Montreal’s place within the Canadian cultural lexicon remains inimitable. The birthplace of Les Automatistes, the Arcade Fire, MUTEK, and Xavier Dolan, this sprawling metropolis has always been a hub for creative expression in all its various forms. One of the most exciting collectives to have sprung from this impressive artistic landscape is Cirque Éloize, a world-class travelling spectacle with deep ties to the city’s circus culture.
Photography by Éric Carrière
Founded in 1993, Cirque Éloize has brought its revered brand of entertainment to destinations across the globe. From New York’s Theatre District to London’s West End, the Cirque has enthralled over 5,000,000 spectators with a peculiar brand of showmanship, acrobatics, and visual splendour. The latest chapter in its constantly evolving story involves a special, first-of-its-kind residency in the city that nurtured the group from its infancy.
Operating as a Vegas-style, hospitality and entertainment amalgamation, Cirque Éloize is partnering with Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth for an extended run of shows located directly within the hotel’s spacious confines. Entitled Celeste, this unique cabaret experience blends illusion, circus acts, and live music for a thrillingly sensual performance. Anita Bombita, Celeste’s Artist Director, hopes the show will “wrap its viewers in a warm ambience as it presents a ritual to the stars and the moon.” As a complement to the stage production, spectators will also be given a chance to interact with performers, mostly dressed in animal costumes, as they saunter around the audience section.
For many enterprises, the pandemic has altered regular business operations in search for new opportunities, resulting in this special residency meant to attract locals, as well as guests from across the nation. “This project is a testament to the resilience of Montreal’s tourism and arts communities and their ability to successfully reinvent themselves despite the adversity of the pandemic,” reveals Yves Lalumière, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tourisme Montréal.
After viewing the show, visitors can indulge in a meal from the in-house restaurant Rosélys, or sip on a delicious cocktail courtesy of Nacarat, where trained mixologists can satiate any preference with their expansive expertise. With Celeste, a truly interconnected experience promises to present a feast for the eyes, ears, appetite, and most importantly, the mind.