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With an even bigger draw than the Superbowl, the Champions League Final is the world’s most watched annual sporting event. Circo had the honour of producing the 2014 opening ceremony in Lisbon. The challenge: keep 170 million viewers glued to their screens and 65,647 spectators at Da Luz stadium enrapt. No biggie.

It’s not every day that Canadians break into Europe’s sacrosanct football industry, but having secured this international tender, this was a tour de force for us. The famous explorers who so define Portugal’s history inspired the ceremony that was rolled-out in just under 9 minutes. Six months of preparation, a month of rehearsals, 400 artists (ballerinas, dancers, sailors), 84 giant banners, an original score, custom-made costumes and Mariza, the world-renowned diva of Fado, were a few of the highlights that made the 59th opening ceremony an unforgettable experience.

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