Unveiling of the first circus arts recognition awards 

Unveiling of the first circus arts recognition awards
April 4, 2023

En Piste and the Conseil des arts de Montréal (CAM) are proud to announce the winners of the first circus arts recognition awards. These prizes, each with an amount of $2,500, were presented by Nathalie Maillé, Executive Director of the CAM, on June 3rd, on the occasion of the 5@Cirque of En Piste at 7 Fingers.

The 2023 laureates are Yamoussa Bangoura, Éliane Bonin and Victor Fomine. They were chosen among ten candidates, pre-selected by a committee, after a vote by the members of En Piste.

Recently created, the Circus Arts Recognition Awards aim to highlight the exceptional contribution of deserving personalities in the sector; to recognize leadership, innovation, creativity and commitment within the community and to testify to rich careers in the field. They are dedicated to artists, craftsmen and cultural workers, whose passionate work, achievements and commitment have left their mark on the milieu and contribute to positioning Montréal as the international capital of the arts of circus.

Yamoussa Bangoura is a multidisciplinary artist in dance, music (vocals, kora, balafon and percussion) and circus (aerial straps, Cyr wheel and acrobatics). He has a solid training in traditional African dance. He was trained in the circus within the Guinean troupe Circus Baobab. In Spain, he was spotted by Cirque Éloize, who recruited him. A true pioneer of the Cyr wheel, since 2007, he has his own creative company, Productions Kalabanté, which operates internationally. This truly unifying creator is an extraordinary and essential acrobat, in addition to being a most captivating musician. He has done a lot for the development of the circus with Africa where there are few bridges with North America. He is also recognized for his commitment to education. Yamoussa Bangoura has his own way of being an artist outside the system and apprehends the human in its entirety. He frequently performs at other special events, most often on behalf of Productions Kalabanté, whether with Cirque Éloize, Cavalia, The 7 Fingers, Cirque du Soleil, Cirque Fantastique, Artcirq, Les Productions Nights of Africa, Miss Africa and Miss Guinea.
Complete biography (in French only)

A committed artist, Éliane Bonin has been working for social transformation by organizing events and training sessions as well as by creating live art performances since 2000 in Montreal. For this self-taught, emancipated drop-out, former activist who swapped the classic practices of political resistance for practices of body arts, the circus is a space of social inclusion and of claiming human and mammalian freedom. A committed clown, she creates powerful workswhich want to be unifying rather than shocking: through derision and kinesic empathy, similar to the jester, she passes messages to invite the public to question the system in place, encourage the liberation of morals and self-management. Éliane Bonin is one of the founding members of Carmagnole (2002), an organization resulting from the initiative of an anarchist group wishing to make circus arts accessible and inclusive through carnival arts. A former participant of Cirque du Monde Montreal, she has since become a social circus instructor herself at Cirque Hors-Piste, Cirqiniq and TEVA, among others. She is an accomplished artist for whom the transfer of knowledge, teaching and the democratization of circus arts are deep values. Her recent performance in Les Érotisseries de Carmagnole at Espace Libre caught the eye and is in the running for the Grand Prix du CAM 2023. 
Complete biography (in French only)

Absolutely essential aerial artist, Victor Fomine is a recognized trainer whose commitment to the community deserves to be honored. He welcomed in his studio many artists to whom he allowed to develop their practice . Born in Podolsk, Moscow region, he began training in gymnastics at the age of 11 . He participated in national events before being called up for his military service. At the end of this, in 1979, he was hired by SoyouzGosTsirk, the central body of the circus of the USSR. In 1984 he joined the faculty of the prestigious Moscow Circus School. At the Paris Festival in 1987, where he presents two numbers, he contributes with Tereza Durova, Valentin Gneushev, Alexandre Grimailo and some others, to define the vocabulary of a new circus. He returned there in 1990 with a tourist visa and found a job at Annie Fratellini's National Circus School. In 1993, faced with the prospect of returning to Russia, he called Jan-Rok Achard , then director of the National Circus School in Montreal, who provided him with a work visa. In 2001, in addition to his involvement with the National Circus School and his training sessions at Cirque du Soleil, he opened his swinging trapeze studio in Montreal. He designs new training techniques, trains more students and collects medals for them. Victor Fomine is recognized worldwide as the "guru" of swinging trapeze. 
Complete biography (in French only)

Congratulations to the three winners!

For more information: circus arts awards

Francine Arsenault / Corporate Communications / En Piste                               
[email protected] / 514 812-7068 / enpiste.qc.ca

Sheila Skaiem / Medias / Avec Sheila
[email protected] / 514 572-8687 / avecsheila.com

Photo: Victor Formine, Nathalie Maillé, Executive Director of the Conseil des arts de Montréal, Nadia Drouin, Interim Executive Director of En Piste, and Yamoussa Bangoura. Missing in this photo is Éliane Bonin, on a trip to Nunavik. Photographer: Jérémy Bouchez