Bell and Cirque du Soleil have a new joint venture to develop Québec-based content for multiple media platfroms.
Headquartered in Montréal, the new company will develop television, film, digital and gaming media content, and entertainment projects for sale and licensing around the world.
Cirque says it will contribute its library of existing content to the partnership, including previous television productions as well as the upcoming 3D feature film Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away.
Supporting the creation of new Québec-based media jobs is linked to Bell's pending acquisition of Astral Media, and Bell says the joint venture is another extension of its strategy of investment in the development and distribution of Québec content.
Bell has committed a separate $80 million in new investment in Québec content development in its proposal to acquire Astral.
"Bell's multi-million dollar investment with Cirque du Soleil represents two great Montréal companies coming together to further develop Québec's world-renowned creative industry," said George Cope, President and CEO of Bell and BCE. "Working closely with Cirque du Soleil aligns perfectly with Bell's commitment to make Québec's best content available to as wide an audience as possible."
"Cirque du Soleil has always put creative forces from Québec in the forefront. Like Bell joining with Astral, this commitment to invest in Québec content and job creation benefits not only consumers but the broader Québec creative and media industry as well," said Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil.
The partnership will be governed by a board of directors including representatives from both Cirque du Soleil and Bell Media, and managed by a programming team with input from both partners.
Cirque du Soleil's 3D feature film Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away will be distributed by Paramount Pictures in December. Written and directed by Andrew Adamson (Shrek, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe), and executive produced by Academy Award- winning filmmaker James Cameron, the 3D film event features artistic and acrobatic performances from some of the most elaborate Cirque du Soleil productions.