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Guy Laliberté, OC CQ (born 2 September 1959) is a Canadian businessman, investor, poker player, and musician. Along with Gilles Ste-Croix, he is the co-founder of Cirque du Soleil. With an estimated net worth of US$1.37 billion (as of January 2018), Laliberté was ranked by Forbes
Forbes
as the 11th wealthiest Canadian and 459th in the world.[2] Following an announcement from the Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil
on 20 April 2015 concerning a change in ownership, Laliberté will maintain a stake in the business and will continue to provide strategic and creative input to the company.[3] Starting out busking as an accordion player, stiltwalker and fire-eater, in 1984 Laliberté founded Cirque du Soleil, a Canadian circus company whose shows have since been seen by more than 90 million people worldwide. In 2006, Laliberté was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.[4][5]

Contents

1 Early years 2 Career

2.1 Cirque du Soleil 2.2 Poker career 2.3 Spaceflight 2.4 Atoll
Atoll
of Nukutepipi

3 Awards and honours 4 References 5 External links

Early years[edit] Laliberté was born in 1959[6] in Quebec
Quebec
City, Quebec, Canada. His interest in show business began at a relatively young age. His parents took him to watch the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus,[7] an experience which led Laliberté to read the biography of P. T. Barnum.[7] While he was still in school, Guy produced several performing arts events.[8] After school, he entered the world of street performance, playing the harmonica and accordion on the streets of Quebec.[9] Laliberté joined a performing troupe called Les Échassiers, which included fire-breathers, jugglers, and acrobats who hitched around the country from show to show. He later returned to Quebec, where he attempted to keep a steady full-time job at a hydroelectric dam. However, soon after his employment began, the company’s employees went on strike.[8] Laliberté took the opportunity to return to his life as a street performer. In 1980, he ran as a Rhinoceros Party candidate for the electoral district of Charlevoix in the 1980 federal election.[10] Career[edit]

Laliberté during a press conference at the Johnson Space Center

Cirque du Soleil[edit] Guy Laliberté
Guy Laliberté
co-founded Quebec's first internationally renowned circus with Gilles Ste-Croix and a small group of colleagues. He recognized and cultivated the talents of the buskers from the Fête foraine de Baie-Saint-Paul and created Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil
in 1984 with the support of a government grant for the celebration of the 450th anniversary of Jacques Cartier's discovery of Canada.[11] Cirque du Soleil was originally set up as a one-year project. However, the government of Quebec
Quebec
wanted a touring event that would perform in other provinces. The name 'Cirque du Soleil' (“circus of the sun”), which Laliberté came up with while he was in Hawaii, reflects his notion that “the sun stands for energy and youth” and that the circus is about those two words.[11] In founding the company, Guy Laliberté
Guy Laliberté
was assisted by Gilles Ste-Croix.[7] It is said that Laliberté is the “father” of Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil
while Ste-Croix is the “grandfather.”[7] Since 1984, Laliberté has participated in the creation of every Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil
show. Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil
has become a sprawling international operation, as much in terms of its makeup as in the scope of its activities and influence. The organization now has activities on five continents.[6] Its shows employ approximately 4,000 people from over 40 countries and generate an estimated annual revenue exceeding US$810 million.[12][13] Poker career[edit]

Guy Laliberté

Nickname(s) Ahtata (Full Tilt Poker)

World Poker Tour

Title(s) None

Final table(s) 1

Money finish(es) 2

In April 2007, Laliberté finished fourth in the World Poker Tour Season Five event at Bellagio in Las Vegas and won $696,220. Laliberté also played on GSN's High Stakes Poker Season 4 show and took part in Poker After Dark season 4. He was also known for frequenting the highest stakes games on Full Tilt Poker. In 2011 Laliberté announced the Big One, a $1 million dollar buy-in tournament which was featured at the 2012 World Series of Poker. Part of the prizepool was donated to Laliberté's philanthropic organization One Drop Foundation.[14] 48 players participated in the tournament and Antonio Esfandiari
Antonio Esfandiari
won the $18,346,673 first-place prize. The tournament raised $5,333,328 for the One Drop foundation. Spaceflight[edit]

Space Adventures
Space Adventures
Tourist

Other occupation

CEO of Cirque du Soleil

Time in space

10d 21h 17m

Missions Soyuz TMA-16
Soyuz TMA-16
/ TMA-14

Mission insignia

In September 2009, Guy Laliberté
Guy Laliberté
became the first Canadian space tourist. His spaceflight was dedicated to raising awareness on water issues facing humankind on planet Earth, making his spaceflight the first, in his words, "poetic social mission" in space. The event was accompanied by a 120-minute webcast program featuring various artistic performances in 14 cities on five continents, including the International Space Station.[6] In June 2011, Laliberté published a book, entitled Gaia, containing photos of Earth from his 2009 trip to the International Space Station. Proceeds from his book are to go to the One Drop Foundation.[15] Atoll
Atoll
of Nukutepipi[edit] Guy Laliberté
Guy Laliberté
became in 2007 the owner of the atoll of Nukutepipi
Nukutepipi
in the French Polynesia. Major works that took place there were expected to end in 2016 at the cost of approximately 20 millions CA$, according to Journal de Montréal
Journal de Montréal
(see below). In May 2014, Guy Laliberté
Guy Laliberté
told the Journal de Montréal
Journal de Montréal
that he wanted to make of this place a shelter that could accommodate his family and friends in the event of a global catastrophe. “Because of all that's happening in the world, I said to myself: that could be the place where, in case of an epidemic or a total war, I could bring people I like and my family so that we'd be protected. It will be completely autonomous on the level operation: solar, environmental, ecologic."[16] Awards and honours[edit] Université Laval
Université Laval
(Québec) awarded an honorary doctorate to Guy Laliberté in 2008. The year before, Guy Laliberté
Guy Laliberté
took the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for all three levels: Quebec, Canada and international. In 2004, he received the Order of Canada, the highest distinction in the country, from the Governor General of Canada. The same year, he was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2003, he was honored by the Condé Nast group as part of the Never Follow Program, a tribute to creators and innovators. In 2001, he was named a Great Montrealer by the Académie des Grands Montréalais. In 1997, Guy Laliberté
Guy Laliberté
received the National Order of Quebec, the highest distinction awarded by the Government of Quebec.[6] On November 22, 2010, he and Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil
were honoured with the 2,424th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[17] References[edit]

^ Forbes
Forbes
Guy Laliberte – Forbes
Forbes
Forbes.com. Accessed May 2011. ^ "The World's Billionaires". Forbes.  ^ " Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil
Finds New Strategic Majority Partner In TPG-Led Investor Group". Cirque du Soleil. 20 April 2015.  ^ Ernst & Young, 2006 EOY National Recipient Archived 2007-07-08 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Frank, Steven (April 26, 2004). "Guy Laliberte Revolution Under the Big Top". Time.  ^ a b c d "Biography Guy Laliberté". Cirque du Soleil. Archived from the original on 2011-05-08.  ^ a b c d Guy Laliberte: The Fabulous Life of the Creator of Cirque du Soleil ^ a b "The Circus Kid: Guy Laliberté
Guy Laliberté
Is Born". Evancarmichael.com.  ^ Jag (1959-09-02). "Guy Laliberte Biography – Guy Laliberte Bio". Celebs101.com. Retrieved 2011-03-10.  ^ "Rhino Party promises to nationalize Tim Hortons, move capital to Kapuskasing". Toronto Star, August 18, 2015. ^ a b Cirque du Soleil: 20 Years Under the Sun ^ Collins, Glenn (2009-04-29). "Run Away to the Circus? No need. It's Staying Here". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-10.  ^ "Official Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil
Website". Cirquedusoleil.com. Retrieved 2011-03-10.  ^ "WSOP to host $1m tournament". Poker Player. June 1, 2011.  ^ Moskowitz, Clara (28 June 2011). "Earth's Beauty From Space: Q&A With 'Space Clown' Guy Laliberte". Space.com. Retrieved 28 June 2011.  ^ Ménard, Élizabeth (April 25, 2015). "Le nouveau cirque de Guy Laliberté : L'atoll de Nukutepipi". Journal de Montréal
Journal de Montréal
(in French).  ^ "Guy Laliberte Honored On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame". Dance.broadwayworld.com. 2010-11-22. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 

External links[edit]

Cirque du Soleil's biography of Guy Laliberté One Drop Foundation Spacefacts biography of Guy Laliberté Forbes
Forbes
profile page on Guy Laliberte

v t e

Space tourism

Companies

Active

Bigelow Aerospace Blue Origin Airbus D&S Mojave Aerospace Ventures Orbital Technologies Orion Span Sierra Nevada Corporation Space Adventures The Spaceship Company SpaceX Virgin Galactic

Closed

Armadillo Aerospace Golden Spike Company RocketShip Tours Space Island Group (Space Island Project) XCOR Aerospace

Organizations

ARCA Association of Autonomous Astronauts Astronaute Club Européen Commercial Spaceflight Federation Copenhagen Suborbitals Space Frontier Foundation Space Tourism Society

Spacecraft

Current

Soyuz

Future

BFR spaceship CST-100 Starliner Dragon 2 New Glenn New Shepard SpaceShipTwo

Living in space

Commercialization of space Effect of spaceflight on the human body Health threat from cosmic rays Space colonization Space habitat Space medicine Space station Suborbital spaceplane

Space competitions

America's Space Prize Ansari X Prize Google Lunar X Prize Space elevator competitions

Space tourists

Dennis Tito Mark Shuttleworth Gregory Olsen Anousheh Ansari Charles Simonyi Richard Garriott Guy Laliberté

Tourism on the Moon

v t e

Canadian Space Agency

Canadian astronauts

Active

Jeremy Hansen David Saint-Jacques Jennifer Sidey Joshua Kutryk

Retired

Marc Garneau Roberta Bondar Steven MacLean Chris Hadfield Robert Thirsk Bjarni Tryggvason Dafydd Williams Julie Payette Michael McKay Ken Money

Other

Guy Laliberté
Guy Laliberté
(space tourist)

Satellites

Alouette 1 Alouette 2 Anik series BRITE CASSIOPE Hermes ISIS 1 ISIS 2 M3MSat MOST MSAT-1 NEOSSat Nimiq series RADARSAT-1 RADARSAT-2 RADARSAT Constellation (planned) SCISAT-1 Sapphire

Other space technology

Black Brant rocket Canadarm Canadarm2 Dextre

Facilities

John H. Chapman Space Centre David Florida Laboratory Saskatoon CSA Building

Contractors

COM DEV MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA Space Missions/Spar Aerospace) Magellan Aerospace (Bristol Aerospace) Telesat UTIAS-SFL

Related institutions

Canadian Geospace Monitoring Communications Research Centre Canada Defence Research and Development Canada National Research Council

International partners

ESA NASA ISRO JAXA SNSB

Other

Bell TV Churchill Rocket Research Range International Space Station Shaw Direct

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 34761456 LCCN: no99077730 ISNI: 0000 0000 8884 2034 SUDOC: 161904645 BNF: cb1551

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