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Press release: SHANGHAI CIRCUS COMING TO MONTREAL IN 2007 TOHU and the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal partner to make culture a springboard for Sino-Quebec business opportunities

Press Release

TOHU and the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal partner
to make culture a springboard for Sino-Quebec business opportunities

Montreal, April 13, 2006 – TOHU and the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal are pleased to announce two projects that will be conducted as a result of the productive relationships that have been forged between cultural and economic sector partners during the current trade mission to China led by Gérald Tremblay, Mayor of Montreal.

TOHU, the Shanghai Circus and the Canada China Network Council have just signed an agreement to establish cooperative relationships and promote exchanges over the long term in the circus arts sector. These unique relationships will focus on the exchange of expertise and work experience information in this sector as well as on the development and initiation of concrete collaboration and development projects. The parties have already agreed to conduct an initial collaborative project: organize the presentation, in whole or in part, of the Shanghai Circus show ERA – Intersection of Time at TOHU in the fall of 2007.

There is also an economic component associated to this agreement, led by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal which will see a Chinese business delegation visit Montreal at the same time as the Shanghai Circus in order to promote commercial opportunities between Chinese and Quebec business people.

“Because Montreal's international character has a major influence on its growth and development, it is important, given today's global landscape, to work actively to strengthen our collaboration and relationships with emerging economic partners, such as the opportunity currently offered us with China,” stated Isabelle Hudon, president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “And while the potential of the metropolitan region is being realized through its international trade activities, it is also defined by cultural exchanges. Montreal is a true melting pot of creativity. It thrives on its diversity, which it manifests both by producing world-class cultural events and presenting those from other countries. Our metropolis is open, and it offers the world its very best: its creators, expertise, products and services. It also recognizes everything the world has to offer and works to actively promote this at home.”

“The circus arts industry represents extraordinary economic development potential on a local, regional and international level,” added Charles-Mathieu Brunelle, senior vice-president and general manager of TOHU. “TOHU and the Shanghai Circus each boast very distinctive expertise, and the complementarity of this expertise allows for close collaboration and extensive development of this cultural industry. ERA – Intersection of Time, the latest Shanghai Circus show, which we saw earlier this week, is a stunning creation of international calibre. It is a blend of Quebec and Chinese talent at its best. We are proud to be associated with the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal in this project, and we are delighted with the prospect of introducing Quebecers to the extraordinary creativity that this collaboration has generated.”

Bonds of friendship and cooperation have been strong between Shanghai and Montreal since 1985, and positive communication efforts in the technical, economic and cultural sectors have benefited the two cities and their citizens. The current agreement has come about as the result of the willingness of the Shanghai International Culture Association, Canada China Network Council and Conseil des Arts de Montréal to develop cultural exchanges.

ERA – Intersection of Time
The latest offering of the Shanghai Circus is a Sino-Quebec production. Some 20 Quebec technicians and artists helped create the show, from its directing to its music. This coming together of Quebec and Chinese artists generated ERA, a modern show, which is what China was seeking in the lead-up to the 2008 Olympic Games and the 2010 Shanghai World Exposition. This world class show was inaugurated with much fanfare in September 2005. Composer Michel Cusson, director Érick Villeneuve and stage manager Louis Côté are all part of the ERA team.

TOHU… «Circus, Earth, People»
The mission of TOHU is threefold: cultural (make Montreal an international circus arts capital); environmental (actively participate in the revitalization of one of the largest urban landfill sites in North America); and community (contribute to the cultural, social and economic development of the Saint-Michel neighbourhood, one of the most sensitive in Canada). TOHU also offers highly distinctive facilities: a circular hall unlike any other in Canada; an exhibition room; and an outdoor public square. In addition to hosting major circus shows, TOHU offers Montrealers and visitors to the city a wide range of free activities and services: shows, exhibitions, workshops, guided tours and educational and festive events.

The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, through its experts at the World Trade Centre Montréal, offers international trade services to the greater business community with the support of Canada Economic Development.



Camille Bégin
Public Relations Officer – TOHU
Tel.: (514) 374-3522, ext. 2229

Sylvie Paquette
Coordinator, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: (514) 871-4000, ext. 4015


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