An entrepreneur of creativity

Guy Laliberté (1988)
Photo credit : Jean-François Leblanc

AN INSPIRED AND INSPIRING ARTIST

At the time that Cirque du Soleil was founded, the circus arts were still under-represented in Québec. Guy drew inspiration from his many travels around the world to create a new, universal stage language and reinvent the circus in his own way. Audiences were both charmed and astonished by the acrobatic performances—made all the more dazzling by the flamboyant costumes and theatrical stage settings—converging in a single creative space, and without the traditional circus animals.

In less than a decade, Guy Laliberté succeeded in establishing a singular, creative signature that allowed him to attract the world’s top talent. Forward-looking, he invested in the creative development of young artists and designers so they could explore the limits of their own ingenuity. He also worked closely with acclaimed creators, such as Franco Dragone, Robert Lepage, Dominic Champagne, René-Richard Cyr and even the renowned Sir George Martin.

O at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas directed by Franco Dragone (1998)
Photo credit : Cirque du soleil archives

Poster for O in Las Vegas (1998)
Photo credit : Cirque du soleil archives

AN ENTREPRENEUR WHO REDEFINED THE “BUSINESS OF SHOW BUSINESS”

Poster for Mystère, Cirque du Soleil’s
first permanent show in Las Vegas (1993)
Photo credit : Cirque du soleil archives

“We can grow a flower in the desert.” This was Guy’s motto in staging Mystère, Cirque du Soleil’s first permanent show, in Las Vegas. In just a few years, the show—an unequivocal success—became one of the biggest ticket sellers in the entertainment capital.

Guy always surrounded himself with bold and highly capable individuals who not only helped him to realize his most innovative projects, but also to achieve the means to fulfil his ambitions. He reinvented the circus arts while defying the conventions of the business world. Equally creative as an entrepreneur and an artist, he made his mark as an ambitious producer in the entertainment industry.

Fear never drove me, but I always found it exciting to take risks.

Guy Laliberté

In the 1990s, Cirque du Soleil broke into the European and Asian markets. The company’s growth was reflected not only in the many tours that travelled the globe, but also in the different types of productions, including arena shows that enable Cirque du Soleil to perform year-round in North America.

35 years, 43 productions and 200 million enchanted spectators later, Guy Laliberté has shown that creativity is one of Québec’s greatest resources and a rich, inexhaustible raw material that distinguishes us on the international stage.

clip from Guy Laliberté’s interview, cercle des grands entrepreneurs du québec – only available in french