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We have our Ceremonies producer! It will be the Cirque du Soleil!

TORONTO, Sept. 24, 2013 /CNW/ - Canada's globally celebrated cultural icon, Cirque du Soleil, is bringing its special blend of stagecraft, thrilling acrobatic athleticism and colourful cultural pageantry to an original production created especially for the Opening Ceremony of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games.

The one-night-only performance, which will be broadcast to hundreds of millions of households throughout the Americas and Caribbean, will take place on July 10, 2015.

"Cirque du Soleil is proud and deeply honoured to join TO2015 as a sponsor and Official Creative Partner for the Opening Ceremony of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games," said Yasmine Khalil, director of Cirque du Soleil's events and special projects division. "We are excited to create an original production for this special occasion."

For nearly 30 years, Montreal-headquartered Cirque du Soleil has created 34 shows, attended by more than 100 million people around the world.

Together, Cirque du Soleil and the TORONTO 2015 Pan American/Parapan American Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) will design the Opening Ceremony. It will showcase not only the Cirque's outstanding troupe of performers, but also Ontario artists and volunteers, who will be recruited from local schools and community organizations closer to Games time.

"Cirque du Soleil has an unmatched international reputation for staging some of the most imaginative and mesmerizing shows ever performed," said Ian Troop, CEO of TO2015.

"That magic, along with their world-class performers — many former athletes themselves — promises a thrilling Opening Ceremony for the Games that celebrates the wonderful diversity of the Toronto region and all of Canada, as well as the vibrant cultures of the Americas and Caribbean," he added.

In addition to its international expertise in producing high-quality, artistic entertainment, Cirque du Soleil also personifies many of the values of the Games, such as collaboration, joy and inclusiveness.

Its employees represent 50 nationalities and speak 25 different languages. The touring company is actively involved in promoting social equality and goodwill towards young people.

Cirque du Soleil joins previously announced members of the TORONTO 2015 sponsor family, including: Lead Partner CIBC, Premier Partners Chevrolet Canada and CISCO, as well as Official Suppliers Beanfield Metroconnect, Pattison Outdoor Advertising, FUSE Marketing Group, Toronto Pearson International Airport, the Toronto Star, and Official Broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada.

Tickets will go on sale mid-2014 and will be available at TORONTO2015.org.

About Cirque du Soleil
From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is a major Québec-based organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment. The company has 5,000 employees, including 1,300 artists from more than 50 countries.

Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to more than 100 million spectators in more than 300 cities in over 40 countries on six continents.

For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com.

Source: http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1230291/cirque-du-soleil-to-create-opening-ceremony-for-toronto-2015-pan-am-games

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I think they're probably in safeish hands with Cirque. They certainly know what they're doing, I don't think they've done an OC before, but you only need to look at baron's posts from London to know how many things have been borrowed from Cirque. Could this signify Toronto really going all out to impress & try to 'pull a Rio' & land 2024?

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I think they're probably in safeish hands with Cirque. They certainly know what they're doing, I don't think they've done an OC before, but you only need to look at baron's posts from London to know how many things have been borrowed from Cirque. Could this signify Toronto really going all out to impress & try to 'pull a Rio' & land 2024?

It might but I doubt that is their intention at this point.

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I haven't actually seen a Cirque show, only bits on TV. Problem is, they have a tendency to perform in pitch darkness, so on TV, it's difficult to see what they're doing. The one thing by them I have seen was the the amazing opening of Eurovision in Russia, I'll post that up if you want.

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^^ Also, Philippe Guillotel, the guy who designed the costumes of the Cirque show "Beatles LOVE" was the same guy who designed those weird outfits in Albertville 1992. It seems some of the Albertville guys ended up working for the Cirque in the end.

I liked Albertville ceremonies because they were very different and original, back in the day, from what we saw. The only problem is that it was kind of bizarre and weird, but some people like myself can get over with :P

Let's not forget former member of the Cirque, Franco Dragone, already producer an opener for a sport even (2010 South American Games) and he'll be doing the opening of the 2014 WC in the Corinthians Arena.

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Que? :unsure:

Well the CEO an d other senior officials claimed expenses as small as 91 cents for things such as starbucks tea when they make well over $300 grand each year.

Also the stupid media reported the athlete's village was being funded separately from the Pan AM Games which shocked all the politicians, when this was the plan since 2009! lol

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PASO VP says Toronto ahead of other Pan Am countries in venue construction

TORONTO - When the Pan American Games opened in Santo Domingo in 2003, the last-minute scramble to finish the venues left Ivar Sisniega and other delegates with "fresh paint stains on our clothes."

In 2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico, the seats at the track and field stadium were still covered in plastic wrap when competition began.

"It's been an issue," Sisniega said. "Even a city like Rio (which hosted the Pan Ams in 2007), with a very large budget and Olympic dreams, had some issues with some of the venues. It's always an issue."

While construction delays are a recurring Pan Am theme, Sisniega doesn't see that being a concern in Toronto when the city hosts the Games in 2015.

"We can see clearly that they're well ahead of what other Pan Am Games have done as far as completion of the (athletes') village and many of the sporting venues, so we're fairly confident that those will be ready on time from what we've seen so far," said Sisniega, the first vice-president of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO).

Sisniega is one of some 350 delegates in Toronto for this week's PASO General Assembly, of which venue construction will be one of the key topics.

Traditionally held two years before the Games, it's the most important assembly prior to the Games.

"It kind of gives all the Olympic committees a chance to get a direct view of what's going on in the host city, as far as the village and the venues and the progress on that," said Sisniega, a former modern pentathlete who competed for Mexico in three Olympics (1980, '84 and '88).

The assembly also includes the election of the 2019 Pan Am host. The four finalists are Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela; La Punta, Argentina; Lima, Peru; and Santiago, Chile.

Sisniega was the director of operations for the 2011 Games in Guadalajara, and was impressed by how that Mexican city embraced the multi-sport event.

"One of the most rewarding things we had was to have the athletes and the delegations say they weren't just happy with what happened in the village and in the competition areas, but when they went out around the town, just to have people be open and receptive to them all over town, it was just a great experience," he said.

"I'm pretty sure Canadians and people from the Ontario area will certainly be very friendly and receptive to visitors."

The Toronto Pan Ams, which open July 10, 2015, are expected to draw about 6,000 athletes from 41 countries from North, South and Central America competing in 36 sports. Women's baseball and golf will make their Pan Am debut in Toronto.

Toronto beat out Lima and Bogota, Colombia, in its bid to host the Games.

Sisniega said one of the benefits of hosting the Games is the spotlight it shines on the city.

"It allows a city to be heard about, read about ... in all 41 countries so sometimes for cities such as Guadalajara, which was not well-known outside Mexico, or Toronto, which is so far north, it allows people to get a view of what Toronto has to offer," he said.

"We'll get over 1,500 people from the media from all of these countries, and they won't just go to the sports venues, they'll visit the restaurants, and visit the city, and probably do special interest articles on what the city has to offer.

"It's always a great economic and tourist promotion to have the Games and get your name sounding all over the continent before, during and after the Games."

The Toronto Pan Am Games have been the subject of controversy over the past week however, mostly over a $7-million bonus package for 64 executives organizing the Games.

Ian Troop, CEO of the Pan Am committee, was paid a base salary of $390,000 last year plus an $87,000 bonus. He's eligible for a $780,000 bonus if the Games come in on budget and on time.

Pan Am executives earning between $190,000 and $250,000 will be eligible for bonuses of up to 100 per cent of their annual pay when the Games are over — half for staying on the job and the other half conditional on performance.


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International Sport Leaders in Toronto for PASO General Assembly

Pre-registered media accreditation available for pick up today; In-person media registration still available

TORONTO, Oct. 8, 2013 /CNW/ - Representatives from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and leaders of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee are among the delegates attending the first-ever Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) General Assembly meeting held in Toronto.

There will be many significant events during the four-day gathering, which runs from today, until Friday, October 11 at The Westin Harbour Castle hotel, including the selection of the Host City for the 2019 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games. An estimated 350 delegates are attending, including top officials from International Sport Federations and National Olympic Committees from 41 countries and territories.

All PASO General Assembly sessions are open to media. Pre-registered media are asked pick up their credentials starting today at 9:00 a.m. at the TO2015 welcome table located in the hotel lobby. Reporters may still register in person at the desk with valid photo ID and media credentials during the conference.

"We're incredibly excited to welcome all of our distinguished guests to Toronto and Canada for this important meeting of international and regional sport leaders and decision makers," said Ian Troop, chief executive officer of theTORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015).

"This is a unique gathering for our city," he continued. "Nothing like this has ever been held here before and it's a wonderful opportunity to showcase what we have planned in 2015 and get people excited. We're also looking forward to receiving feedback from international and regional sports experts and hear the latest news, as well as share our knowledge with other upcoming multi-sport Games, including Rio, Nanjing and Pyeongchang."

The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games, which open on July 10, 2015, will feature an estimated 6,000 athletes from 41 countries and territories competing in 36 sports, including women's baseball and golf for the first time, in venues located in 15 municipalities in southern Ontario. Together with the Parapan Am Games, they will be the largest international multi-sport Games ever held in Canada.

The vote to choose the next Host City for the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, which promises to be emotional, will take place on Friday, October 11. PASO President Don Mario Vázquez Raña will announce the winner later that afternoon in a news conference. The four cities in the running for the 2019 Games are: La Punta, Argentina; Santiago, Chile;Lima, Peru; and Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela.

"I would like to welcome all of our distinguished guests to Toronto for the Pan American Sports Organization's General Assembly," said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). "Our Government is proud to invest in theTORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, which will showcase world-class athletic and cultural talent and leave lasting economic, sport and infrastructure legacies for generations to come."

"On behalf of Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Government of Ontario, I warmly welcome all of our dignitaries and delegates from the PASO family of nations for the General Assembly," said Michael Chan, Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games.

"With under two years left to go until the 2015 Games, the PASO General Assembly is an opportunity for our member nations to learn about the great accomplishments we have made in building world-class sporting infrastructure, expanding the Pan Am footprint to include multiple municipalities, maximizing the positive economic impacts that come with Games' hosting while positioning Ontario on the map as a premier sporting destination for 2015 and beyond."

City of Toronto Councillor Mark Grimes (Ward 6 Etobicoke-Lakeshore) and Toronto's Games Champion, added: "As the Host City of the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, and on behalf of Toronto City Council, I welcome all of the officials attending the General Assembly. Our Games are less than two years away and our city is quickly filling with excitement for this incredible event. I'm confident our hospitality, diversity and enthusiasm for international sport will become evident to you during your stay."

"When our athletes walk proudly into the Opening Ceremony of the TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games, they will be entering as the largest Canadian team ever to participate in a multi-sport Games," said Marcel Aubut, president of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC).

"I know that it will be a special moment for our athletes to be able to compete at home and in front of their family, friends and a drove of enthusiastic supporters," he continued. "It will also be a remarkable experience for local fans, as the world comes to Toronto to compete on our fields, our courts and in our pools. I have full confidence that Canadians of all ages will participate and contribute in making this the best Pan American Games ever."

PASO General Assembly Agenda
Please note: Conference event times are subject to change. For the latest updates, follow @TO2015 on Twitter or stop by the TO2015 media desk on site. All events at The Westin Harbour Castle hotel unless otherwise stated.

Wednesday, October 9 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne officially opens the PASO General Assembly and welcomes delegates to Toronto. Thursday, October 10 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. TO2015 and the Honourable Michael Chan, Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games, give a comprehensive update on the Games' preparations and plans. Marcel Aubut, president of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), makes a significant announcement about Team Canada's plans for the TORONTO 2015 Games. Time TBC Updates and presentations from:

● Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games

● Carlos Arthur Nuzman, president, Rio 2016 Organising Committee for the Olympic/Paralympic Games

● Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic/Paralympic Winter Games

Friday, October 11 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Presentations by the 2019 Bid Cities. 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Vote for 2019 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Host City. 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Closing news conference with PASO President Don Mario Vázquez Raña.

About TO2015
The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) is tasked with the responsibility of planning, managing and delivering the Games. Its mission is to ignite the spirit through a celebration of sport and culture. The TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games will take place July 10−26 and the Parapan American GamesAugust 7-14.

The 2015 Games are funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, as well as other partners and sponsors. CIBC is the Lead Partner of the Games.

For more information about the Games, please visit TORONTO2015.org.


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