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With more than 30 years of experience in pedagogy and creation, the School has become a world reference in teaching of circus disciplines. There are many reasons to choose the École nationale de cirque (National Circus School) to become a professional circus artist. 

A Contemporary Vision of circus

Since circus artist today are called upon to be both creators and performers, creativity and artistic exploration must form the core of their education. For this reason instruction is based on a multidisciplinary approach to the circus arts, integrating other performing arts such as dance, acting and music. A low student / teacher ratio ensures that each student receives personalized attention and encouragement throughout their training. The School provides a complete spectrum of professional programs in circus arts. Find out more.

«Because Montreal is home to the prestigious École nationale de cirque (National Circus School), it’s a place where the circus is always in town, what one observer envisions as a sort of Silicon Valley of the Circus arts» - Los Angeles Times, USA

The graduates 

Having trained nearly 500 circus artists, among which many have garnered distinctions at prestigious world festivals, the institution has become a world reference in its sector. A leader of the circus renaissance in Canada and North America, the Montreal based school has also contributed to the emergence of several prominent circus companies such as Cirque du Soleil, Cirque Eloize and The 7 Fingers.  Find out more about the graduates.

Placement rate of 95%

Demand is high for circus artists; more than 95% of graduate students find jobs few months after they finish the School. Find out more about the career opportunities.

The team

A dedicated team of more than 80 teachers, lecturers and guests artists ensures that each student receives personalized attention and encouragement throughout his training. Find out more about the team.

Research and innovation

More than ever, the École nationale de cirque (National Circus School) today serves as an incubator of inspiration, where performers-creators and designers find their voices, stimulating greater diversity in circus art forms and aesthetics. The School is also renowned as an international research centre for circus arts with is Centre of Research, Innovation and Transfer in Circus Arts (CRITAC). Find out more about the reasearch center.


«The École nationale de cirque (National Circus School) of Montreal  has made us real artists. For me, it is the best circus school in the world.» - Jeannot Painchaud, Founder and Artistic Director of Cirque Éloize. To see more testimonials.

Student services

The student services provided at the School are specifically designed to respond to the needs of future circus artists. Find out more about the student services.



The facilities

With spacious training areas adapted to accommodate all disciplines, the School provides a safety-conscious learning environment that is unique in the world. Discover the School here.

Montreal, City of Circus Arts 

The School is located in the heart of the Cité des arts du cirque, a circus nexus in Montreal. Find out more. 

The Cité des arts du cirque is dedicated to the diffusion, production, creation and instruction of circus arts. A cluster of imposing structures house the national association for circus arts En Piste, the École nationale de cirque (National Circus School), the Cirque du Soleil’s international headquarters and the TOHU pavilion, which includes the first circular performance hall in Canada. In addition to hosting incomparable circus and performing arts presentations, TOHU has become the hub of an exciting and vibrant encounter between culture, the environment and the community.

A Festival that’s «Totally Circus»!

TOHU lanched the «Totally Circus Festival» in July 2010. The annual event celebrates the diversity of circus arts and the talented creators, local and international. Unique in North America, it positions Montreal as an essential circus destination not only for audiences but for producers and presenters as well. The School's students and graduates feature prominently in Festival programming.

To Train and Create

Since its inception in 1981, the École nationale de cirque (National Circus School) has welcomed individual professional circus artists as well as emerging circus collectives and companies who seek space appropriate to the practice of their art. The non-profit organization TOHU, the Cité des arts du cirque (City of Circus Arts), will coordinate these Services for Professionals provided at the School. Find out more about the services to professional artists.

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2022 Auditions

Registrations are closed.

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