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In the fall of 2003 the School moved to an entirely new 7,200 square metre building especially designed to provide state-of-the art professional training in the circus arts. With facilities catering to all disciplines while promoting safety, the School provides a unique learning environment.
These new facilities had an undeniable impact on the School's acceptance rate as well as on the training it offers to young people wanting to become circus performers. The School accepts more full-time students and offers new training and proficiency programs for professional circus performers. In addition to the secondary and the college-level academic education, the National Circus School now undertakes the professional development of instructors and trainers of circus arts involved in recreational, social action or preparatory training programs.
The premises are adapted and equipped for the practice of all circus disciplines. They also contain dance, acting, music and body-building studios as well as classrooms for teaching academic subjects, a reference library specializing in the circus arts, and spaces dedicated to training services and the School's administrative offices. In addition, specific facilities will be available for professional circus artists and companies for training, creative, production and performance purposes.
The new building was designed by the Montreal architectural firm Lapointe, Magne et Associés, which won the Architectural Competition held by the National Circus School in 2001.
In 2003, the School took up residence in a new space especially designed for training professional circus artists in the heart of TOHU, the Cité des arts du cirque, in Montreal. TOHU broke new ground in 1999, when the national circus arts network En Piste, the Cirque du Soleil and the National Circus School united to advance circus arts on the local and international scenes. The word TOHU, derived from “tohu-bohu” (hurly-burly), evokes the creative turbulence, the agitation and effervescence that
infuse this centre, as well as its inhabitants and the projects emanating from it.
This “Cité” is a unique hub for circus arts performance, creation, production and teaching. Beyond supporting the circus arts industry, TOHU is a fascinating place where culture, environmental consciousness and the community have become closely intertwined and constantly influence one another.