Cirque du Soleil and Bell Media Complete Joint Venture Transaction and Announce New Company, Cirque du Soleil Media

- Cirque's Jacques Méthé to head new Montréal-based company -

- Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away opens nationwide Dec. 21 -

- New Cirque special to air on CTV and E! this holiday season -

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MONTREAL, Dec. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - Cirque du Soleil and Bell Media today announced the closing of their transaction to create a new joint venture to develop Québec-based media content for television, film, digital, and gaming platforms. Cirque du Soleil and Bell Media also confirmed that Jacques Méthé has been appointed President of the new company, to be named Cirque du Soleil Media. The announcement comes just days before the December 21 nationwide premiere of the joint venture's new 3-D feature film Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away.

Headquartered in Montréal, Cirque du Soleil Media will develop original entertainment projects, leveraging Cirque du Soleil's creative inventiveness and resources, consumer insight, and infrastructure, with Bell Media's production experience, media platforms, and diverse distribution capabilities. Cirque du Soleil Media is 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 and Bell Media together can deliver more incredible content to more consumers than ever before," said Kevin Crull, President, Bell Media. "We've got so many ideas just waiting to be brought to life."

"With Cirque du Soleil Media, we are defining a new type of creative platform for Cirque du Soleil combined with the expertise and commitment of Bell Media," said Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil.

"I am looking forward to get to work on developing original and innovative creative content that is inspired by the Cirque du Soleil spirit," said Jacques Méthé, President, Cirque du Soleil Media. "This new venture is exciting and will focus on some very creative projects in the near future."

Bell Media's multi-million dollar investment in Cirque du Soleil Media is an extension of its strategy of investment in the development and distribution of Québec content. Cirque du Soleil's investment also includes its current slate of development projects, as well as Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away.

The film, which Variety has called "A bona fide high-wire act…delivering towering thrills," and The Hollywood Reporter has called a "3D spectacular", received its North American premiere in Cirque's hometown of Montréal on Dec. 7 and is in theatres everywhere December 21, 2012.

Bell Media has produced a new television special in celebration of the creation of Cirque du Soleil Media and the new film. ETALK PRESENTS: CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: WORLDS AWAY premieres Friday, Dec. 21 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on CTV in conjunction with the release of the film, and Thursday, Dec. 27 at 11:30 p.m. ET on E!.

From the big top to the big screen, visionary Academy Award®-winning filmmaker James Cameron and director Andrew Adamson (Shrek; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) invite families on an all-new 3D adventure: Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away. A young couple who is separated must journey through the astonishing and dreamlike worlds of Cirque du Soleil to find each other as audiences experience the immersive 3D technology that will allow them to leap, soar, swim, and dance with the performers. Written and directed by Andrew Adamson and executive produced by James Cameron, the film was produced by Adamson, Aron Warner, Cirque's Martin Bolduc and Ed Jones and Cary Granat. Vince Pace oversaw the 3D stereo production aspect of the film. The film is distributed by Paramount Pictures, a division of Viacom, Inc. For additional information about the film, please visit WorldAway3D.com.

About Cirque du Soleil
From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is a major Québec-based organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment. The company has 5,000 employees, including more than 1,300 artists from more than 50 different countries. Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to more than 100 million spectators in more than 300 cities in over forty countries on six continents. For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visitcirquedusoleil.com.

About Bell Media
Bell Media is Canada's premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio and digital. With passion and an unrelenting commitment to excellence, Bell Media entertains, informs and inspires Canadians. Bell Media owns 28 conventional stations, including CTV, Canada's #1 television network, and owns and operates 30 specialty channels, including TSN, Canada's #1 specialty channel, and RDS, Canada's #1 French-language specialty channel. Bell Media also owns 33 radio stations, dozens of websites including the TheLoop.ca by Sympatico, and Dome Productions Inc. Bell Media is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada's largest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please visit www.bellmedia.ca.

SOURCE: Bell Canada

For further information:

Amanda Rinaldo, Bell Media, 416.384.5325, amanda.rinaldo@bellmedia.ca
Renée-Claude Ménard, Cirque du Soleil, 514.723.7646 (7366), rcm@cirquedusoleil.com


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