For Cavalia, it all started in 1998 when founder Normand Latourelle was inspired by a show-stealing horse cast in one of his productions

Reaching new heights

When he was just 17 years old, Normand Latourelle bought a school bus. That bus, which Normand turned into a camper and filled with 12 performers, marked the beginning of his career as an entertainer.

But it was 25 years later when Normand had an idea that would shape the future of circuses around the world. He created a historical pageant featuring over 100 performers, several animals and one lone horse. That single horse stole the show and sparked the idea for Cavalia.

When we started, people were skeptical. They’d never seen anything like this.


Despite not knowing anything about horses, Normand took a risk and founded Cavalia, a touring production with daring acrobatic and aerial stunts, the world’s largest big top and over 50 equestrian stars.

When touring, the entire Cavalia company moves from city to city around the world, requiring a fleet of 45 trucks-- and that’s just the performers. The 2,440 square-metre big top, which takes a crew of 40 people nearly two weeks to set up, also has to be transported with them.

The logistics are complex, but show business is about taking risks.


“I thought maybe we’d tour for two years. A decade later, the world really has become our stage.”

Today, Cavalia and Odysseo have entertained over five million spectators around the world. With help from EDC, the company kept their heads held high in times of economic crisis and found their place among the top touring productions in the world. And with rave reviews that continue to pour in across the globe, the show will continue to go on.


Taking risk by the reins

Like Cavalia, many other Canadian companies have grown their business by selling their products or services outside our borders.


Wondering if exporting is right for you? Here are the types of risks to keep an eye on.

  • Political risk: watch for government leadership or regulatory changes
  • Economic risk: track changes in foreign exchange rates
  • Social risk: monitor civil disturbances, protests and work stoppages

Managing risk


When it comes to selling your product or service outside Canada, there’s no way to eliminate risk entirely — but that doesn’t mean you have to go in blind. By planning and preparing for business risk, you can not only help your business avoid potential damages, but make it more flexible, competitive and successful.

Managing Risk: A Guide for Exporters will walk you through the factors behind your risk level and teach you how to plan ahead for the unexpected.