A selection of the best international attractions
brought together in the capital of dreams under a big top shining with a
thousand stars, where emotion, dignity and respect of authenticity mix with joy
Since its establishment in 1974 by Prince Rainier III of Monaco, the International
Festival of Circus of Monte-Carlo has become one of the most prestigious world events.
As important as the “Oscars” for cinema, the
“Golden Clown” is the much-coveted award of this Festival and the Circus world.
Organised and chaired with passion by H.S.H. Princess Stephanie of Monaco, broadcast
across the entire world, the Festival presents each year a selection of the
best international acts which attract a huge audience. For 10 days, a selection
of spectacles comes to life under the Fontvieille Big Top with breath-taking
performances. Acrobats, animal trainers, trapeze artists, clowns… So many
artists who have brought fame to the Festival and who, year after year,
continue to make young and old dream.
The International Festival of Monte-Carlo also presents prizes to the world’s
greatest circus artists. Unquestionably the most prestigious award is the
“Golden Clown,” true recognition in the world of circus arts. From Anatoly
Zalevski to the National Acrobatic Troop of Beijing, via the
Caselly Family and Alexis Grüss, great names of circus have been
awarded this prize over the years.
When the festival started, only golden and silver clowns were
awarded. In 1988 (during the 13th edition) Claude
Lelouch’s feature film scenes were shot for “Itinéraire d'un enfant gâté”
(Itinerary of a Spoilt Child), with the Gruss family before the cameras
(sources: film credits and making-of).
In 2002, the number and quality of acts performing, led to the creation
of bronze clowns. From 2008, special prizes were awarded and, in 2015,
a new generation prize was instituted.
H.S.H. Princess Stephanie of Monaco
H.S.H. Princess Stephanie of Monaco is today the
lynchpin of this event, established in 1974 by Prince Rainier III. In this
regard, she is fully involved in both the design and organisation of the shows with
the over-riding concern of respecting traditional circus, choosing the best
international acts and bringing Her professionalism to bear on the mise-en-scène
of the Festival.
Fascinated by the circus from Her earliest years,
H.S.H. Princess Stephanie contributes to stimulating all circus arts throughout
the year, so contributing to the establishment of the World Federation of
Circus, whose headquarters are in the Principality of Monaco, and it is
entirely logical that H.S.H. Princess Stephanie energetically fulfils the role
of Chair of Honour.