Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group has acquired Minnesota-based entertainment production company VStar Entertainment Group and its Florida-based circus arts subsidiary Cirque Dreams. The acquisition comes as Cirque expands its kids-specific offerings.
Using VStar Entertainment Group’s live entertainment platform and global distribution network, Cirque du Soleil plans to integrate plug-and-play creative content specifically designed for children and families into future live shows.
“Today’s announcement is our first step to directly target children and family audiences,” Daniel Lamarre, president and CEO of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, tells Kidscreen. “We are looking at ways to diversify our offering, reach new audiences and expand our creative and production capabilities. We are firmly establishing ourselves in the kids and family segment.”
VStar Entertainment Group produces theatrical shows, exhibits, cruise ship shows and outdoor events. The entertainment production company recently partnered with Nickelodeon on the live theatrical production Bubble Guppies Live! Ready to Rock, and produced both PAW Patrol Live! Race to the Rescue and PAW Patrol Live! The Great Pirate Adventure.
VStar’s circus arts division Cirque Dreams, meanwhile, produces and operates tours and shows in theaters and tourism venues through partnerships with Norwegian Cruise Line and Gaylord Hotels.
Cirque du Soleil’s acquisition of VStar is part of its ongoing efforts to increase its kids offerings. In June, the organization announced it would launch family entertainment centers in 2019, beginning with the indoor family entertainment experience Creactive in Toronto, Canada. The recreational centers are designed for retail locations and feature immersive experiences including aerial parkour, trampolines, mask design, juggling and dance.