Marie-Hélène D’Amours grew up in Montréal. After studying recreational management at Cégep de Saint-Laurent, dramatic arts at UQAM and the circus arts at the École de Cirque de Québec, she founded Le Cirque en L'Air, an aerial-show company that performed in schools and several festivals in Quebec. This experience led her to a new passion: clowning. Between 2001 and 2003, she trained as a clown with Francine Côté, with whom she created the character of Mademoiselle Manon.
She performed her clown acts at several international events, and toured Switzerland and Belgium with the Starlight Circus, in a show directed by Yves Dagenais. At the end of 2005, she founded Swigne la Bacaisse and took her circus, musical and clown performances to numerous festivals throughout French-speaking Europe. In 2007, she developed the Entre Rhône et Saint-Laurent project with her husband and children. This project led her to set sail with her family halfway around the world on a two-year sailing adventure. She has given circus and ecology education workshops and shows in France, Morocco, Cape Verde, Senegal, the West Indies and Quebec. Upon returning to Montréal, she founded Le Gros Orteil and presents their shows in theatres around Quebec.
Julie honed her skills in lighting design after training in cinema, first at Cégep de Saint-Laurent and then at the Vancouver Film School. Upon returning to Montréal, the performing arts piqued her interest. She first gained experience as a head electrician at various festivals, including Black & Blue and the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal. She went on to serve as a project manager and assistant lighting designer for Cirque Éloize’s show Saloon.
She has worked as the head electrician at Espace Go since 2009. In 2014, she became the lighting designer, tour director and stage manager for Le Gros Orteil performance company for young audiences. She designs the lighting for all their shows.
Ghislain has always enjoyed technical challenges, as his university education in mechanical engineering attests. After meeting Marie-Hélène D’Amours, he gradually started channelling these skills into set design. After several experiences in France, he joined Le Gros Orteil’s creative team and has since designed all the sets for its shows. As demonstrated by Little Sailboat, MOVE! and Ahoy! Matey!, his skill at adapting set designs for touring is widely recognized. Ghislain’s greatest satisfaction was creating the set for The Librarian, which has been performed over 350 times in Quebec and abroad. His last creation, for the show Octave, is his most technical exploit of all.