First Circus Arts General Assembly, initiated by En Piste.

En Piste, Cirque du Soleil and the National Circus School jointly propose the idea of a circus arts district, which becomes, in 2004, TOHU: la Cité des arts du cirque


En Piste scores its first major victory when the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec acknowledges the circus arts as an official art form.


Emploi-Québec and the Conseil québécois des ressources humaines en culture (QCRHC) acknowledge En Piste. The network is allowed to provide continuing professional education to its members.


Creation of the TOHU.


Second Circus Arts General Assembly. another initiative of En Piste. For the first time, officials are involved in the discussions and open the dialogue.


Recognition of circus arts by the Arts Council of Montreal. Montreal, February 1, 2008 - The Mayor of Montreal, Gérald Tremblay, and the Chairman of the Conseil des arts de Montreal, Louise Roy, announced that the Arts Council will now support the creation, production and dissemination circus arts in the territory of the island of Montreal.

The Chair of the Conseil des arts de Montreal, Louise Roy said:

"(...) Our direct action in the development of arts and culture contributes significantly to the growth and reputation of Montreal as a cultural metropolis. » Source: ARTS COUNCIL OF MONTREAL.

Publication of an essay: L'état des lieux -  Les arts du cirque au Québec et au Canada - éclairage sur un paradoxe. (Circus Arts in Quebec and Canada: Inventory. Lighting a Paradox). This paper draws interesting conclusions on the strengths but also the weaknesses of the field, putting the Cirque du Soleil in a separate category.

En Piste participates actively as a member in the COMPLÈTEMENT CIRQUE committee, which is formed of leaders of the discipline who work in major development projects.


Publication of a repertory of the circus spaces in Montreal: Espaces Cirque à Montréal (57 pages). The guide, scalable and produced with the financial support of the Arts Council of Montreal, takes a picture of where it is possible to practice and present circus numbers and performances in Montreal neighborhoods and sub-categories are clearly identified.

En Piste participates in the creation of the MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CIRQUE (MCC) Festival. The media will also state their surprise at the wide and transparent collaboration of Montreal circus artists and corporations, made possible by the mediation of En Piste.

Excerpt from LA PRESSE, June 4, 2009:

«For its part, the national circus arts network, En Piste , will lead in the coming months a study on the economic impact of the event. The organization, which includes all the Quebec circus environment, will also cover the development of the festival. The discipline of the circus is in a new stage of development in Montreal, says the director, Suzanne Samson. Everything happens at the right time.»

Another great victory : The Canada Council for the Arts acknowledges circus arts.

November 3, 2009 - Opinion of the Arts Council of Canada:

The contemporary circus arts. The Canada Arts Council recognizes contemporary circus arts as a distinct art form. Artists and professional organizations who practice this form of art can apply for financial support through grant programs offered by the Inter-Arts Office of the Council. (...)»

From LE DEVOIR, 10 November 2009:

[...]  En Piste welcomes this decision, which is the culmination of many steps taken by The national circus arts network, to meet the specific needs of the circus.»

«It will be easier for artists to get grants and it will facilitate the exchange and dissemination across the country. It occurs when there are major projects in development. There was a recognition problem here, even if our artists are recognized around the world. This is a decision that will brig a lot of good, argued Suzanne Samson, CEO of En Piste.»

Excerpt from LA PRESSE, Nov. 10, 2009:

«Now, requests for scholarships and grants circus artists will be evaluated by their peers. For the CEO of En Piste, Suzanne Samson, this decision is timely: The industry is working on major projects for development of a new discipline with the International Festival of Circus Arts, sectoral studies and plans action. »


The National Forum holds its first real encounter coast to coast.

En Piste contributes to the first edition of the FESTIVAL MONTREAL COMPLÈTEMENT CIRQUE.


En Piste publishes a Quebec sectorial diagnosis for the circus arts.

Unveiling of a new logo and redesigned website. This now allows more interactivity and reduces the display time, offering services including online support research and wide dissemination, a bulletin board accessible to both members as well as the direction and a profile of the individual members. The site attracts an average of 2,400 visits per month since its launch, with an average of 9700 page views (4.4 pages per visit).

First international meeting of the working committee "Planète cirque", which brings together 6 Contemporary Circus organizations from Belgium, Argentina, Scandinavia, Australia and Spain, covering topics as diverse as training, artists career transition and safety. The meeting will now take place annually as part of FESTIVAL MONTREAL COMPLÈTEMENT CIRQUE .

Excerpt from LA PRESSE, July 22, 2011:

«There are many issues that we want to address, says Suzanne Samson. The idea is to create a community of work and exchange information, and why not a common database with all the circus that occur around the world? »


Winner in its discipline, En Piste is finalist for the Grand Prize of the Conseil des arts de Montréal.

Implementation of a collective insurance program for all member companies of En Piste. It is with the help of an advisor to the brokerage firm Vézina and associates that The national circus arts network has developed this new service, which aims to provide a flexible insurance plan for companies and organizations members of En Piste. It will focus on employees of Canadian companies that adhere to the program.

En Piste publishes the organizational diagnosis of the Network.

En Piste publishes a study on the needs for continuing education.

En Piste publishes the sectorial and organizational strategic plan.

Organizes in the heart of Forum 2012, (under the 2012 theme : Panorama 3 - 2010/2020 - Expanded Landscapes) the first meeting of the Committee for Regional Development, a committee which will make recommendations on regional development. The result of this work will be included in the En Piste development plan  and action plan for 2013-2017. En Piste offer its members outside of Montreal and Quebec strategies to promote the development of the discipline across the province and increase the capacity of collaboration among members in directing its efforts towards a dynamic cooperation.

Actively participates in the third annual FESTIVAL MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CIRQUE, including providing customized training to companies selected for presentations of the 2nd edition of Quebec Showcase presented again, this year, to more than forty national broadcasters and international. This training, designed specifically for companies selected for the event, has allowed Quebec companies to improve their skills in sales presentations. The 2012 edition of La Vitrine Quebec has led to several new companies to sign for national and international tours for 2013-2014.

Participates in The state of circus research in Quebec, a conference organized by a research group at Concordia University and the National Circus School of Montreal, also involving researchers from canadian and foreign universities. Joanie Leroux-Côté, board member, leads a discussion on the reality of being young circus practitioners of Quebec, both here and abroad.


En Piste was there...


In France in 2008

Paris, Lyon, Lille

En Piste organizing a mission with canadian government officials, to promote better collaboration and better understanding of what is and what could be the circus in the Canadian landscape, Quebec or Montreal. The mission in France has led to a continuous open dialogue about our challenges and our development.


In Spain in 2008


In the context of a Quebec-Catalonia agreements, En Piste goes to Barcelona to meet her vis-à-vis the Catalan Association, AIA. These meetings were held as part a collaborative program between Barcelona and Montreal in associational life, training and social circus. Several initiatives have emerged from these exchanges.


In Spain in 2009

Barcelone  - Tarrega

En Piste organizing a mission to Fira Tarrega in Catalonia. Representatives of the National Circus School, of TOHU, 7 Fingers, Cirque du Soleil, En Piste and members of the RAR are invited by the Government of Quebec and the festival to participate to Tarrega roundtable, on the development of circus and street arts, in the presence of the Minister of International Relations and Francophone Quebec, Pierre Arcand.


In France in 2009


Committed to give to its members a quality continuing education, En Piste went to Circa Festival in Auch. This appointment is now a must for all training centers in contemporary circus. This mission was meant to better understand the evolution of the training, its structures, its orientations; anticipate the needs of graduates and professionals on the labor market and ensure to keep a watchful eye on the integration of a multidisciplinary circus arts.


In Monaco in 2010


La directrice d'En Piste se rend à Monaco pour participer à un conseil d'administration de la Fédération Mondiale de cirque, qui se tient toujours dans le cadre du Festival de cirque de Monte- Carlo. En plus de participer à ces évènements, la directrice est appelée à travailler sur la reconnaissance des arts du cirque par L'UNESCO, en compagnie des membres du conseil d'administration et de sa présidente, SAS, Stéphanie de Monaco. En Piste est un des membres fondateurs de cette fédération.

En Piste CEO goes to Monaco to participate in a Board of Directors of the Circus World Federation, which still stands in the Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo. In addition to participating in these events, the manager is required to work on the recognition of circus arts by UNESCO, along with members of the Board and its President, SAS, Princess Stephanie of Monaco. En Piste is a founding member of the federation.


In Argentine in 2010

Buenos Aires

En Piste organizing a mission to Buenos Aires. Representatives of the National Circus School, of TOHU, 7 Fingers, Cirque du Soleil and En Piste are invited by the Polo Circo circus festival in Buenos Aires, to participate in a table discussion on the development of circus arts and its impact regionally or nationally.


In Belgium in 2012


En Piste participates in Quebec Showcase in Brussels, during the celebration of 40 years of Quebec in Belgium.


In France in 2012


En Piste participating in Fresh Circus. Organized by Circostrada, Fresh Circus seminar is the second work on the structuring of circus arts in Europe, where 80 circus representatives present 21 countries. In addition to providing an overview, the two-day workshops aim to formulate a series of recommendations addressed to regional institutions, national and EU to better take into account the specificities of the contemporary circus creation.

In Mexico in 2012


En Piste organizing a mission to Guadalajara. Representatives of the National Circus School, the TOHU and 7 Fingers are invited by the Festival Cultural de Mayo 2012, Jalisco, to participate in a roundtable discussion on the development of circus arts and its regional impact or national level.


Photo credit: Marcus Urban / 7 doigts de la main