Mad about circus since 1994 

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Ours is a rich history, one based on more than 29 years of love for the circus arts. Learn more about our evolution and what has helped form the alliance we are today.

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1994  First steps

The director of the National Circus School, Jan Rok Achard, creates the first La Trac, a round table to discuss the state of the circus in Canada.

1996  An association is born

The round table results in an association of 12 circus arts companies. This alliance leads to the birth of a circus show, Parasol, the same year.

1997  En Piste is official!

En Piste is officially incorporated and becomes the first circus arts coalition in Canada.

1999  Under construction: a Cité des arts du cirque

During its first general meeting, En Piste works to create a Cité des arts du cirque in collaboration with Cirque du Soleil and the National Circus School. Later, TOHU would join in.

2001  A growing role

With the sector enjoying tremendous growth, En Piste expands its horizons and now welcomes artists, creators, trainers, schools, creative companies, support organizations, producers and festivals. In short, the entire circus milieu, without exclusion!

2001  The circus: an officially recognized art form

After several years of consultations, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec officially recognizes the circus arts.

2003  Professional development begins

With the support of Emploi-Québec and Compétence Culture, En Piste offers continuing education opportunities to circus professionals.

2008  Montreal and the circus: a love story

In 2008, the Conseil des arts de Montréal also granted official recognition to the circus arts. The Canada Council for the Arts followed suit in 2009.

2010  Montreal goes Complètement Cirque!

After nearly two years of concerted work with various actors in the field, En Piste participates in the very first edition of the Montréal Complètement Cirque festival.

2012  En Piste celebrates 15 years!

And as a birthday present, the organization becomes a finalist for the Grand Prix of theConseil des arts de Montréal. A wonderful commemoration!

2016  A major survey

Four hundred and twenty-six circus arts professionals participate in a national survey and in 127 focus groups held in Toronto, Dieppe, Halifax, Vancouver, Calgary, Quebec City and Montreal. This completely pan-Canadian consultation helps clarify and corroborate the sector’s true state.

2017  Eye on our territories, promising future vision!

En Piste releases its Sector Development Plan 2017-2021 - Extending our reach for the national development of the circus arts.

2018  Inroads for the circus

Following the Master Plan, En Piste’s efforts lead to substantial gains in Quebec! First, a move by the CNESST to provide coverage for circus artists in training. The MCCQ also allocates $1 million to develop a circus arts training program. And En Piste contributes to a pilot project to help artists with career transitions.

2021 Creation of a show circulation measure

Creation of the Destination cirque program to increase the dissemination of circus arts in Quebec. It was set up with the support of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.

2022 Creation of the first circus awards

En Piste creates the first Circus Arts Recognition Awards in partnership with the Conseil des arts de Montréal.


2023  Nadia Drouin appointed General Director of En Piste

Nadia Drouin, creator and manager of Destination cirque since 2021, is appointed General Director of En Piste.
The organization unveils its updated Sector Development Plan 2023-2027, launches the Plans-cadres du développement de la filière de formation loisir et préparatoire, the Guide d’aménagement des espaces de formation et des équipements circassiens and the Plan de certification des enseignant·e·s en arts du cirque, in collaboration with the École nationale de cirque de Montréal, the École de cirque de Québec, the École de cirque de Verdun, the École de cirque des Îles-de-la-Madeleine and the École Horizon-Soleil de Saint-Eustache.
Launch of the Circus Arts Technical Improvement Training, in partnership with Collège Lionel-Groulx, Cirque Éloize, Les 7 doigts de la main and TOHU, and with the support of the Commission des partenaires du marché du travail.
A Study of Continuing Training Needs in the Circus Arts Sector is submitted and presented in the fall.


Today   On the move around the globe  

En Piste continues to progress: it counts around 500 members whose influence is recognized internationally. Because the circus has no borders!