Temporary exhibition
October 13th, 2021 — March 6th, 2022

It's Circus Time!

Dominique Boudrias / Pointe-à-Callière

From May 13 to September 4, 2023 at the Musée de la Nature et des Sciences in Sherbrooke (MNS2)

Presented by:


It's Circus Time! was presented at Pointe-à-Callière from October 13, 2021 to March 6, 2022

Relive the greatest moments of the circus at Pointe-à-Callière

From the first European and American circus troops to today’s over-the-top international shows, the circus arts have never stopped evolving. In a colourful and entertaining setting, come explore over 350 objects, some moving and some mind-boggling, that bear witness to this adventure.
Costumes, set pieces, works of art, props, giant scale models, iconic objects, training and backstage equipment… the It’s Circus Time! exhibition throws open the doors to the fascinating and always surprising world of the circus. Delve into the history of this performing art that has thrilled Québec for over 200 years!

An immersion into the wonderful world of the circus

The ringmaster, the equestrian, the acrobat, the clown, the lion tamer… the mere mention of their names awakens childhood memories! Come learn about these iconic figures of the modern circus and, along the way, meet Philip Astley, Phineas Taylor Barnum, Tom Thumb, the Fratellini clowns, and Jules Léotard. The exhibition also takes you behind the scenes where you will learn about various disciplines of the circus arts, life on tour, the preparation required for a show, and post-circus life.

Québec and Montréal circuses in the spotlight

Though well-established in Québec since the 18th century, the circus arts experienced a marked development over the last few decades, most notably in Montréal. Learn about the histories and know-how of our local artists and artisans, from pioneers such as strongmen—like the famous Louis Cyr—, street performers, and the first acrobat families, to modern day troupes including Les 7 Doigts, Flip Fabrique, Machine de Cirque, Cirque Alfonse, Cirque Éloize, Cavalia, and Cirque du Soleil—seven Québec troupes that have made names for themselves on the international scene and have made us all proud!

Experience the circus at the Museum

Climb into a mini clown car, test your balance and coordination, and discover your inner circus artist. A memorable, family-friendly time awaits you!

The It’s Circus Time! exhibition is produced by Pointe-à-Callière through the financial support of Ville de Montréal and the Government of Québec, and through generous loans from some twenty institutions in Canada, the United States, and France.

Image: Romain Guilbault
Image: Romain Guilbault

Thanks to our partners

Air Canada Cargo
InterContinental Montréal
La Presse
École nationale de cirque
Québec Governement