North America's largest marionette will "climb" a Calgary skyscraper this weekend

Sep 24 2021, 8:00 pm

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A collaboration between Beakerhead and The Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) is bringing North America’s largest marionette to YYC for an epic climb.

The free, outdoor event, called THE ASCENT, involves a 34-foot tall marionette, “DAVID,” climbing 39 stories of Devon Tower, assisted by a team of puppeteers and operators.

DAVID will begin his climb of the skyscraper at 7 pm, illuminated from above and below. His journey will take approximately three hours, with the marionette’s emotions projected on the walls of Eau Claire Market and his progress captured by cameras.

CIFF will capture THE ASCENT using cinematographers from various vantage points, including the ground, adjacent buildings, distant hills, drones, and potentially DAVID himself.

marionette Calgary

The “DAVID” marionette (Courtesy of Beakerhead)

According to a press release from Beakerhead, real and staged media crews will become part of the documentation, and the product will be both a live transmission (for those who want to watch the climb virtually from the comfort of their couch) and an amateur film that will debut at CIFF later in the festival.

The Devon is adjacent to Eau Claire Market. There will be a one-night-only STEAM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and an art-inspired celebration featuring some of Beakerhead’s favourite installations in the building’s south parking lot.

Beakerhead is designed to be “creative, cathartic, educational, weird and wonderful all at the same time.” Fans of the annual Calgary event will recognize favourite installations such as “Steely T” (a giant rolling, flaming steampunk turtle), “Nibbles” (Beakerhead’s big bunnies), and others while enjoying film clips by CIFF and science demonstrations throughout the site.

Head downtown this Saturday night (or tune into the action virtually) to catch DAVID’s unique journey in the Calgary skyline, along with partaking in some of the Beakerhead fun that we all know and love.


When:Ā September 25
Time:Ā 7 to 10 pm
Where:Ā Beakerhead activities in Eau Claire Market’s south parking lot (2nd Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Street SW), with “DAVID” climbing Devon Tower
Cost: Free

Elle McLeanElle McLean

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