CirqueCon: The Unofficial Gatherings of Cirque du Soleil Passionates



Thursday, December 1, 2011 to Saturday, December 3, 2011
Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland
Hollywood, California (USA)

Every Ending is a new Beginning.
Or perhaps just
a Pause.

For the eighth time we gather
Passionates of like mind
rejoicing in our meeting.

Our hosts have been most gracious
through the years.
Permitting us to peek under the tent flap
if only for a moment.

They have helped create many precious memories.
Unions of artists and audience.
Wonder and appreciation on both sides of the curtain.

Who knows the future?
But this we know without doubt.
The memories of our times together
sealed indelibly in the mind and heart
will never fade.

With warm appreciation
we say Farewell.
For now.

Perhaps our paths will cross again.
When the herald call
to the Passion in our hearts
speaks again across the miles.
Beckoning us to gather once more


Greetings, fellow Cirque Passionates!

For the eighth time we gather, in a land where dreams are real and reality fake. And as we reflect on the memories of those eight years we feel an almost overwhelming awe of the places we’ve seen, the friends we’ve met (and re-met) and the fabulous shows we’ve experienced (totaling 14!). We also continue to be amazed by the kindness of our friends at Cirque du Soleil who once again have gone above and beyond our expectations.

What started as an informal gathering of 31 Cirque du Soleil fans through a YahooGroup swelled to almost 200 two years later. In the following years our numbers have been more or less steady, as we found a “core” of Cirque Passionates that seem glad to follow us wherever we might choose to go. That core has changed from our first event in 2004; the faces of that first event are different from this one.

In the intervening time many friendships have been made, as Passionates have bonded with others of like mind. We’ve been to wonderful places such as Vancouver, Montréal (twice!), Mexico, Orlando as well as Las Vegas, New York City, Tokyo and now Hollywood. As tourists we know we’ve been forever changed by many indelible memories, met many many new friends and taken several “trips of a lifetime,” and we hope you have, too.

The landscape of Cirque du Soleil has also changed. Cirque Week now seems to be an annual event in Las Vegas, and we like to think in our own small way we helped show Cirque the power that Passionates have when gathered in one place. Cirque has also taken to opening multiple new creations each year, some in exciting far-flung cities of the world.

As you might imagine, organizing an event like CirqueCon takes a lot of work by a lot of people. And after eight years of planning and executing it is time for us to take a break. This means that CirqueCon 2011: Hollywood! will be the last CirqueCon for awhile. We are going on hiatus and will return if we find a compelling reason and a compelling city in which to gather.

But with every ending comes a new beginning. We hope your journeys, now and in the future, bring out your Passion. Let us now celebrate the wonder, beauty, mystery, education and, above all, camaraderie we have found during our times together. And when we finally part, know we have found our own kind. We are not alone… We welcome you all!

[ CirqueCon 2011 Team | Our Event Schedule | Thank Yous ]


  • Ricky Russo – Erstwhile guru of our web-based efforts. Lent the support of the Fascination! Newsletter to efforts early on. Has compiled and edited collections of articles from Fascination! for our Program Books. Helped guide us through the budgeting process with his advanced Excel skills. He was also Chairman of our Orlando, Mexico, and New York City/Montréal events.

  • LouAnna Valentine – Played a vital role in decision-making with daily conversations, input and debate. In addition to being a lovely and supportive spouse, responsible for our Meet and Greet. Came up with several inspired ideas, including our catchphrase, “Live Passionately!”

  • Keith Johnson - Whatever else needed to be done. Tons of writing, member communication, database management, research/phone calls, hotel and meal booking, being an overly detailconscious jerk... you get the picture.

    PAST MEMBERS OF OUR TEAM HAVE INCLUDED (in alphabetical order):

    • Rich Alford (2005-2008) – Co-chair Orlando, Graphics and deliverables.
    • Rodolfo Elizondo (2009-2010) – Co-chair Mexico, Trip planning, Cirque liaison, T-shirt deliverables.
    • Francisco Fernandez (2009-2011) – Graphics.
    • Jeff Tolotti (2004-2005) – Co-Chair Vancouver, graphics and deliverables, instigation.


6:00pm - 8:00pm
Highland Gardens Hotel - Pool Area
Meet & Greet

Join us in the beautiful hotel pool area! It's the place where members meet old (and new) friends, receive their membership packets, and partake of snacks and refreshments, hosted by LouAnna.

9:00am - 11:00am
Highland Gardens Hotel - RM 217
Open Registration

For those who couldn't make it to the Meet & Greet, another opportunity to come by and pick up your membership badges & packets, before we take in the days Cirque-ey activities. Just meet us as Keith and Louanna's hotel room (#217)!

2:45pm - 4:15pm
Kodak Theater
Cirque Activities @ IRIS


Join us in the First Floor Rotunda (next to the Kodak Theatre Box Office) at 2:45pm. We will be watching some rehearsals with staff on hand to answer questions. Then, in CirqueCon tradition, step onto the IRIS stage for a group photo! After 3pm late comers will be out of luck! Don't be late!!

5:00pm - 7:00pm
The Grill on Hollywood
CirqueCon Group Meal


Gather with more than 30 other Cirque Passionates (in a specially reserved area) to eat, drink, and talk of our shared "passion." A perfect way to prepare for the continuing wonders to come.

8:00pm - 10:30pm
Kodak Theater
Group Show /// Cirque du Soleil: IRIS

Doors open at 7:30pm; show begins at 8:00pm

Then join us at the Kodak Theater at Hollywood and Vine for our Cirque du Soleil Group show: IRIS. This is what we came to see! IRIS is a Journey Into the World of Cinema, "a lyrical, fanciful, kinetic foray into the seventh art."

10:30pm - 11:00pm
Kodak Theater
Special Post-Show Q&A


Following the show, stay in your seats for what has become a CirqueCon tradition. We will get a chance to Q&A a few of the artistic, creative and technical wizards of this incredible production!

10:00am - 12:00pm
Highland Gardens Hotel - RM 217
Our Kaffeeklatsch

Come have a cup of tea or coffee with us, give us your comments and share your favorite CirqueCon memories. Or just stop by to say a final (for now) "good-bye"!


    CirqueCon cannot happen without help from many different places. We’ve tried to mention everyone we are aware of in the list below. But even with this list we’re sure we’re missing somebody. Know that we humbly thank you all!!

    at Cirque du Soleil:
    • Leticia Rhi Buckley - Marketing and Public Relations Manager, IRIS
    • Carrie Farina - Ticket Operations Manager, Cirque du Soleil
    • Randy Meyer - Company Manager, IRIS
    • Erin Mahan - Assistant Company Manager, IRIS
    • Denise Biggi - Artistic Director, IRIS
    • Sergio Ruezgas - Director of Events, Kodak Theatre
    • Freddy Marrón - Marketing Coordinator, CDS Resident Shows
    • Lauren Zaricki - Marketing Manager, CDS Resident Shows
    • Roxane Prince - Cirque Club

    in Hollywood, CA:
    • Jim Baklayan - General Manager, HIGHLAND GARDENS HOTEL
    • Dmitri Fagel - Manager, THE GRILL ON HOLLYWOOD
    • Nyla Arslanian - Editor, EXPERIENCE HOLLYWOOD MAGAZINE

    at CirqueCon:
    • CirqueCon 2011 Logo - Designed by Francisco Fernandez from an idea by Keith Johnson. Thanks to Rodolfo Elizondo.
    • Program Book - Cover and map graphics by Steve Long. Article layout by Ricky Russo.
    • Membership Badge and Group Meal Ticket - Design by Steve Long
    • Magnet - Design by Dave Easton (GM Nameplate). Magnets by Polar Magnetics, Toronto, Ontario - Greg Smith, Sales.
    • Postcard - Design by Ricky Russo. Production by Staples.
    • Poster - Design by Kathie Zetterberg, GM Nameplate. Produced by SuperGraphics, Seattle - James Feight, Plant Manager.
    • Reconnaissance - Laura Jones.