Stage Door News
Montreal: Cirque du Soleil prepares to relaunch in June 2021
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Paralyzed for more than a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cirque du Soleil will return to the stage at the end of June, allowing it to begin recalling some of its laid-off workers.
“When I spoke to all our employees, I have to say there was a lot of emotion in the air,” president Daniel Lamarre said during an interview on Wednesday. “It’s more than 400 days that we’ve waited for this moment. It’s a relief.”
The first shows to come back will be in Las Vegas, with Mystère and O at the Bellagio and Treasure Island hotels. In November, the Kooza tour will return in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, while Luzia is planned to resume in London at the beginning of 2022.
The company formed in 1984 currently has only 200 employees, with 75 per cent at the headquarters in Montreal’s St-Michel district. The return of shows in Las Vegas should mean the return of about 300 workers, mostly in the United States.
“Each time we announce a show, we add between 150 and 200 people and we could easily predict that would create jobs here in Montreal,” Lamarre said.
Meanwhile, the Cirque-owned Blue Man Group will also resume shows in Las Vegas in June.
If everything goes well, the Cirque’s workforce should reach about 1,000 people by the end of the year, including about 300 in Montreal.
Last year was especially tough for the Cirque, which had to cancel its 44 shows worldwide, file for creditor protection in June, and lay off 3,500 employees. The company is currently controlled by its debtors, who promised to inject up to US$374 million into the company.
Lamarre said he hopes to bring back Love, Michael Jackson ONE and KA to Las Vegas by November. But Quebec will have to wait longer. A return to the Old Port of Montreal is expected in spring 2022.
By Julien Arsenault for www.thecanadianpress.com.