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Cirque du soleil boss says organization has weathered layoffs, remains upbeat

MONTREAL – The president of Cirque du soleil says the world-renowned entertainment empire has weathered hundreds of job cuts that were completed recently.

Daniel Lamarre says morale is good at the Cirque, which saw 400 jobs chopped as part of a downsizing announced in January.

Economic conditions were blamed for the move.

Lamarre remains upbeat about the future of the Cirque as well as its Montreal home base although he allowed the city has a few challenges of its own to overcome.

While he says Montreal has a good reputation internationally, Lamarre says he finds there’s a lot of complaining at home.

He says people are angry about revelations of municipal corruption coming out at the provincial Charbonneau Comminission. Lamarre adds that people must be more positive.

He says he would like to see Montreal turned into an international hub of creativity.

“We have a lot of creators in a lot of different sectors of activities that can sustain this positioning for the city of Montreal,” he said.

He said he believes young entrepreneurs should be taught to look at possibilities, not just fixate on the negative.

“If you want to achieve something, you cannot achieve it if all there is around you is cynicism. You need some positive vibes.”

Lamarre ruled out running for mayor in November’s municipal elections, jokingly recommending Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien.

“He seems to be a good motivator,” Lamarre said of the coach whose team is poised for a berth in the Stanley Cup playoffs.