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 holds an Industrial Research Chair in SSHRC Colleges in Circus Arts. 

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. 

SSHRC College Industrial Research Chair in Circus Arts

The SSHRC Industrial Research Chair in Colleges in Circus Arts is the very first to act as an intermediary in the evolution and development of Canadian circus. It ensures the systemic and sustainable implementation of research and innovation activities with to enrich the Canadian circus arts.

These research activities are aimed at promoting healthy lifestyle habits among young people, with whom the Chair conducts analytical work on the impact of circus arts on physical and psychological health. The Chair also works to maintain competitiveness between the various industrial partners internationally.

In addition, the Chair’s program aims to improve practices in research-creation, dramaturgy and education in the circus arts sector. It also aims to integrate new immersive and interactive technologies into circus creation. 

NCS personnel work closely with companies, and it has always ensured that the skills of its graduates meet the requirements and needs of the industry. This linkage with circus industry partners not only allows for the exchange of expertise, but also the continuous improvement of practices according to the market.

The Chairholder, has a diversified professional network within the Canadian circus arts sector and related university research organizations. The person has solid experience in managing research projects in education and creation.

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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