Cirque du Soleil to lay off 400 employees

Cirque du Soleil has announced it plans to lay off about 400 people between January and March.

Company blames high production costs for job losses

Cirque du Soleil job cuts

9 years ago
Cirque officials say about 400 people will be laid off, most at its headquarters in Montreal 2:07

Cirque du Soleil has announced it will lay off about 400 people between January and March.

On Wednesday, the company said the first round of layoffs would happen before the end of the month.

Cirque spokeswoman Renée-Claude Ménard said at least 50 per cent of the cuts will be taking place at the company's Montreal headquarters.

"We've identified 400 positions [to be cut], the majority are in the Montreal operations, but we don't have a definite number yet," she said.

The cuts represent nearly nine per cent of the company's total workforce.

Ménard said the company is in good financial standing and that last year was a record year for ticket sales.

She said the company made close to $1 billion in revenue and sold 14.2 million tickets last year.

"Basically, we're very lucky that within a very difficult financial and economic situation worldwide – that we're still pulling the rabbit out of the hat," she said.

Ménard said the company's growth and increasing production costs are causing it to review its expenses.

Cirque is also blaming the strength of the Canadian dollar, stating that most of the company's jobs are in Canada but 99 per cent of its revenue comes from other countries.

"The strength of the Canadian dollar has an impact of approximately $3 million on our profitability," she said.

She said the Cirque du Soleil has never had so many productions running at the same time.

Five of the 19 shows produced by the company were cancelled in the last year.

Cirque announced it would be cutting 30 positions at its Montreal headquarters in December.