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CREACTIVE from Cirque du Soleil Offers Innovative Indoor Family Entertainment
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Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group has altogether new acrobatic tricks coming up, in the form of CREACTIVE, an entertainment center concept considered “retailtainment.” The innovative new indoor family entertainment centers are being designed to offer families a unique experience of participation in the circus concept. 

Guests can try out their circus skills on a virtual Cirque du Soleil stage. The plan is to offer a wide range of acrobatic, artistic and other Cirque du Soleil-inspired activities. Among them will be bungee jumping, aerial parkour, wire and trampolines, mask design, juggling, and circus track activities. The centers will mark an entirely new direction for the company’s portfolio of creative endeavors.

They will be designed specifically for retail locations, allowing an immersive family experience in line with the changing face of retail centers and entertainment locations worldwide. Developers are seeking out entertainment experiences that lure shoppers with the promise of immersive family fun. With standard mall traffic in decline, malls are seeking new anchors far different than traditional mainstream department stores, which have largely lost their luster to online shopping. 

While some malls are grouping restaurants together, adding plush film going experiences, or bringing in concerts, Cirque du Soleil’s attraction will fall closer to a combination of indoor playground, climbing gym, and trampoline park -- all with plenty of Cirque du Soleil style and a vibrant color palette. 

Cineplex Inc. is another company offering retailtainment experiences with arcade and restaurant spaces in its Rec Room offering. The Rec Room provides 40,000 to 60,000-square feet of games, food, and entertainment in global locations that include Toronto. The facilities focus on VR, video and redemption games, live entertainment, and food. They also serve as gathering spots. 

The CREACTIVE concept is more highly themed, offering a far more elaborative and adventurous experience for consumers. 

The first location is planned for a September 2019 opening the Toronto area, a partnership with global real estate leader Ivanhoé Cambridge. The location will feature 24,000-square-feet of space for the venture; the average planned size of future locations will be in the 22,000-24,000 square foot range.

According to Claude Sirois, president of retail at Ivanhoé Cambridge, the company is excited to work with Cirque du Soleil and invest in the first CREACTIVE center. “CREACTIVE is perfectly aligned with our vision for the future of retail: to join forces with the right partners to offer innovative experiences for the benefits of local families and communities. This collaboration is a terrific illustration of our efforts to transform the retail experience for our discerning guests,” he asserts. 

The collaboration with Ivanhoe also serves to consolidate the relationship between Cirque du Soleil and its minority shareholder, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

Ivanhoe Cambridge’s portfolio includes 28 malls in Canada. The two companies are currently discussing other future locations, both in and outside of Canada.  

The CREACTIVE partnership comes months after Cirque du Soleil expanded internationally by buying Blue Man Productions, a New York entertainment company with a strong presence in Europe. Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group also recently announced the acquisition of The Works Entertainment, the creative and production company known for The Illusionists franchise as well as other variety shows. Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group also acquired VStar Entertainment Group in 2018. 

According to Daniel Lamarre, president and CEO of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, these growth areas are “a perfect example of how our group is diversifying through acquisitions, while always investing in our core activities.” 

Marie-Josée Lamy, Cirque du Soleil Producer of CREACTIVE, relates that “Our fans regularly express their wish to experience Cirque du Soleil from an insider’s perspective, to peek behind the curtain and imagine themselves stepping into our artists’ shoes. With CREACTIVE, we make that possible by inviting families to jump on stage, offering them another way to explore our creativity beyond our live shows.”

The new venture is an expansion of the concept Cirque du Soleil is offering at Club Med locations in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and Opio, France.  

At those locations, included in the all-inclusive Club Med vacation package, the experience is described as “an immersive and transformative lifestyle experience inspired by the exhilarating and inspiring world of circus arts” that “gives kids and adults a unique opportunity to explore their physical and creative abilities…” The locations feature a themed playscape, a grand trapeze – a double flying trapeze that allows two participants at one time, and an “Acroplex” area which features activities including bungee, aerial, wall dance, and other circus acrobatics. These features will likely translate to the new retail locations for CREACTIVE. 

Cirque du Soleil has come a long way since in 1984 debut of 20 street performers with a fresh take on the circus arts. The Montreal, Canada- based company has performed for over 180 million spectators with productions presented in 450 cities in 60 countries, and employs over 4,000 to date.

Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group creates content for live shows, multimedia productions, immersive experiences, theme parks and special events, and says that its goal is to make a positive impact through creativity and art.

As to their partnership with Ivanhoé Cambridge, that company develops and invests in high-end real estate properties, projects and companies with an emphasis on a responsible ecological footprint. It holds interests in more than 1,000 buildings, primarily in the residential, office, retail, industrial and logistics sectors, with over C$60 billion in assets. 
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