Guy Laliberté Brings Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award Home to Canada

    MONTREAL, June 4 /CNW/ - Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté has
achieved yet another outstanding success by being the first Canadian ever to
win the prestigious Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award.

    Laliberté received the award at a gala held in Monte Carlo this past
weekend. He triumphed over 44 other nominees from 39 countries across the

    His journey began in Quebec, where Laliberté first dreamed of building a
thriving circus troupe that would entertain and amuse audiences on all

    He started out as a fire-eater, stilt-walker and accordion player who
organized groups of similarly talented artists to perform at cultural events
in Baie-Saint-Paul. In 1984, Laliberté took the group one step further and
proposed the Cirque du Soleil concept to the organizers of Québec's
celebratory events surrounding the 450th anniversary of Jacques Cartier's
discovery of Canada. The concept was a hit, and the group hasn't looked back

    More than 20 years later, Laliberté has turned an elaborate dream into an
equally elaborate and stunning reality. His team of 900 Cirque du Soleil
artists have dazzled more than 60 million spectators in 100 cities around the
world. Laliberté's determined rise to success is a testament to his
entrepreneurial spirit.

    "This honour truly touches me. I would like to dedicate this award to our
3,500 employees who strive on a daily basis to keep the dream alive, of
entertaining people all over the world. Their passion and dedication to
quality productions are the reasons behind the success of Cirque du Soleil,
and I feel privileged to be representing them all around the world," Laliberté
told the audience during his acceptance speech on Saturday night.

    Ernst & Young is pleased to support entrepreneurs such as Laliberté, who
transform fantastic ideas into tremendously successful business ventures that
transcend continents and cultures.

    "We are delighted that one of Canada's most visionary entrepreneurs is
receiving this global recognition, and we heartily congratulate Mr.
Laliberté," says Lou Pagnutti, chairman and chief executive officer of Ernst &
Young LLP. "Canada's entrepreneurs are the driving force of economic success.
Having Mr. Laliberté named "World Entrepreneur of the Year" confirms that
Canada's entrepreneurs stand out in the global arena and are among the best of
the best."

    About Entrepreneur of the Year

    Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world's most prestigious 
business award for entrepreneurs. Recognized globally, the award provides a
unique way of encouraging entrepreneurial activity and recognizing the
contribution of outstanding men and women who inspire others with their
vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award
of its kind, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are
building and leading successful, growing and dynamic business, recognizing
them through regional, national and global awards programs in over 115 cities
and more than 30 countries.

    About Ernst & Young
    Ernst & Young, a global leader in professional services, is committed to
restoring the public's trust in professional services firms and in the quality
of financial reporting. Its 114,000 people in 140 countries pursue the highest
levels of integrity, quality and professionalism in providing a range of
sophisticated services centred on our core competencies of auditing,
accounting, tax and transactions. Further information about Ernst & Young and
its approach to a variety of business issues can be found at Ernst & Young refers to the global organization of member
firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal
entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited does not provide services to clients.

    Photos of the 2007 World Entrepreneur Of The Year are available from

For further information:

For further information: Amanda Olliver, Media Relations, Ernst & Young
LLP, (514) 874-4308,; Nichola Petts, Media Relations,
Ernst & Young LLP, (416) 941-1813,

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