For the past fourteen years the École national de cirque in Montreal has given hundreds of students an opportunity to get a taste of circus life and has helped to transform a talented number of them into fully-fledged circus artists. The school, which was founded in Montreal's working class east end, has now taken up new quarters in the refurbished and splendidly equipped Dalhousie Railway Station. Over the years it has acquired a truly international reputation and has drawn students form as far afield as Europe, Asia and Australia.
It is, in many ways, unlike the majority of circus schools in the world, operated by governments or circus companies. It is a private non-profit corporation which offers both full-time professional-track training as well as a recreational program. There are ten instructors and five administrators who run the facility.
There are some 32 students in the professional program, each paying 1,600 dollars a year tuition for between 35-40 weeks of gruelling, individually-tailored training.
The school has always been a training ground for the Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil but it has also won its own place on the world map of the circus. For the past four years all of the school's entrants in the Paris-based Fesitival of the Circus of Tomorrow have come away as medalists.
For further information on the École national de cirque contact: