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Let there be dragons … and spiders

Serge Guenette

Throughout my career, I have always considered that the key to success is turning passion into profession.

Throughout my career, I have always considered that the key to success is turning passion into profession.

Oct 8 2 minutes read

Maman has got some competition.

The giant spider sculpture that graces the entrance of the National Gallery of Canada will soon be joined by a second giant spider – and a fire-breathing dragon – as an unusual spectacle makes its North American debut as part of Ottawa 2017.

Over four days later this month, the monstrous mechanical creations will invade Ottawa’s downtown core in a kind of street performance to delight (and startle) pedestrians. Think of Godzilla, but with spiders and dragons.

Called La Machine, the event is coming to town as part of Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations and shows – on a grand scale – that the party wasn’t over when July 1 ended.

Standing more than 10 metres tall (that’s more than three storeys high), the giant wood and metal dragon and spider will walk, trot and crawl through the streets, playing out scenes and occasionally spraying fire (the dragon) and water (the spider). Spectators will be quite safe and able to gather along the performance routes.

The travelling urban theatre is the brainchild of Frenchman François Delarozière, who founded the company in 1999. He calls his giant creations living architecture and aims to make a connection to our built surroundings and public spaces.

Mr. Delarozière puts an emphasis on seeing the inner workings of his creations – the architecture, cogs and pulleys – so that the audience gets a feel for how each one is made.

The two creatures invading Ottawa can be found in the ByWard Market, at City Hall, on Wellington Street and at Lebreton Flats. Unofficially, times are:

Thursday, July 27: 8-9 p.m.
Friday, July 28: 10:30 a.m.-noon; 2:30-3:30 p.m.; 8-9:15 p.m.
Saturday, July 29: 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; 3-4:30 p.m.; 8:30-10 p.m.
Sunday, July 30: 2:30-4 p.m.; 7:30-9 p.m.

(but you can check Click here for updates on times and locations).

Best of all, the family-friendly performance is free.

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