard. Creations by Catherine Sylvain, Andy Goldsworthy, Richard MacDonald, Anne-Sophie Morelle, Andrew Rogers, Jim Dine, Tom Doyle, Simon Gudgeon and Rolf Knie complete the art garden.
The 16 works of art were chosen from the Cirque du Soleil corporate collection, which includes nearly 1,000 pieces. Launched 20 years ago to support the artistic community, the collection focuses on young creators and reflects a variety of art forms, such as painting, photography and sculpture. The collection also promotes a work environment that stimulates openness and creativity through contact with the arts.
“Since creativity is at the core of Cirque du Soleil’s DNA, it is important for us to build inspiring and stimulating work environments. Art opens the dialogue with employees, artists and creators, who contribute in their own way to the success of Cirque du Soleil. By making part of our collection accessible to the community, we want to highlight the work of artists and position ourselves as an agent of change. I encourage everyone in Montreal, and especially our neighbours in the St-Michel district, to come and explore our magnificent art garden,” stated Daniel Lamarre.
Tours of the art garden will be offered for free every weekend this summer by TOHU. The City of Circus Arts tour is an invitation to discover the works at Cirque du Soleil, the National Circus School, TOHU and the St-Michel Environmental Complex. Descriptions of the works of art and biographies of the artists can be found on the Art public Montréal website at https://artpublicmontreal.ca/en/parcours/city-of-circus-arts/
20 years of involvement in St-Michel
Since the opening of its international headquarters in the St-Michel district in 1997, Cirque du Soleil has contributed to the rejuvenation of one of the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Montreal, with an investment of over $15 million. One of its local projects is the Arts Nomades program, which, to date, has benefited over 5,700 students in the neighbourhood’s primary schools. This innovative educational approach aims to foster the acquisition of artistic, personal and social skills through circus arts, dance and visual arts workshops.The new art garden is a continuation of the company’s efforts to develop and maintain solid ties with the community.
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