In today’s The Gazette there is an interesting opinion piece on the Cirque du Soleil’s recent job cuts. About a week ago I was listening to Jian Ghomeshi’s “Q” on CBC and the subject came up. You would have thought the entire multi-billion dollar enterprise had collapsed. The two guests, J. Kelly Nestruck and Karen Fricker, both from Ontario, could hardly conceal the “I told you so” attitude as they discussed the lay-offs at the Cirque.
Why is it that other huge companies are seen as economically wise when trimming fat, yet the Cirque was “unsettled”? Perhaps Simon Brault puts it better in his opinion piece.
… here is nothing surprising or exceptional about a global corporation deciding to readjust its operations. What is exceptional is that Montreal is home to a cultural organization with billion-dollar annual revenues that employs some 5,000 people around the world. It is also the only company on the planet that presents that many shows simultaneously. This organization is not, despite these recent job cuts, in danger. The Cirque’s overall financial situation remains solid. And despite having experienced a net loss this year, its ticket sales have hit record highs.
Contrary to what folks in the rest of Canada may think, or want, the Cirque du Soleil is not on life support.
The dark clouds will pass. The Cirque du Soleil certainly has the intelligence to learn, readjust and reinvent itself. We have a collective interest in its success in these endeavours, because the creation-based cultural metropolis that Montreal has become cannot do without the Cirque’s direct contributions and global impact.