- January 14, 2017
A billionaire who founded an iconic show known the world over will join a pair of high-wire specialists and a ground-breaking unicycle troupe in St. Armands Circus Circle of Fame induction ceremonies this weekend.
The Circus Ring of Fame Foundation will formally induct Guy Laliberte, The King Charles Troupe, Los Quiros High Wire Artistry and the Carillo Brothers High Wire Duo at 1 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 12 in the circle park.
With the new plaques unveiled in the circle’s walkway, 114 performers, business and promotional executives and others who have contributed to the circus arts will have been honored on the Ring of Fame.
The inductees were announced in the fall of 2019 after a new nominating and voting process was rolled out for the Class of 2020. For the first time, the newly created Circus Advisory Council complemented traditional balloting.
“This new process has been in discussion for the past three years” said Bill Powell, Chair of the Foundation. “We wanted to find a method of broadening the feedback loop to incorporate voices from the worldwide circus arts community. The simple online balloting was made available in July and we expect to build upon this success in future years. The Circus Advisory Council will help create a global community to fulfill our core purpose of recognizing the highest of achievement in circus arts and culture” Powell said in a release.
The inductees are:
With a $1 million grant from the Canadian government in 1984, the former street performer co-founded Cirque du Soliel. Since then, his shows have been seen internationally by an estimated 180 million people on six continents. In 2017, he founded Lune Rouge, which “rallies skilled entrepreneurs from a wide variety of backgrounds around a single objective: to capitalize on one of Quebec’s most valuable resourses – its unique creative talents – in order to stimulate entrepreneurial innovation. In 2004, he was named one of Time Magazine’s most influential people in the world. He’s listed on Forbes Magazine’s list of the world’s billionaires with a net worth of $1.1 billion in December, 2019. He’s 59 years old.
After nearly 50 years of performing with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, the unicycle troupe was part of the legendary circus’ final performance in 2017. The troupe began as a unicycle club in the South Bronx, focusing on Christian principals, discipline and life direction. They auditioned their cycling and basketball skills in 1968 and signed a contract with the circus shortly after. They first performed for the circus in 1969 as the first black act in the organization. They still tour and perform today.
Six generations of the family high-wire act have performed in the world’s largest circuses, including Cirque du Soliel, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey and throughout Europe. In 2002, Los Quiros were awarded a “Golden Clown” at the Monte Carlo International Circus Festival, the first high-wire act to receive the award.
The high-wire act works without a net and rarely with a balance bar. Now in its second generation, the family performs rope-jumping, leapfrogging and other thrilling maneuvers. The family comes from Cali, Colombia and was part of the farewell tour of famed lion tamer Gunther Gebel-Williams in 1990.