Prepare to be amazed at MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE

Robyn Fadden

The best circus artists in the world tumble, trapeze and clown their way into the MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE Festival this July. Under the big top or under the stars, the festival's shows entertain all ages with high-flying acrobatics, captivating stories and surprises by the minute – proving exactly why Montréal stands out as an international circus capital.

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Astounding sights for all ages

The 8th edition of MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE is bigger than ever for the city's 375th anniversary, with extra shows, digital arts, and collaborations to go along with its spectacular indoor and outdoor circus performances, July 6 to 16. Cirque du Soleil's spectacular VOLTA continues to thrill under the big top in the Old Port, while beloved Canadian company Cirque Alfonse revamps the sacred in refreshing all-ages rock show TABARNAK, THROW2CATCH presents the wild dances, juggling and illusions of ZKRUV LÖS – VELKOME TO KOUGLISTAN !, the 22 artists of Compagnie XY's Il n’est pas encore minuit wow with collective acrobatic stunts, and Parisian artist Raphael Navarro crafts a magical and dreamlike realm in Rêveurs Définitifs - A Journey Into The Illusion.


Free open-air performances

Making circus even more accessible to all, the festival takes to the city streets all month. The dozens of acrobats of MINUTES COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE return for two new open-air shows for Montréal's 375th: the smartphone-enhanced roving theatrics of NUMÉRIQUES along St. Denis Street in the Latin Quarter and the scaffolding-pyramid stage feats of ROUGE at Place Émilie-Gamelin. While on St. Denis, try out the tightwire, trapeze, aerial silks and other circus apparatus. Old Montréal's Pointe-à-Callière museum harkens back to the days of New France with acrobatic structures and carnival games on July 16, and try vertical dance and circus games outside downtown's Complexe Desjardins July 11-15.


Friendly neighbourhood circus

Spend some time with locals during MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE's neighbourhood weekends and evenings. Play on Moulin à vent's acrobatic structures, climb the greasy pole, ride the Russian Swing, watch Chinese pole collective musical romp Entre nous and more circus performances in Hochelega-Maisonneuve at the Olympic Park July 8-9, in the Plateau-Mont-Royal at Jeanne-Mance Park July 14, in St-Michel outside TOHU circus centre July 15-16 (plus a fun fair with 15 rides, a Ferris wheel, popcorn and cotton candy June 6-9), in Mercier at waterside Parc de la Promenade Bellerive July 7-16, featuring a flying trapeze with Cirque Carpe Diem, and more neighbourhoods.

Seductive cabaret shows

Despite its family-friendly nature, circus still has a dark side – the festival lets it out at night in three new shows. Take a wild ride back in time to Montréal's prohibition years in imaginative circus storytellers Les 7 Doigts's VICE & VERTU, a world premier of circus, burlesque, comedy and more delights made to celebrate Montréal’s 375th. Naughty, cheeky sexy Australian company Strut & Fret invites audiences to experience the electricity of LIMBO in a fitting venue: the Cabaret du Casino de Montréal. And the acrobats, jugglers and contortionists of Le Monastère show off their stuff in late-night Cabaret de cirque at Club Unity in the Village.

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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