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.
Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte and the World Series of Poker announced plans Thursday for a special 2012 tournament that would require a record $1 million entry fee.Eleven percent of the fee for the contest, which he described as a "very interesting game of millionaires," would be donated to Laliberte's anti-poverty nonprofit foundation One Drop.
For the first time ever, the Cirque du Soleil is forecasting that this year its special brand of circus melding death-defying feats with plot-driven theater and haunting music will bring in over $1 billion in revenues.Founded by Guy Laliberte, the company has grown from a ragtag troupe of street performers in 1984 to a 5,000-employee entertainment giant presenting some 20 circus shows simultaneously around the world.
Cirque du Soleil is to launch a series of shows next year inspired by Michael Jackson's music and dance work, the company said Tuesday after striking a deal with the late artist's family.The tour of specially themed shows will kick off late in 2011, Cirque du Soleil said in a statement that promised, "fans will experience the excitement of a Michael Jackson concert."The show will have an extended run in Las Vegas and by late 2012 the Montreal-based contemporary circus troupe aims to have established a permanent performance there.