Launched in 1974 by Prince Rainier III, the Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival takes place every January under the Fontvieille Big Top.


Princess Stéphanie of Monaco is the linchpin of the event created in 1974 by Prince Rainier III. During the inauguration in 1974, a Sunday mass was celebrated under the big top in the presence of Prince Rainier III and the princely family: the religious element has been maintained to this day. Since 2002, the Festival has been associated with the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity by bringing together members from all branches of Christianity under the big top. This annual gathering is the largest of Christians on the French Riviera.

In 2002, the importance and quality of the acts presented led to the creation of the bronze clowns, and in 2008, special awards were published. In 2016, the new generation festival will be celebrated under the Fontvieille marquee. Its purpose is to reward the best young artists. What’s on? Some of the best circus acts from around the world and a gala evening where awards are presented to the best performances (Gold Clowns, Silver Clowns and Bronze Clowns).

Passionate about the Circus from a very young age, Princess Stéphanie contributes to boosting all the Circus Arts all year round. As such, she contributed to the creation of the World Circus Federation, whose head office is based in the Principality of Monaco. In addition, she is involved with the creation and organisation of shows with the following headings: respect for the traditional circus and the selection of the best international acts.