Montreal, December 19, 2023 – The National Circus School is proud to announce a grant of nearly $360,000 over 3 years towards the N.Ormes project of its Center for Circus Arts Research, Innovation and Knowledge Transfer (CRITAC). 

This funding from the College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCFIS) is part of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) College and Community Innovation Program and will be used to support the N.Ormes project, which explores perceptions of sex and gender through the performing arts. 

With its unique artistic approach, the N.Ormes project, propelled by the duo Agathe and Adrien, blends the circus codes, contemporary dance and performance art to create a rich, complex acrobatic language, part of a feminist approach to redefining norms. The aim of this research project is to observe the impact of spectators questioning their own prejudices when they see the show, and to formally document the artistic practice as a process of research into counter-stereotyped roles for men and women. Workshops based on this artistic approach will be created to address issues of equity, diversity and inclusion.

The awarding of this NSERC grant represents a crucial step for CRITAC and N.Ormes. Thanks to this recognition and these resources, the Centre will be able to formalize artistic practice as an innovative research process. At the same time, the grant will enable the development of a cultural mediation tool specifically designed to accompany the N.Ormes show. The aim of this tool will be to make the show easier to understand and appreciate, while encouraging critical reflection on gender issues. This project has the power to influence individual perceptions and contribute to the transformation of systems towards greater equity and inclusion,” said Patrice Aubertin, director of the CRITAC, in response to the grant. 

About the Center for Circus Arts Research, Innovation and Knowledge Transfer (CRITAC) 

CRITAC’s mission is to advance human potential and performance through applied research and innovation in order to support Quebec’s socio-economic development. It develops applied research projects in collaboration with numerous partners. CRITAC also provides technical assistance, information and training to people working in the circus, performing arts and human performance sectors. The CRITAC is recognized as a Centre collégial de transfert de technologie (CCTT).  

About the National Circus School (NCS)  

For over 40 years, the National Circus School (NCS) has been training and developing up-and-coming circus talent from Quebec and around the world. With an international reputation, the NCS is also dedicated to research and innovation in the circus arts, in addition to preserving and promoting the heritage, history and living memory of this art form. 


Photos credit: Thibault Caron

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