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(Courtesy of The Associate Press via. The Washington Post) 2009 rendering. Holy hell.
Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna is performed in Old Montreal on Tuesday, April 24, 2012. Photograph by: Dario Ayala , Montreal Gazette MONTREAL - Quel horreur! It’s possible that the Cirque du Soleil may find its first permanent Canadian performance venue in Toronto rather than Montreal. According to stories published recently in the Toronto Star and the Las Vegas Review-Journal, MGM Resorts International, which is lobbying to get in on a proposed downtown Toronto casino, is hinting that it might include a permanent venue for Montreal’s Cirque du Soleil. This would be a huge blow to Quebec pride. Unless, of course, Cirque owner and adventurous billionaire Guy Laliberté appeases les gens de notre pays by completing a permanent venue for his billion circus here first — something he has been talking about doing for decades. The most recent Montreal rumours have to do with the Cirque’s acquisition of the Maison Alcan building on Sherbrooke St. Paul Godfrey, chair of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation as well as president and CEO of PostMedia (the company that owns the Gazette), says there is indeed substance to the rumour: “From what I understand,” he said Tuesday in an email response, “if MGM is chosen as the successful gaming operator, their facility would include a permanent Cirque facility. This is all subject to the city approving a casino in Toronto. I do know that from both MGM and Cirque.” Cirque du Soleil public relations director Renée Claude Ménard, too, confirmed the story Tuesday. “If MGM obtains something in Toronto,” she said, “we have confirmed that we would be their entertainment content provider. What it will be will be determined at a later date, but yes, we have of course confirmed our interest to our partner MGM.” When Alan Feldman, MGM Resorts senior vice-president of public affairs, visited Toronto last month to plead his case, he talked of a $4-billion resort that would include a 1,000-room hotel and create 8,000 jobs. The Las Vegas-based MGM is but one of several companies lobbying to run the proposed Toronto casino, which probably would be located at Exhibition Place, although other Toronto locations are being considered. Caesars Entertainment Corp., the company that runs Caesars Palace, the performing home of Céline Dion in Vegas, also wants in on the Toronto game. (There are, as yet, however, no rumours of a Caesar’s that would entice Dion to take up permanent residence in Toronto.) Godfrey has requested that the City of Toronto come to a decision on this matter by February 2013, hinting that the planned casino might find a better welcome outside the GTA area. Many Torontonians are opposed to the idea of a casino. Meanwhile, the James Cameron film Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away just had its debut at the Tokyo International Film Festival last weekend. And here in Montreal, it has been announced that Cirque CEO Daniel Lamarre will be awarded an honorary degree by McGill University. [email protected] © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Cirque+Soleil+might+permanent+Toronto+venue/7435689/story.html#ixzz2AE1Lxm7j