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Cirque du Soleil announces mass layoffs due to Covid-19

‘The most difficult day in our history’: Canadian family entertainment group Cirque du Soleil makes "significant" temporary staff reductions as it closes all shows

By Anna Grace on 20 Mar 2020

Cirque du Soleil announces mass layoffs due to Covid-19

Cirque du Soleil produces world-renowned touring circus arts shows


image © Ivan Sarfatti

The Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group has announced “significant temporary staff reductions”, set to affect 95% of its workforce, as the coronavirus pandemic causes the closure of all its shows worldwide.

Cirque du Soleil, which earlier this month partnered with live entertainment giant AEG and venue operator ASM Global, says the short-term layoff of over 4,500 employees is “a necessary measure to stabilise the company for the future”.

The group has halted all its 44 active shows as governments around the world impose limitations on public gatherings.

The company is taking steps to provide support for affected employees, including paid vacation time, insurance coverage throughout the temporary layoff period and access to the group’s employee support program.

“Unfortunately, this decision is our only option as we are forced to position ourselves to weather this storm and prepare for eventual re-openings”

A core support team will continue working to maintain basic operations, continue tour planning and ticket sales for shows later this year and in 2021. Cirque du Soleil is preparing for rehiring as soon as productions can resume.

“It is the most difficult day in Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group history. We’re deeply saddened by the dramatic measures taken today, as the temporary layoff includes many hardworking, dedicated people,” says Daniel Lamarre, president and CEO Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group.

“Unfortunately, this decision is our only option as we are forced to position ourselves to weather this storm and prepare for eventual re-openings.

“As one of the most trusted brands and successful live entertainment organisations, we are confident that when the day comes when we can reopen our shows, we will be ready to welcome the millions of fans who come to our shows worldwide.”

Photo: Ivan Sarfatti Photographer

 


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