Since I'm busy here today, have a look at my writer's blog, where I have another post in the Ottawa Welcomes The World embassy series, this one featuring Indonesia.
La Machine was set up throughout the city during the four days these machines were performing- with a team of operators manning them, and a support staff and volunteers involved in the process of getting them through the streets during walkabouts- working as a perimeter, as information sources, and as a hub for lost children. Paramedics and police were strategically placed during the walkabouts if needed. Guy Laflamme, the man in charge of the entire event, has been running the Ottawa 2017 series of events; he called this particular weekend his Mount Everest in terms of a logistics achievement. It brought out the crowds for a weekend of urban theatre that was a pleasure to watch, caught the imagination, and delighted everyone. It was estimated that more than 750 000 people caught the event at some point over the four days- the city picked up the tab, so the event was free, and the amount of visitor revenue and exposure coming into the city as a result made it a worthy investment.
On the Friday evening, after stopping in at the Convention Center to see Kumo, I went over to Ottawa City Hall, where the giant dragon horse Long Ma was at rest amid a large crowd, waiting for the evening confrontation with Kumo over on the Laurier Avenue Bridge. Looking at these machines- you can see where the operators are going to take positions, you can see it's a machine... and yet you can hear this beastie snoring. Obviously this was attracting a lot of attention. The facts and figures on this one: his height tops out at 12 metres, with a width of 5 metres, and he weighs 45 tons.
The following morning, Long Ma was in the Byward Market, a short distance away from Kumo, also at rest. That wouldn't last too long though. There was a walkabout set for the afternoon around the Market for both machines. This beastie ended up back to City Hall after that, and then there was another walkabout and a confrontation that evening. We'll have a look at that tomorrow, including the first of some videos I filmed.