Since 2007 when the company was established, the mandate of Créations In Vivo has always been to create multidisciplinary work. Throughout the years and through many international successes, a natural movement arose to not define these works by using the artistic disciplines they mix (the framework), but rather defining them by using the fusion of individual artists’ approaches and the fusion of topics we work with (the content).
Créations In Vivo was established in Ottawa in 2007 by a group of friends assembled around Stéphane Guertin. At the time, the company’s first show, C’est arrivé à Sainte-Utopie, was brewing. Presented as part of Contact Ontarois in January 2008, this performance, mixing storytelling and song, won the “Coup de foudre” Prize from Réseau Ontario, which then gave it a school tour of Francophone Ontario. The show was an immense success and was presented 70 times in front of more than 20,000 audience members between 2008 and 2012.
In 2009, the company created La pluie de bleuets, which also went on to win Réseau Ontario’s “Coup de foudre” Prize. It was the first time this prize was awarded to the same company two years in a row! This young audience performance mixing theatre and circus arts toured for five years, and was presented more than 160 times in Ontario, Québec and Nunavut. A song album, inspired by the show, Autour de la pluie was then made. The album received nominations for the 2012 ADISQ Gala and went on to win the “Artiste jeune public par excellence” Prize at the 2013 Trille Or Gala.
The company’s third performance, Légendes boréales, mixed storytelling and circus arts. It was also awarded Réseau Ontario’s “Coup de foudre” Prize at the 2011 Contact Ontarois and was performed 107 times in front of almost 27,000 audience members.
In 2013, a long-time collaborator of Créations In Vivo, Magalie Lemèle, is named co-artistic director of the company. Her solo performance Je n’y suis plus, by Marie-Claude Verdier, is applauded by critics. It was presented at the 2013 Zones Théâtrales and opened the 2013-2014 season of the Théâtre français at the National Arts Centre. It then played at the Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario in Sudbury and at the Fred-Barry stage of the Théâtre Denise-Pelletier in Montreal. This role also allowed Magali to win the 2013 Prix Rideau Award for Best Actress.
During this time, the company also produced 20 000 lieues sous les mers, a young audience adaptation of the Jules Verne novel by Sarah Migneron and Stéphane Guertin. In 2015, the performance État vertical, an ambitious project mixing wordless theatre and vertical dance, was created at the Zones Théâtrales.
Also in 2015, Magali left the co-direction of the company in order to dedicate herself to her own professional endeavours.
In 2013, Stéphane Guertin presented an excerpt of Légendes boréales at the 7th Jeux de la Francophonie in Nice, France. He won the gold medal in storytelling. This acknowledgement kicked off the project La cadence du conteur, a performance that mixes reinterpretation of traditional folk tales with object-theatre. It became the first of the company’s productions to be presented abroad. Since its creation, the show has travelled to Côte d’Ivoire, France, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Benin, Belgium, Egypt and Canada (Ontario, Québec).
At the behest of a French presenter, Paroles de conteurs, Stéphane Guertin started working on a new solo performance: Vie et mort d’un char boiteux. This autobiographical adventure tells the story of the writer’s road trip that brought him all the way to Panama behind the wheel of an old car. This solo performance was created in Latin America in March 2015 (Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador) and has since been performed in France, Ontario, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick.
For a few years now, meetings and experiences gained through Créations In Vivo’s travels have created the need to be more open to the world, specifically Africa. Many collaborations were born from this: La neige, c’est quoi?, a young audience performance created with Kientega Pingdéwindé Gérard, an artist from Burkina Faso, and presented in Ontario; Caravane Libres ensemble, a performance created in France in partnership with the Maison Alphonse-Daudet and the Koombi Centre (Burkina Faso), which also toured Morocco and Burkina Faso. Finally, in 2018, the puppet performance Charly dans le desert was created, inspired by playwright Ève Alexandre-Beaulieu’s travels to Burkina Faso.
As well as creating and producing performances, Création In Vivo is responsible for two other components: training and event activities. The first of these components allows the company to travel throughout Ontario and offer workshops in high schools through the “Artistes aux 4 coins” program. Periodically, specific training workshops are offered to young artists: stilt-walking, puppetry, circus arts, etc. The event activities component consists in theatre animation in large-scale events or festivals, in Ottawa or elsewhere (Winterlude, Just for Laughs, Franco-Ontarian Festival, etc.)
In 2018-2019, Créations In Vivo celebrates a decade of creations, trainings and meeting opportunities between its artists and the audience; but also, a decade of stories, acrobatics, genre mixing and, mostly, tours!