The Centre for Circus Arts Research, Innovation and Knowledge Transfer (CRITAC) develops applied research projects in collaboration with many partners. CRITAC also offers technical assistance, information and training to people working in the circus, performing arts and human performance sectors. 

CRITAC is at the heart of the circus arts research and development ecosystem, both nationally and internationally. The Centre brings together people from the circus industry who work in research, technique, design and pedagogy, as well as the NCS student community and its managers. 

CRITAC works with small, medium and large educational, community or institutional organizations. In addition, it collaborates with other companies from the creative and artistic industries. 

CRITAC is recognized as a Centre collégial de transfert de technologie (CCTT) and held an Industrial Research Chair in SSHRC Colleges in Circus Arts until 2022. 

The reputation of the NCS, CRITAC and Quebec companies in the circus arts sector results not only from the quality of local artistic productions, but also from the ability of the local industry to enrich and renew aesthetics.

In the digital age, artists as well as people who work in design and/or teaching must master certain tools in order to develop new knowledge and integrate it into creative and educational frameworks. Companies specializing in the creation of circus works must develop sustainable development strategies to ensure the uniqueness of the works and the sustainability of their organization. 


CRITAC’s mission is to enhance human potential and performance through applied research and innovation in order to support the socio-economic development of Quebec.


To be a global leader in the development of human potential.   


The National Circus School (NCS) has been carrying out research-creation and educational research activities for nearly forty years. It was in 2010, after having put in place policies and procedures to oversee such activities, that the NCS created its own research service. The latter is now recognized and supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada. 

As of 2011, the NCS’s research service receives grants from the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Higher Education and the College and Community Innovation Program (ICC) offered by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Center of Canada (NSERC). 

In 2012, the department was awarded a SSHRC College Industrial Research Chair in Circus Arts. The mandate of the Chair was then renewed in 2017 for five years, thus confirming the relevance of its mission and the excellence of its achievements. 

Following a resolution by the NCS Board of Directors, the Center for Research, Innovation and Knowledge Transfer in Circus Arts (CRITAC) was officially constituted in 2013. CRITAC is recognized as a Centre collégial de transfert de technologie (CCTT) since 2018. 

Institutional research strategy and policies


  • Specify the fields of application, the guiding principles and the reference framework of the research and innovation functions within the institution.  
  • Define the organizational framework and the support offered to research activities. 
  • Promote the integration of research for the full realization of the mission and institutional orientations of the NCS. 
  • Create an environment conducive to carrying out research and innovation projects, developing skills and improving the quality of work in this field. 


Discover the institutional research strategy and policies of the NCS: 

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