CNESST: Circus performers now protected during training 

CNESST: Circus performers now protected during training
March 17, 2022

On March 18, 2022, the Government of Quebec announced an agreement that now provides protection for circus performers in the event of an employment injury while training. A great victory for circus artists!

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Quebec City, March 18, 2022 - En Piste, the National Circus Arts Alliance, welcomes today's announcement by the Minister of Culture and Communications, Ms. Nathalie Roy, and the Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity, Mr. Jean Boulet, regarding the signing of an agreement to protect circus artists in the event of an employment injury occurring during their training.

This agreement between the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) and the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST), which recently came into effect, provides that the Act respecting industrial accidents and occupational diseases will henceforth apply to professional circus artists during training sessions held outside the framework of an engagement contract.

This important gain is possible thanks to a partnership between the Quebec government and our alliance. It includes $150,000 that will be invested annually in this agreement for the payment of fees.

Thus, our alliance is very happy for the artists who will finally have access to a protection in case of professional injury during their training. For the past two years, the pandemic has severely tested their professional conditions. This agreement responds to a need expressed by our group for several years and is an essential gesture to improve their living conditions and practice.

We would like to thank the Quebec government, the CALQ and the CNESST for making it a reality.



  • The 2018-2023 government action plan for culture provided for the conclusion of an agreement with the CNESST to protect circus artists during their training (measure 16).
  • More than 300 professional circus artists are covered by this agreement.
  • Compensation for occupational injuries includes the provision of the care necessary for the consolidation of an injury, the physical, social and professional rehabilitation of the injured worker, the payment of income replacement benefits, compensation for bodily injury and, if applicable, death benefits.
  • To be eligible, the professional artist must master the technique of one or more circus specialties and perform paid work either on stage, in a public space or in media works. He or she must have been practicing for a minimum of 12 months or be a graduate, as an artist, of a circus arts institution of higher learning. Their training must be structured and supervised by a qualified professional in an authorized location. The CALQ coordinates the application of the agreement in collaboration with the organization En Piste.


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