Officials with La Machine are leaving Ottawa with a strong appreciation for the tens of thousands who came out for the show.

“Here, everybody played with us, with a smile, and child’s eyes, and a conscience that we are transforming the town into a great theatre,” said François Delarozière, Artistic Director with La Machine.

More than 750,000 people took in La Machine over the weekend in downtown Ottawa, the ByWard Market and LeBreton Flats, according to Ottawa 2017.

A crowd that was much larger than even organizers anticipated.

“It’s over twice what we hoped for in our wildest dreams,” said Guy Laflamme, the Executive Director with Ottawa 2017.

Long Ma, the dragon-horse, reclaimed her temple at LeBreton Flats Sunday night, capping off a four-day battle with Kumo, the spider. Tens of thousands people attended the conclusion of the story Sunday evening as Long Ma and Kumo met for a final performance. 

LaFlamme said after day one organizers realized the event was going to be wildly successful, purchasing video screens to place in the crowds.

On Sunday, organizers made changes to the finale to accommodate the large crowds.

The show, entitled “The Spirit of the Dragon-Horse, With Stolen Wings, featured Long Ma roaming the streets of Ottawa pursing Kumo in a bid to reclaim her wings and temple.

Ottawa 2017 released statistics for La Machine over the weekend:

  • 1 pair of wings found
  • 6 number of times it snowed in Ottawa this July to put Kumo to sleep
  • 27 kilometres of Ottawa streets walked by Long Ma and Kumo combined
  • 32 hours of live musical performances as part of La Machine
  • 34 manipulators who guided the spider and dragon-horse through the nation’s capital
  • 51 number of musicians and choir members who shared their talent to entertain the crowds
  • 80 number of bicycles used by La Machine staff to travel around during their stay in Ottawa
  • 252 dedicated volunteers who donated over 3,613 hours to make the event a success
  • 3,200 number of litres of dragon mist and spider venom sprayed
  • 750,000 spectators who took in La Machine over four days.

La Machine cost $3.5 million dollars. The cost was part of the Ottawa 2017 budget, funded by grants from the Federal, Ontario and City of Ottawa governments, and private sponsors.

 Delarozière said each performance takes about one year to plan.