Press Release

Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group and Ryerson University’s FCAD partner to launch a new research lab on the future of live entertainment

Toronto, Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group and Ryerson University’s FCAD partner to launch a new research lab on the future of live entertainment

TORONTO, Ontario. April 10, 2019 --- Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group (CDSEG) through its innovation lab, Nextasy, and FCAD, Ryerson’s Faculty of Communication and Design have come together to launch The Future of Live Entertainment Lab (FOL!E), dedicated to innovation research in the live entertainment industry. This powerful initiative combines Ryerson University’s strength as Canada’s leader in innovative, career-oriented education, with CDSEG’s expertise as a live entertainment global leader, to create a laboratory that will focus on using technology to enhance human performances, developing methodologies for live audience analytics, and generating deep insights into social and economic paradigms shaping the industry.

“We’ve always invested internally to push the boundaries of our own creations and creative minds, but FOL!E is our first official step to open up our research and development initiatives to the outside world. There is no doubt this academic partnership will contribute to pushing the live entertainment industry to the next frontier.” says Diane Quinn, Chief Creation Officer at Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group.

Charles Falzon, Dean of FCAD says, “We are thrilled to have found a partner who has at heart as much as we do, the training of the next generation of live entertainment leaders. FCAD‘s research is at the intersection of technology and creative storytelling and who better to partner with than Cirque du Soleil, the biggest and best Canadian cultural export who has raised the bar of innovation in those fields for the last three decades.”

Housed in the Catalyst at FCAD, a new interdisciplinary research hub home to 20 labs and centres, FOL!E will bring together faculty and students from FCAD’s nine creative schools to develop projects in high-interest areas for academic and field-based research. Under the leadership of Louis-Etienne Dubois, faculty member in the School of Creative Industries and newly appointed Director of FOL!E, researchers will also have access to CDSEG's expertise and audience insights coming from the Group’s facilities worldwide including its international headquarters in Montreal.

Through a unique interdisciplinary approach that blends technology and creativity, CDSEG has committed funding and expertise to tackle questions of how the changes in audience preferences, emerging technologies and shifting economic conditions are creating new possibilities for the live entertainment’s industry. FOL!E’s initiatives and findings on the potential social, educational, and commercial impacts will be disseminated through academic conferences, journals, an annual showcase event and through Nextasy’s online platform that shares trends and insights in live entertainment and creative innovation.


Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group is a world leader in live entertainment. On top of producing world-renowned circus arts shows, the Canadian organization brings its creative approach to a large variety of entertainment forms such as multimedia productions, immersive experiences, theme parks and special events. It currently has 4,500 employees from nearly 70 countries. Going beyond its various creations, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group aims to make a positive impact on people, communities and the planet with its most important tools: creativity and art.


The Faculty of Communication and Design is the cultural and creative hub at Ryerson University. With its nine prestigious schools in media and creative industries, FCAD’s interdisciplinary innovation and education are shaping the future of the creative industries.


Ryerson University is Canada’s leader in innovative, career-oriented education. Urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, it is home to more than 45,300 students, including 2,600 Master’s and PhD students, 3,800 faculty and staff, and nearly 198,000 alumni worldwide.


Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group
Genevieve Laurendeau
Public Relations Manager
T. 514.723.7646 X 6411

Ryerson University
Dasha Pasiy
Media Relations Officer
Tel: 416.979.5000 x 2126