Laid off Cirque du Soleil artists start new businesses in small-town Clinton, Ont.
CLINTON, ONT. -- It’s been a trying year for Meaghan Wegg and Tim Buckley, who both used to work for the financially challenged Cirque du Soleil.
First, it was wildfires in his native Australia that left the family in imminent danger.
“We actually ended up sleeping on the floor of a cinema for six days. Everything was grounded. A lot of people were evacuated by boat, but because we had kids under the age of five, we ended up getting airlifted out by the Australian military,” says Buckley.
Shortly after returning to Canada, COVID-19 hit, shuttering performances by their employer in Montreal, Cirque du Soleil.
“The majority of staff were terminated. My wife is an artistic coach, and I’m a physiotherapist with Cirque du Soleil, so everything kind of stopped there,” says Buckley.
But instead of wallow in their miserable few months, the couple came home to midwestern Ontario.
“Home is where the heart is. I’m so happy to be home,” says Wegg, who grew up in nearby Teeswater.
The former Cirque performers are now entrepreneurs. They’re holding the grand opening for their two new businesses in Clinton, Ont. next week.
Buckley is opening Buffed Auto Detailing, while Wegg is running The Academy where students can learn dance, circus and acrobatics.
“I own this building and sadly due to COVID-19, the businesses in it had to close. So we decided, we’re going to open our businesses,” says Wegg.
“There’s a silver lining to everything, so we’re trying to stay positive, and keep working. That’s it, really,” says Buckley.