TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games Opening Ceremony

Spinning atop a snowy mountain that suddenly bursts into bloom, she inspires each of us to love the person of our choice...

The 2015 PAN AM Games in Toronto were the perfect stage to host Cirque du Soleil's first Opening Ceremony

Cirque du Soleil created a breathtaking show with 625 performers for theOpening Ceremony of the Pan American Games, the world's third-largest international multi-sport games, becoming the largest event produced by the company.

Tickets for the 45 000 live spectators were sold out 6 months prior to the show that was seen also by 400 million viewers on TV .

Making Of

A sensory feast that encompassed 625 performers, 47 makeup artists, 530 costumes crafted from 600 metres of fabric and 1,000 laborious hours of rehearsal spread over 22 weeks.

Making of the video content created by Johnny Ranger which would appear on the mega-screens during the opening ceremony

Photo Johnny Ranger

Erika flying on top of the ring during dressed rehearsals   Photo by Johnny Ranger

Erika flying on top of the ring during dressed rehearsals 

Photo by Johnny Ranger

Photo Johnny Ranger

Photo Johnny Ranger


One of the 5 main characters among 625 performers

erika lemay pan am games cirque du soleil

Representing 1 of the 5 Gods Guardians of Sport (the few soloists and main characters of the show), Erika Lemay incarnated the Goddess of Love, Guardian of Long Jump.   

Tom Szczerbowski/USA Today Sports images

Tom Szczerbowski/USA Today Sports images

Erika,  during the shooting of the video content of the Pan Am opening ceremony by Cirque du Soleil

Make-up creation by Julie Bégin


Credit Photo: Johnny Ranger

Hearts in Bloom, The Goddess of Love, Guardian of the Long Jump

Spinning atop a snowy mountain that suddenly bursts into bloom, she inspires each of us to love the person of our choice; this freedom of choice is a gift Canada offers.


The Story and the Creators

Photo credit: 45 Degrees

The spectacle was an idealistic story inspired by the setbacks and victories encountered on the way to our dream, and a celebration of the men and women who together continue to build this beautiful country and this colourful city.

 45 DEGREES presented an exclusive Cirque du Soleil show that brought the games spirit to reality and paid tribute to the 41 nations and their athletes. Honoured delegates present were moved by the incredible performance and joined the crowd in the multiple standing ovations throughout the evening. 

Guy Laliberté and Jean-François Bouchard as creative guides, Jean Guibert as Creative Director and Bastien as Show Director worked for 18 months to make sure this performance would be one to remember ...


More Details

originally posted on The Huffington Post Canada, by  Maham Abedi

Matt Dietrich photo

The opening ceremony of the 2015 Pan Am Games began with a stunning pow wow based on the show's theme "From Dream to Reality.”

A crowd of about 45,000 spectators gathered Friday evening at Toronto's sold-out Rogers Centre, which has been renamed Pan Am Ceremonies Venue for the duration of the games.

A pre-taped segment showed the end of the torch relay, featuring glamour shots of Toronto, but more importantly, a recreation of one of Canada's greatest sports moments as the torch passed from Robert Esmie to Glenroy Gilbert to Bruny Surin to Donovan Bailey, just as the baton did at the 4x100-metre relay race at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

The historic moment ended dramatically, with the CN Tower bursting with fireworks and leaving Bailey on the edge of the monument — and jumping.

More than 700 Canadians will compete at the Games.

Toronto is hosting a total of 41 countries and more than 10,000 athletes for the event that runs from July 10-26, along with the ParapanAm Games that will take place August 7-15.

The night continued with spectacular performances by Canada's internationally renowned Cirque du Soleil, and featured 625 performers from 25 nations.


Canadian public figures featured in the ceremony included humanitarian Craig Kielburger; former hockey stars Mark Messier and Bobby Orr; author Jewel Kats and astronaut Chris Hadfield. Several political figures, such as Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, were also in attendance. Retired basketball star Steve Nash lit the games cauldron, as the night began to wrap up.

Friday night's ceremony ended with a breathtaking display of fireworks at the CN Tower.