This article was updated on June 19, 2019.

The best circus artists in the world, wildly creative new shows and high-flying outdoor acrobatics make MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE one of the most breathtaking family-friendly festivals of summer.

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Free open-air performances downtown

The 10th edition of MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE celebrates a decade of fabulous feats, riveting stories and surprises by the minute, transforming the city into a circus from July 4 to 14. Every night on the impressive 360-degree stage and aerial arch at outdoor space Jardins Gamelin, see Candide, director Anthony Venisse's newest creation, featuring 32 acrobatics in motion. You can’t miss the roving pack of Les MINUTES COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE artists as they perform all along Saint-Denis Street in the Quartier Latin, at 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. each night – have a drink on the official festival terrasse and watch for international and local artists too, performing their craft every night from 5:30 to 11 p.m.! Also on Saint-Denis Street, kids can try out trapeze, trampoline and juggling and get their faces expertly painted too. Every afternoon, downtown's Complexe Desjardins hosts circus shows, family workshops and more. And Circus Hors Piste combines a parade, circus arts and social inclusion at noon on July 13 outside Beaudry metro in the Village.

Astounding sights for all

MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE's indoor shows transport us into incredible new worlds, with most created for audiences of all ages. This year, renowned circus company Les 7 Doigts’s Bosch Dreams brings the great Dutch artist's enchanting paintings to life in a surreal circus journey. Life's a cabaret – with live music and daredevil acrobatics – in German company Analog's FINALE. Seven acrobats, a musician and an inventive art-gallery set dazzle in Machine de Cirque's La Galerie. UK company Gandini Juggling returns with Spring, a brightly hued, celebratory and humorous show that blends dance and juggling. From the streets of Bogotá to Montréal's La TOHU, El Nucleo presents Somos, a playful show about humanity and friendship. A kid-friendly magical romp, DynamO's Life-Cycle brings household objects and family memories to life. Several circus companies experiment with edgy hybrid shows at Théâtre La Chapelle. Se prendre invites adventurous audiences into an apartment. And, presented as a late-night OFF-festival show, Le Monastère Circus-Cabaret gets daring in a Gothic Revival church.

Friendly neighbourhood circus

Spend some time exploring different neighbourhoods in Montréal during MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE's free weekend and evening events. In Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, catch Cirque Carpe Diem's outdoor flying trapeze shows all week and Timbré on July 6. In every neighbourhood, play on Le Moulin à Vent's unique acrobatic structures and laugh at the Kif-Kif Sisters' Côté confiture show. Old Montréal's Pointe-à-Callière Archaeology and History Complex hosts a day of fun on July 7, while not far away from there, SDC – Les Quartiers du Canal presents Saint-Henri Complètement Fou du Cirque on July 6 and 7. Spend an acrobatic evening in Verdun on July 11, see more shows and play on circus apparatus at the Olympic Park Complètement Cirque evening on July 12, and join the fun outdoors at La TOHU circus centre on July 13 and 14. Wherever you find yourself in Montréal, you might just run into circus antics!

Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden, blogger

Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.

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