Support the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Lab



The circus industry has not been spared by the pandemic, as most large circus companies have suspended operations. This forced break has meant that many artists have had to reinvent themselves, launch their own initiatives and find different ways to be creative. 

What’s more, the School’s 2020 graduates have had their entrance into the workforce disrupted. These young artists have had to demonstrate tremendous creativity in trying to launch their careers within this exceptional context. Because of the crisis, the need to support the entrepreneurship and innovation already existing in the circus community has increased tenfold. 

The National Circus School and CRITAC, the School’s research center, soon realized that the way to support its graduating students and the circus community was through entrepreneurial support. 

And thus, the entrepreneurship and innovation lab was born. 

By leveraging partnerships with support experts such as La Piscine, Percolab and MOSAIC — HEC Montréal’s creativity and innovation hub, the School and CRITAC swiftly launched a six-month pilot project whose objective is twofold: 

  • To teach traditional and modern approaches to design thinking as well as the foundations of entrepreneurship and leadership skills 
  • To develop unique and innovative projects ready for prototyping and commercialization 

The lab’s first cohort comprises fifteen projects that cover a wide range of subjects, all related to the performing arts: from the development of a show for at-risk groups and seniors in LTCHs, to the creation of inclusive costumes for all skin types, to the formation of an artist residency program. 


For each donation, CRITAC will receive the equivalent amount in government grants to support the prototyping of projects, making your support of the lab all the more impactful.  

A financial contribution to the lab allows individuals in the industry to acquire all the theoretical training needed to bring their ideas to life, plus much more. This unique lab allows artists and professionals in the performing arts community to join the entrepreneurial ecosystem, further strengthening Montreal's position as the circus arts capital of the world. 

By supporting the lab, you’re contributing to the recovery of the circus industry! 


To assist in the development of projects supported by the lab and to enable the next cohort to embark on their entrepreneurial journey, our goal is to raise $15,000 by June 2022.  

Here’s what your gift could help support: 

One student's participation in the concrete implementation of their project with the assistance of field experts, mentors from the circus industry and CRITAC researchers

One student’s participation in one hour of theoretical entrepreneurship training delivered by experts

Support the entrepreneurship and innovation lab!

“My experience with the lab was truly exceptional. All of the facilitators are experts in their field and it’s incredible to have the opportunity to learn from them. From design to networking to entrepreneurship, I learned so much about how to transform an idea into something bigger, and the steps to follow to bring a project to life!" 

Julia Stewart  
2020 graduate 
Feuille après Feuille 
Collective of eight acrobats and two musicians 

“In addition to helping us decipher the administrative aspects of business, the support we received all summer really helped us to continue developing our projects, even in the midst of the pandemic.” 

Adrien Malette-Chénier 
N. Ormes 
Research project on the assignment of roles in duets 


Partnerships and Sponsorships

Did you know that your company or organization can partner with the entrepreneurship and innovation lab? 

To learn more about the various projects you can fund, contact us. 

Jean-Philippe Dugré  
Director of Development and Partnerships 
[email protected]