The Philanthropic Story of Le Monastère

Helping artists shine and facilitating easy access to culture. These are Le Monastère’s core principles of philanthropy. Since our beginnings in 2016, we have always wanted to empower artists and improve access to the circus for all budgets. Keep reading to learn about how we have turned these visions into reality.

A cause second nature to us

We have always been aware of how fortunate we are to participate in the rich circus culture in our city. With so much support, love and recognition from our peers, the public, and the artists, we wanted to expand our presence. Our goal was twofold: to help accelerate the career of emerging artists, and to promote accessible shows to people from different financial backgrounds. 

Since our first cabaret, we have wanted to welcome all types of audiences to Le Monastère. The most obvious way to facilitate this was to give a portion of ticket proceeds to the Montreal circus community and to those wishing to experience the circus.  We strive to be financially accessible to all, and so if you are in a financial situation where it is not possible to attend a cabaret, you can contact us directly about getting a ticket. In order to continue to make this option feasible, we have been brainstorming ideas.

Guillaume Blais et Marie Lebot

Slowly but surely, financial initiatives have been put in place. For example, you can make a donation to Le Monastère directly through the website. Since 2021, you can obtain a tax return on donations of $50 or more through the Conseil des arts de Montréal’s fiscal sponsorship program. Most recently, we have introduced a $2 donation option with the purchase of a ticket. Through this, more than a hundred spectators have become supporters for an evening, and more than 400 people have been able to benefit from a free seat since 2016.

Pascal Lepine et Guillaume Blais
M Leigh Rennels

To help the stars shine brighter

For those wanting to get more involved, we have developed a sponsorship program for emerging artists. The hope is to support artists at the beginning of their careers, both financially and artistically. The program supports the artists so that they can showcase their act on Le Monastère’s stage during a cabaret. This program aims to develop Quebec talent and help artists feel prepared for the stage.

In order to be well equipped and ready to give back to our community, we are assisted by Pascal Lepine, the founder of the organization “Atypic”. Lepine has been an audience member, as well as a long-time friend of Le Monastère, and is now our first philanthropist donor. He is also a specialist in advising organizations on both human and social issues. He has helped us greatly in outlining the steps we need to take in order to implement and structure our ideas.

Through this program, the artist will benefit from several hours of consultation with experts in order to hone their artistic approach, take social media workshops, and receive professional photo and video shoots to bolster their portfolios. The artist will meet with the donor and will be guaranteed a contract at Le Monastère. They will also be given the fantastic opportunity to present their new creation in front of a supportive audience composed of both peers and experienced spectators.

We strive to uplift these works of art and highlight independent artists and their original creations. By realizing the creation of acts as they were originally imagined, and away from any influence from a director, the artist has the space needed to transport us into their personal universe.

The value that motivates us

Where would philanthropy be at Le Monastère without Alizé? Since she began in 2021, she has been the person in charge of sponsors and partnerships and has been working to solidify the philophrantic structure of the organization. She is constantly seeking opportunities for growth and has taken training courses such as the Artvest program from Affaires/Arts, and Les conversations philanthropiques en culture.

The first mission was to create a pool of philanthropists by encouraging the public to donate $2 per ticket purchase. This was followed by many other initiatives such as the spontaneous donation option on Le Monastère’s website. Currently, her work is focusing on large scale actions such as artistic sponsorship, setting up Le Jardin, and hosting the summer cabarets.


Indeed, she is always on a mission to network with potential donors through Le Monastère’s social sphere. By spreading the word, she helps to realize our goal of making the circus arts accessible to new audiences, as well as providing tickets to marginalized communities.

The rest of the story is yet to be written …

We hope that Le Monastère can become a launchpad for artists, both in the development of their own works and in creating a place of culture accessible to all. We should never forget that art can be a luxury for some, and that accessing these experiences is difficult to prioritize on a tight budget. Every little bit counts on our passionate journey to develop these philanthropic missions.

Want to become a philanthropist?

For all donations under $50.

Le Monastère thanks the Conseil des arts de Montréal for its fiscal sponsorship which allows it to accomplish its artistic activities.

April 21, 2023

Photos credits: Caroline Thibault

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