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  2004

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SOLEIL DE MINUIT (20 Years)

Cirque du Soleil has chosen the theme "20 Years Under the Sun" for its 20th anniversary celebrations, which officially begin June 16. Cirque wishes to underscore this major milestone on the extraordinary road it has travelled, and proud that even though it has come far, it has maintained its youthful energy. For many of Cirque du Soleil's 3,000 employees, the past 20 years seem to have gone by in a flash. The fire and drive of those early days are still with us, pushing the company and its creators to imagine and realize their wildest dreams and, like seeds blown by the wind, take those dreams all across the planet.

    That spirit of youth will permeate all of the activities being held to mark Cirque du Soleil's 20th anniversary celebrations, beginning this year and extending into 2005. "We want the next 20 years to be in the image of our earliest years, with a whole world out there to explore, and minds overflowing with ideas," says Guy Laliberté, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cirque du Soleil. "I'm proud of what we've been able to achieve, but even more excited when I realize that our mission is far from completed. And one thing's for sure: the road so far hasn't been the least bit boring. I look forward to the future with such enthusiasm that I feel the same sense of excitement as when I first started."

A look at some of the commemorative activities...

  • A Book — A book about the history of the little company that never gave up dreaming was long overdue. Every step in the unusual and fascinating journey of Cirque du Soleil, from its origins in the village of Baie-Saint-Paul to its successes on five continents, was revealed in a volume entitled 20 Years Under the Sun. Stories, anecdotes and interviews with pioneers like Guy Laliberté, Gilles Ste-Croix and Serge Roy provided readers with an intimate, inside look at the ups and downs of Cirque du Soleil. The book also delved into the inspirations of Cirque's show creators.

  • Music & Images — Music is one of the most powerful ways for anyone who has seen a show to relive the memorable moments that make up "the Cirque du Soleil experience." A box set comprising two remix CDs (Solarium and Delirium) and a Compilation CD of the best musical selections from Cirque shows over the years was released on Cirque du Soleil's newest division - Cirque du Soleil Musique - a record company dedicated to the creation, production, and marketing of the music associated with current and future Cirque du Soleil shows, and to the career development of emerging artists from around the world. (A Cirque du Soleil image gallery on DVD (Equilibrium) was planned but not released.)

  • Partnerships — As a way of thanking Quebecers for their loyalty to Cirque since the beginning, Cirque du Soleil partnered with the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal to offer the public a special gift on July 11th. This dual anniversary (the jazz fest celebrates its own 25th anniversary this year, while Cirque du Soleil marks 20 years) was designed as a salute to creativity and culture. A recording of this event is later broadcast under the name "Midnight Sun" (Soleil de Minuit) and released onto DVD.

  • Art — Some 30 works of art from the Cirque du Soleil collection was exhibited at Galerie l'Anse-au-ciel in Baie-Saint-Paul in the summer. The show was open to all residents of the area as well as art-loving tourists.

  • Stiltwalking — On Cirque du Soleil's actual anniversary day, employees were invited to break out their stilts and join the attempt to set a new world record for the largest number of stiltwalkers in one place at one time. For the record to be recognized by Guinness, each entrant had to walk on stilts at least 12 inches high and cover a distance of at least 100 metres. During the festivities, Cirque du Soleil set a new record for the Guinness Book of World Records gathering 544 employees at Headquarters to stilt walk.

  • Time Capsule — In honor of Cirque du Soleil's 20th Anniversary, IHQ Cirquesters put together a few selected mementos of the company safely away in a time capsule, which is due to be opened no earlier than 2024. The artifacts inside paint a picture of what Cirque du Soleil was at the time of burial, and a little bit of each any every touring production and office site open at the time.

  • Magazine Special — ZINK's November 2004 issue celebrates with artists from Cirque du Soleil's Varekai.

IN OTHER NEWS...

On tour, Dralion leaves North America bound for Europe at the beginning of the year, where it will complete an extensive multi-year tour. Alegría continued its North American Tour, but by year's end, the show is bound for Tokyo and the rest of Japan. Quidam, which would end its Japanese Tour in the early months of the year, returned to Canada for a two-city run before embarking on a year-long tour throughout Australia/New Zealand. And, in November, the biggest most epic show in Cirque du Soleil history is born. Directed by Robert LePage, is launched at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.



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