Meet Amy Lareau: The Creative Visionary Behind Cirque du Soleil’s Expansion

Amy Lareau is a force to be reckoned with. As Senior Director of business development at Cirque du Soleil, she has become known for her innovative approach to expanding the brand and creating new opportunities. Lareau’s journey began in Quebec City, where she studied law before getting an MBA at one of Canada’s top programs, which eventually led her to spend 10 years at Cirque du Soleil. During her tenure, she played a crucial role in the company’s growth and diversification.

One of Lareau’s crowning achievements is the development of the Joyà dinner show in the Cancun area. Realizing that the market demanded something unique, Lareau and her team partnered with a high-end Mexican resort group to create an entirely new show format. The result is a stunning theater with only 600 seats, bringing the audience up close and personal with the performers while they enjoy an exquisite meal. Joya’s success led to new deals for the creation of more resort destination shows, expanding Cirque du Soleil’s global footprint and portfolio.

Lareau’s innovative spirit didn’t stop with dinner shows. She also played a major role in developing a Cirque du Soleil waterpark concept, demonstrating her ability to think outside the box when it comes to brand expansion. Her focus on mindful licensing— finding innovative ways for fans to experience the brand and forming strategic partnerships—helped Cirque du Soleil diversify its revenue streams and solidify its position as a leader in the entertainment industry.

Navigating the business side of Cirque du Soleil wasn’t always easy, but Lareau’s passion for learning and entrepreneurial mindset has been instrumental in overcoming challenges. Her ability to quickly familiarize herself with new industries and market trends has allowed her to make informed decisions about potential partnerships and projects. Lareau’s unique perspective helped shape how Cirque du Soleil approaches its global expansion efforts, proving that a well-rounded understanding of business is essential for success.

So, what advice does Lareau have for aspiring business developers? Drawing from her wealth of experience, she emphasizes the importance of following one’s passion, trusting one’s instincts, maintaining strong relationships, and respecting one’s counterparts in negotiations. Additionally, she highlights the significance of understanding one’s partner’s business model, key success factors, and how your product or service can support their goals. Furthermore, Lareau stresses the necessity of being sensitive to cultural differences when working internationally, fostering open-mindedness and curiosity, and conducting research to appreciate diverse business practices and customs.

After spending a few years in the tech industry, Lareau is now returning to the world of entertainment to support brands and intellectual properties in their licensing and expansion efforts. Drawing from her extensive experience at Cirque du Soleil and her recent work in tech, she is well-equipped to help companies elevate their brand presence and diversify their offerings.

Amy Lareau’s innovative contributions to Cirque du Soleil’s global expansion have left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry. Her commitment to leveraging brand pillars, ability to create unique experiences, and entrepreneurial spirit have paved the way for continued growth and success. As Lareau embarks on her next chapter, the world eagerly awaits the creative genius she will bring to the table.

Written in partnership with Ascend