On Sunday April 18, 2010 residents from Portage drug addiction rehabilitation centres in the Montréal region attended a Cirque du Soleil performance in the Old Port of Montréal. The tickets were graciously donated by Cirque du Soleil.
“This incredible experience will stay in the minds and imaginations of the residents forever and has been a source of inspiration in their drug addiction rehabilitation process,” said Patrick Varin of Portage Prévost, near lac Écho the day after the show. “It’s still hard for them to understand and express all the emotions that they felt during the performance and that they continue to feel even today. The visuals, the sounds, the emotions – these were all previously unknown to them – unimaginable, inaccessible.”
The residents were able to draw lessons from their experience at Cirque du Soleil that tied into their drug addiction therapy.
“We still have so much to discover. We have the right to dream,” said one. “What I used to think was impossible might just be possible one day.”
In every city on its tour, Cirque du Soleil offers free dress rehearsal tickets to local non-profit organisations, particularly to those that help youth at risk. Tickets for the Québec City show have already been put aside for residents at the Portage centres in the Québec City region.
Portage is extremely grateful to Cirque du Soleil for its generosity, as are the residents who will never forget their experience:
“I can’t thank you enough. I probably would have never had a chance to go see Cirque du Soleil in my lifetime. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will never forget this experience.”
“I have never seen anything so beautiful. The music and the special effects were amazing. I loved it! All I can say is WOW!!! Thank you so much for this fantastic experience. ”
“The evening at Cirque du Soleil was overwhelming. I can’t put words to it.”
“An unforgettable experience. The music and costumes were awesome! I felt so many different emotions during the performance – fear, sadness, surprise, and joy. I didn’t want it to end. Thank you so very much!”
These testimonials demonstrate the tremendous impact that the Cirque du Soleil experience has had on Portage residents. No doubt it will continue to impact them throughout the rest of their therapy at Portage and the rest of their lives as they strive for Freedom from Addiction.