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2024 Propulsion Award for Innovating and Enriching Circus Arts Finalists Unveiled

The recipient of the Conseil des arts de Montréal's 2024 Propulsion Award in Circus Arts with a $10,000 Grant to be announced at TOHU on July 3.

By: Jun. 04, 2024
2024 Propulsion Award for Innovating and Enriching Circus Arts Finalists Unveiled  Image
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MONTREAL June 4, 2024 — En Piste, the National Circus Arts Alliance, will continue its partnership with the Conseil des arts de Montréal (Conseil) and announce the finalists of the 2024 Propulsion Award in Circus Arts.

This award recognizes audacity and highlights the significant contribution of an individual or group to developing the discipline, whether through innovation, outreach or community involvement. The Propulsion Award comes with a $10,000 grant from the Conseil and will be jointly presented with En Piste during cocktail drinks on the opening evening of the MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE festival at TOHU on July 3, 2024.

This inaugural Propulsion Award marks the beginning of a three-year agreement that will run until 2026.

19 INNOVATIVE PROJECTS The 19 projects submitted were all of high quality and reflect the multitude of circus arts practices present in Montréal. Four projects were selected as finalists. The artisans of these projects are the present and future of Quebec circus arts. They lead the way with their scenic writing and dramaturgy, their inventive approach to acrobatic forms, creation, and management, as well as their public engagement.


Play Dead features six virtuoso acrobats in a circus theatre performance with stunning choreography.

Acting for Climate Montréal addresses challenging issues through engaging and environmentally responsible contemporary circus works.

La compagnie des autres provides tailored solutions to meet the pressing needs of circus artists and organizations for the benefit of the community.

A unique voice in solo circus arts, Scuse offers a brave and insightful personal reflection on gender conditioning.


People Watching

A fresh voice expressed in a distinct and highly accessible format, the People Watching collective presented a structured work reflecting its strong connections to the community. Play Dead stands out for its innovative form and unconventional theatricality. With simple means and a well-defined aesthetic, the collective's virtuosic choreography underpins this creation. With a focus on acrobatic innovation, high technicality and a dramaturgy touching on the absurd, this piece is another exciting addition to this young company's growing reputation. Ruben Ingerwen, Jérémi Lévesque, Natasha Patterson, Brin Schoellkopf, Jarrod Takle, and Sabine Van Rensburg represent the diversity of a generation embracing inclusion and equity. Merging dance with acrobatics, Play Dead has excellent potential for dissemination. In addition to practising circus arts and acrobatic dance, the six members of the collective make films, lead creative workshops and build a culture around circus arts that reaches beyond their performances. ACTING FOR CLIMATE MONTRÉAL'S 2023 WORKS
Acting for Climate Montréal / Mouvement Climat Montréal

Acting for Climate Montréal's show Branché promotes contemporary circus arts to new audiences across our territory by building stronger connections with people in natural spaces. The work was also the subject of a film of the same name. Another creation, N.Ormes, is touring internationally with duo Agathe and Adrien, who are both currently contributing to research on the perception of gender roles. Offering inspiration for future artists and always challenging and reinventing itself, the company maintains high artistic standards and public engagement with practices closely aligned with current environmental and social concerns. Founded in 2020 by Nathan Biggs Penton, Agathe Bisserier and Adrien Malette-Chénier, and now joined by Samuelle McGowan-Richer, Acting for Climate Montréal has developed dissemination networks across Quebec, highlighting the region's talents, including many emerging artists. The company promotes the inclusion, equity and development of artists and creative methods through its productions and, in 2023, via its creative workshops and residencies for projects such as Réciproque, Qu'est-ce que j'en ferais, À la dérive, and Tartare. The creative management of this prolific company is reflected in its touring practices, with a strong focus on human and environmental sustainability. LA COMPAGNIE DES AUTRES' CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE CIRCUS ARTS COMMUNITY IN 2023

La compagnie des autres

Founded by Alice Kop, Nicolas Fortin and Antoine Carabinier Lépine in 2020, La compagnie des autres has become a key player and vital resource much appreciated by the circus arts community. Established in a former church in Pointe-aux-Trembles, the company offers a space for hosting creative residencies and presenting shows. The organization has experienced phenomenal growth in a very short time and is developing large-scale projects that benefit the local community, such as the new “Pointô” festival, which will take place in early June. The proactive vision of La compagnie des autres invigorates the circus arts community, with the transfer of expertise of circus artists, technicians and managers making it a key creative hub for Montréal artists. SCUSE

Frédérique Cournoyer Lessard

Frédérique Cournoyer Lessard's intense and moving work Scuse offers a deeply personal insight into gender conditioning. A socio-biographical documentary, this work lays bare the brave and insightful writings of an exceptional solo circus artist with a feminist voice who addresses an important taboo in the arts community and pushes beyond victimization. Frédérique Cournoyer Lessard uses a cleverly crafted acrobatic language, demonstrating great skill and sensitivity in her remarkable aerial hoop work. Seeking to initiate a dialogue, the artist creates a dynamic of sharing with the audience. The artistic treatment of this creation, which explores social themes, shows extraordinary maturity. Scuse has benefited from a contemporary circus arts performance network in France and Belgium recognizing its potential, which attests to the professional development of this remarkable artist with an atypical background who also makes circus films. Join us at TOHU on July 3, 2024, for the announcement of the winner of the Conseil's 2024 Propulsion Award in Circus Arts with Nathalie Maillé (Executive Director of the Conseil des arts de Montréal) and Nadia Drouin (Executive Director of En Piste). ABOUT EN PISTE En Piste, the National Circus Arts Alliance, is the only umbrella organization for circus arts professionals and organizations in Canada. It works to create conditions favourable to the development of the circus arts. The artists, artisans, cultural workers, and organizations it represents work in all areas of the sector, from training to creation, production, promotion, and social circus.  


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