The Portland Expo Center will again host Cirque du Soleil, returning for another limited engagement run – this time for “KURIOS ~ Cabinet of Curiosities” – opening for an extended run premiering August 24.
This is the Portland Expo Center's third time hosting Cirque du Soleil. In 2012, the troupe presented "OVO," and in 2014, it brought "Totem" to Portland, attracting thousands of patrons from across the Northwest to its awe-inspiring performances under the trademark blue and yellow Grand Chapiteau.
Working closely with the Portland Expo Center and its partners, Cirque du Soleil will transform the lower parking lots into a fantastic event space, increasing the potential for future performances and other events. The logistics to accommodate transportation and parking needs, while ensuring seamless coexistence with other scheduled events, required significant planning and coordination; moving to the summer months has dramatically reduced these concerns.
“I am so proud of our team and our facility," said Matthew P. Rotchford, the director of the Portland Expo Center. "The Portland Expo Center, along with Cirque du Soleil and our amazing event producers have proven time and again that we know how to work together and put our customers first.”
Rotchford said that Cirque du Soleil's performance has a tremendous economic impact on greater Portland. “The return of Cirque du Soleil to greater Portland is cause for celebration and will only add to the Expo Center’s $43 million in economic impacts; both through local spending and jobs created," he said.
“We could not be more pleased to welcome Cirque du Soleil’s international cast and crew back to Portland and to our facility that they will call home for a number of months," Rotchford said. In the last fiscal year alone, visitors to Metro's three visitor venues – the Oregon Convention Center, the Portland Expo Center and Portland'5 Centers for the Arts – contributed more than $865 million to greater Portland's economy, resulting in more than $331 million in wages paid.
The addition of Cirque du Soleil to Expo’s client mix is a deliberate effort to diversify the venue’s portfolio to strengthen the facility’s long-term financial outlook and continued contributions to our community. The Portland Expo Center is unique among similar publicly-owned venues across the country since it pays its own general obligation bond, thus saving taxpayers that cost. Since Cirque’s first visit in 2012, the Expo Center has undergone numerous facility improvements aimed at enhancing our patrons’ experiences.
Rotchford says that while public consumer shows such as the Home and Garden Show or the Portland Roadster Show continue to provide a solid foundation for the facility’s business, “increases in hosting weekday tradeshows, community fundraisers, cultural events, concerts and unique offerings such as Cirque, result in the Expo Center’s continuing evolution as a gathering place for all people, and all types of events.”
"We want to present something for everyone and welcome a diverse customer base," Rotchford said. "All of these various events contribute so much for the good of the region’s economy – so many of these events are driven by volunteers who are committed to their community and/or their hobby or field of interest.”
“KURIOS ~ Cabinet of Curiosities” is Cirque du Soleil’s 35th production since 1984. An amazing production featuring more than a hundred costumes to dress the cast and 426 props, it is the most of any production in Cirque du Soleil’s history.
Cabinet of Curiosities are the ancestors of museums, also known as “cabinet of wonders” in Renaissance Europe. Aristocrats, members of the merchant class and early practitioners of science formed collections of historical relics, works of art, or mysterious travel souvenirs and artifacts. In an alternate yet familiar past, the Seeker unlocks a world of wonders that in turn, unlocks the imagination. In this parallel reality, it is the steam engine and not the internal combustion engine that reigns supreme. The set evokes the start of the industrialization era, but as if science and technology had evolved differently and progress had taken on a more human dimension.
“KURIOS” opens on Aug. 24 for a limited engagement. Pre-sale tickets are now available online exclusively to Cirque Club members. Membership is free and benefits include access to advance tickets, special offers and invitations to exclusive behind-the-scenes events. To join, simply visit www.cirqueclub.com.
Tickets will be available to the general public starting March 1 at www.cirquedusoleil.com/kurios.