MONTREAL Jan 16 The Cirque Du Soleil, known for
its high wire, fantastical shows worldwide, brought its
employees down to earth on Wednesday with the announcement it
was laying off 400 people, or 8 percent of its workforce.
One of Canada's best known exports, the Cirque said it was
struggling with rising costs of its productions as well as the
strong Canadian dollar, which has risen to par or higher against
the U.S. dollar over the past few years.
The Cirque said it would lay off 400 of its 5,000 employees,
despite posting record revenues of C$1billion and selling more
than 14 million tickets last year.
"So we are now in the process of reviewing within the company
worldwide all of our expenses, to ensure that we decrease them
significantly," said Renee-Claude Menard, a spokeswoman for the
Based in Canada's French-speaking province of Quebec, the
Cirque is often credited with redefining traditional circus
entertainment. It has staged traveling shows worldwide, as well
operating resident shows in Florida and Las Vegas where it has
(Reporting By Leila Lemghalef, writing by Russ Blinch, editing
by Philip Barbara)