By The Canadian Press - Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 0 Comments
MONTREAL – The strong Canadian dollar, surging production costs and the worldwide economic downturn…
MONTREAL – The strong Canadian dollar, surging production costs and the worldwide economic downturn are all being blamed by the Cirque du soleil for its decision to lay off 400 employees.
Most of the layoffs will be at the artistic giant’s Montreal headquarters.
Company spokeswoman Renee-Claude Menard moved to dispel speculation the Cirque is flailing.
“The first thing to say is that the Circus is not in crisis,” Menard told a news conference Wednesday. “Let’s get that straight.
“We had a record year in terms of tickets sold. We sold more than 14 million tickets this year. We had a record year for total revenue, with more than $1 billion.”
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, February 1, 2010 at 1:01 PM - 6 Comments
The Grammys are to pop music what the Super Bowl is to sports
It is perhaps possible to take the Grammy Awards seriously. But only if you stop worrying about them.
Consider, for a moment, the National Football League.
The NFL is presently the premier professional sports league in North America: a multi-billion-dollar cultural institution that can claim, in the Super Bowl, the biggest single sporting event on the planet. Its athletes are among the world’s most exceptional and most beloved. But success in the NFL is not the ultimate standard of sporting achievement. The NFL does not define the concept of sport. In fact, no league, tournament or event—not even the Olympics—does. And it is generally understood that it is impossible to compare athletes of different leagues and disciplines—any discussion of “the world’s greatest athlete” generally defined by he or she who dominates their particular competition most spectacularly. (Tiger Woods, for instance, wasn’t ever as fast or as strong as any number of Olympians, football players or basketball players. But he was, by virtue of his unique excellence in golf, in the conversation as the best athlete in the world.)
By Ian Halperin - Friday, June 12, 2009 at 12:20 PM - 0 Comments
‘Everything you wanted was available at Guy’s parties— drugs, the best music, the wildest sex’
Laliberté’s annual Grand Prix party in Montreal every June attracted A-listers from all over the world. The Sunday night after the big Formula One race, Laliberté would host a bash at his sprawling mansion in Saint-Bruno that would usually end up lasting a few days. It became the highlight of the year for the world’s jet set crowd. Years later, Laliberté had to move the party to an airport base because of recurring complaints by neighbours about the incredible noise level and wild partying. Everyone who attended was awed.
“I have attended the finest parties all over the world, but nothing that compares to this,” says Myra Jones, a Milan-based fashion model who experienced several of Laliberté’s parties. “Everything you wanted was available at Guy’s parties—drugs, the best music spun by famous DJs flown in from Europe and the U.S.A., and the wildest sex you could ever imagine.”
By Brian Bethune - Friday, June 5, 2009 at 1:27 PM - 0 Comments
Unauthorized biographer Ian Halperin on how he discovered the seedier side of the biggest show on earth
Q: Your latest book is Guy Laliberté: The Fabulous Story of the Creator of Cirque du Soleil. How did you get interested in the topic?
A: Through Andrew Morton, basically. We’re friends, and we were in a New York cab late one night when he was wondering who to write about next. This was just after publishing his Tom Cruise book. I told him the biggest, still unknown entertainment story was Guy Laliberté, and Andrew said, “Who?” I explained, and the next day he phoned me and said I knew the story so much better, I should do it. So I did.
Q: How did you find all the Cirque performers, past and present, you spoke to?
A: I had already met many over the years. I was a professional sax player in Montreal for 15 years. I often performed with Cirque tango players, even acrobats. I knew people already, and I knew about their crazy world.