Daniel Lamarre, The Montreal Gazette, 28 novembre 2011
Daniel Lamarre is president and chief executive officer of Cirque du Soleil.
MONTREAL – At this very moment, my colleagues on Mystère, O, Zumanity, KÀ, The Beatles LOVE, Criss Angel Believe and Viva Elvis in Las Vegas, and my colleagues on Iris, in Los Angeles are just starting their day. The cast and crew of Quidam in Pittsburgh, La Nouba in Orlando, Fla., Dralion in Puerto Rico, Ovo in Mexico and Varekai in São Paulo are just arriving at their sites to get ready for tonight’s performances.
This planetwide presence has become the Cirque du Soleil’s daily reality. Through their worldwide exposure, our shows have given us the opportunity to serve as ambassadors for Montreal talent in more than 300 cities on six continents.
Our creative works reflect the combined efforts of hundreds of talented Montrealers and demonstrate the scope of their creativity. Every day, our homegrown artists and artisans contribute to raising Cirque du Soleil’s international profile.
Directors, creators, musicians, lighting technicians, stage designers, costume makers, makeup artists, technicians and coaches have grown up, perfected their skills and made their mark right here in Montreal.
All these talented people are creating moments of incredible beauty, or « wow » moments – you know, like when an artist leaps off into empty space to catch a trapeze after doing a flip 30 feet up in the air. It is to bring about magical moments like this that our creators come to work every day.
That magic is born of the successful coming together of an original idea and our ability to bring it to life. Our creators come up with lots of ideas, each of which seems crazier and more original than the last. There’s quite a gap to be overcome between having an idea and bringing that idea to life onstage. And that’s where an exciting world comes into play: research and development.
At Cirque du Soleil, we have a large R&D team. Like modern-day explorers, these people set out to flush out the talents and ideas that pop up here and there in the four corners of the globe. They track down new technologies and dissect the little thingamajigs that nobody had ever thought about to see how they can be used differently. The team sees the world in a different light, and reinvents it every day. And that exploration, that search for the new and the novel, is carried out in close co-operation with Montreal’s researchers.
I’d like to quote Simon Brault, president of Culture Montréal. Brault earned a reputation as the driving force behind many projects that reshaped Montreal’s cultural landscape throughout his career. In a speech he gave last May, he said:
« If our authors, creators, producers, musicians, choreographers and interpreters are irresistibly drawn to the world stage, it is primarily because they are seeking to satisfy a genuine need to express and present to the rest of the planet what we’re doing here, in this very city. Montreal is a widely envied hub of experimentation, training, creation and performance that is one of the freest, the best-supported and -defended, the most effective and the most globally oriented of any that exist today. »
I think that if Montreal wants to position itself strongly in the international arena, we have to build on our strengths. The artistic talent that sets us apart and opens the world’s stages to us has to be the cornerstone of our efforts.
We often become cynical about our own city. It’s true that we have problems and that we have to resolve them. We don’t want to be known for the orange cone festival or for our crumbling infrastructure. But I have every confidence that we will be able to find solutions to these issues, and I will leave it up to others to put those solutions in place.
More than anything else, I see Montreal as a living, curious and creative city, fertile ground for ideas and initiatives of all kinds. I sincerely believe that creativity is one of our natural resources.
As a source of success, creativity is a powerful economic-development tool. It enables everyone who harnesses it to stand out from the rest in this era of globalization.
Creativity is one of our most strategically important intangible assets. It must be considered to be a management function that is essential to transforming our businesses, and a keystone that distinguishes us from all the other players in an ultracompetitive marketplace.
There’s a place up for grabs on the world stage, and we have the right to claim it. The vast pool of Montreal creators and the strength, diversity and quality of the city’s artistic realizations testify to that fact. The time has come to mark the occasion and give Montreal the signature and artistic credits that are its due.
We can make Montreal the world capital of creativity.