Marionettes, giant ones, are taking over downtown streets in Montreal this weekend.
The largest city in the French-speaking province of Quebec, celebrated the 375th anniversary of its founding on May 17th, 2017.
The day began with a resounding chorus of church bells ringing across the city and the events have continued to evolve in spectacular fashion since.
Now, giant marionettes have come to life and are walking certain routes in the heart of the city.
“At night, you see their chest moving, like they are breathing”
The creatures are made by a French company, called Royal de Luxe,
They appeared for the first time in Montreal today, moving along the tourist-filled streets near the river.
Characters such as the Deep Sea Diver and the Little Girl Giant are towering figures, one of them up to five storeys high
“They not only walk the city, they create scenes which allow them to tell their stories,” Martin Bolduc, line producer of Montreal’s 375th anniversary celebrations told the CBC’s Nantali Indongo this morning.
The marionettes “walk” as a result of a blend of mechanics, hydraulics and people pulling strings.
It takes a team of about 30 people for each marionette, allowing them to move their arms and legs and walk at an average speed of 2.25 km/hour.
“At night, you see their chest moving, like they are breathing—that I must admit is a mechanical thing,” Bolduc said.
The giants will end their visit in a parade Sunday evening that will culminate in a party just outside our offices at CBC/Radio-Canada.
That’s where the Giants will “sleep” in the parking lot at the end of their walks.
With files from CBC Montreal