2024 Propulsion Award Winner 

2024 Propulsion Award Winner
Hugo Couturier, Nathan Biggs Penton, Nadia Drouin Photo Solène Gourlaouëne
July 4, 2024

Acting for Climate Montréal / Mouvement Climat Montréal is a group of performers and activists who address sensitive environmental topics through contemporary circus work.

The Conseil des arts de Montréal and En Piste, National circus arts alliance have come together to congratulate the winner of the first Propulsion Prize in Circus Arts.

The Award, which comes with a $10,000 scholarship, recognizes an innovative artist, cultural worker, circus arts collective or organization that made a significant contribution to circus arts in 2023. This new initiative is the result of a three-year partnership between the Conseil and En Piste.

The Award was presented to Acting for Climate Montréal / Mouvement Climat Montréal for its bold and unprecedented contributions to circus arts, its environmentally responsible way of operating and its local and international influence.

Founded in 2020 by Nathan Biggs Penton, Agathe Bisserier and Adrien Malette-Chénier, and recently joined by Samuelle McGowan-Richer, Acting for Climate Montréal / Mouvement Climat Montréal is committed to addressing current environmental concerns while maintaining high artistic standards.

The jury highlighted Acting for Climate Montréal / Mouvement Climat Montréal’s versatility and its promotion of equality, inclusion and artistic development via its residencies and productions. This company supports the circus community by hiring acrobats from minority communities and newcomers with different types of training. It gives new audiences across the country the chance to enjoy contemporary circus arts in parks and in other public spaces. Their show Branché which was the subject of an eponymous film, creates a close relationship with the public in natural spaces. The show N.Ormes is on tour internationally and will be in Avignon in July and then in Edinburgh. With N.Ormes, the duo Agathe and Adrien also contribute to research on the perception of gender roles, in collaboration with the Centre de recherche, d'innovation et de transfert des arts du cirque (CRITAC). In addition to current works, in 2023 the company worked on four small and medium form performances: Réciproque, Ce que j'en ferais, Adrift et Tartare. 

After thanking En Piste and le Conseil for creating the Prix Propulsion and for receiving its first edition, Nathan Biggs Penton, speaking on behalf of the collective, added:

"Today, I am alone, but surrounded by an entire community of people
who are crucial to the success of our projects. Thank you to all those who have supported us,
who believe in the importance of our approach, and who create with us.

Since we created Acting for Climate Montréal, we have been supported
and inspired by each other, among small companies. We would not have gotten
to this point – here – without this expanding ecosystem that is transforming Quebec’s circus scene.

Even amidst the current cuts in arts funding we are facing, there are wonderful initiatives
emerging that make us proud to be part of Quebec’s circus community.

The future is not what happens, but what we create.

Acting for Climate Montréal / Mouvement Climat Montréal is an inspiring and accessible model for future artists. Through their entrepreneurship and creative management, they rethink how performances tour and are disseminated, and how they are received by the public. The company is esteemed by the public as well as the circus community.

A five-person jury from the circus community selected four finalists from the 19 high-level projects presented. The other three are Frédérique Cournoyer Lessard and Scuse, the People Watching collective and Play Dead and La compagnie des autres for their contribution to circus arts in 2023. The jury was unanimous in their decision that the four final projects met the Propulsion Award’s criteria brilliantly. The projects had creative approaches, equal and inclusive practices, new organizational models and forward-thinking work methods.

The Propulsion Award was presented on the opening night of the MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE festival on July 3, 2024, at the TOHU.


Source :
Eloi Savoie
Directeur des communications par intérim
[email protected]

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