Hailing from French Canada, Guy Laliberté was born in 1959. He was enthralled by show business from a young age. He began staging performing arts events while still in school, however, these weren’t typical plays. Fire breathers and acrobats were more Laliberté’s style. After finishing school, he caught on with a traveling show and toured throughout Canada. Following a short stint back in the general workforce, he returned to his true passion of street performing. Laliberté co-founded Cirque du Soleil in 1984 with the help of a Canadian Government Grant. Literally meaning ‘Circus of the Sun,’ he wanted the organisation to be steeped in the concepts of ‘energy’ and ‘youth.’ Cirque du Soleil has become arguably the most recognizable live performing show on Earth, growing from a regional Canadian operation to an international entertainment machine with a presence on five continents. Laliberté’s interests have extended beyond the performing arena over the years. He is an avid high-stakes poker player, having finished in the top five at the World Series of Poker. He also became the first Canadian space tourist. His motivation in going to space was to fuel awareness for water issues facing the planet. His One Drop Foundation is designed to fight poverty with access to water. Guy Laliberté has journeyed all his life to create new perspectives in the arts, and in the art of giving back.
“The sun stands for energy and youth, which is what I thought the circus should be about.”
“Guy Laliberté has changes the landscape of the circus, getting rid of the antiquated abuse of animals for the entertainment of humans, which is something we should all respect.” – Bernardo Moya