The musts according to Michel Gagnon
Michel Gagnon

Director of Programming
Place des arts


Le Cirque Éloize

175, rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest

Created in 1993 by three artists from the Magdalen Islands, Jeannot Painchaud, Danielle Cyr and Claudette Morin, Cirque Éloize designs shows, which it now presents in over 30 countries, for so-called Italian-style theatres. It is a huge success story for this troupe that has renewed the circus art by combining it with theatre and dance. The troupe’s interdisciplinary performances are very current and very audacious, with broad audience appeal. With their humour, their originality and also their sensuality, the shows are really fascinating, with an amazing number of surprises, all intelligently developed around a single theme. We are especially pleased to be hosting the circus’s latest creation, Cirkopolis, at the Théâtre Maisonneuve, as of November 13. The story unfolds in the heart of an austere factory town. The acrobats and artists will shatter the town’s daily routine by introducing, with grace, agility and virtuosity, a truly delightful fantasy. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Cirque Eloize and the 50th anniversary of Place des Arts, a twofold event worth celebrating!


Bourgie Concert Hall

1339, rue Sherbrooke Ouest

Bourgie Hall offers us a chance to listen to beautiful music in a beautiful environment. Like many Montrealers, I am very happy that the Roman-revival heritage building Erskine and American Church, built in 1894, was not only spared but given a new lease of life, unlike some other ill-fated destinations. Audiences are pleasantly seated in this venue having excellent acoustics and decorated with 20 exceptional stained-glass windows by Tiffany – the equivalent of which cannot be found anywhere else in Canada. And, depending on my mood, I can choose between classical music and world music, since the programming is very diversified, just like the Museum’s art collection. With the new exhibition, Splendore a Venezia, which opens this month, a real Baroque music festival has been prepared for the enjoyment of music lovers like me.

Photo : Paul Boisvert

Agora de la Danse

This place is overflowing with creativity! The role played for the past 20 years by Agora de la danse in the support and expansion of contemporary dance in Quebec cannot be over-estimated. It is a major player promoting audacity and innovation, an ideal setting for choreographers and dancers. It has once and for all rooted this artistic practice in the cultural community of the province and made it known far beyond its borders. Since 1994, over 300 artists have benefitted from a residency at the Agora, enabling them to come up with new productions and adaptations. The fall program is particularly rich and I am definitely planning to take advantage of it, because I love being surprised as much as I like to be charmed by the seemingly unlimited imagination and faultless technique of the dancers in always original performances.

Photo: André Thibert

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