Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec – In the early 1980’s, in this small Charlevoix village near Quebec City, there was a band of colourful street entertainers who would juggle, dance, play music, breath fire and walk on stilts. They were called Les Echassiers de Baie-Saint-Paul (the Baie-Saint-Paul Stiltwalkers).
The troupe was founded by Gilles Ste-Crois. In 1984 member Guy Laiberte proposed a show called Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun) for Quebec City’s celebration of the 450th anniversary of Canada’s Discovery by Jacques Cartier. The company reinvented the circus incorporating acrobatics, theatre, music, comedy and a little mystery. Today this phenomenally successful company of performers has shows in North and South America, Asia and Europe, and incredibly, more than 50 million people have entertained. Performers include Olympic and World Champion athletes. Free performances are usually held outdoors at the Port of Quebec Agora, Tuesday-Saturday evenings in Quebec City in the summertime. The Cirque du Soleil headquarters is in Montreal.
* Cirque founder Guy Laiberte was the first Canadian tourist to go into space. He blasted off Sept. 30th 2009 on a Russian spacecraft for a 12-day trip and stay at the International Space Stn.
Baie-Saint-Paul Charlevoix Region, Quebec (near Quebec City)