The largest touring tent in the world was raised last week next to Hershey Centre in Mississauga in preparation for Odysseo’s opening night on Wednesday, June 21.
For the special occasion, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie and Mississauga Ward 5 Councillor Carolyn Parrish joined Cavalia Founder and Artistic Director Normand Latourelle for brief remarks about the significant economic impacts Odysseo will have on Mississauga. Mayor Crombie, Councillor Parrish and Mr. Latourelle cut the symbolic ribbon on Thursday, heralding the official arrival of the production in Mississauga.
On Friday afternoon, the White Big Top rose to the sky, marking the impressive site which will soon host the epic theatrical experience Odysseo – a unique equestrian and acrobatic extravaganza featuring 65 horses and 50 artists.
Following two very successful, record-breaking engagements in Toronto in 2012 and 2015, Cavalia Inc. – an integral part of Canada’s cultural heritage, and the largest Canadian wholly owned cultural enterprise – made the decision to explore and develop a new market opportunity by raising the Odysseo White Big Top in Mississauga. Cavalia Inc. would like to acknowledge the support of the Government of Ontario and the City of Mississauga in bringing Odysseo to Canada’s 6th largest city.
In a collaborative effort between Cavalia Inc. and the city of Mississauga, the presentation of Odysseo next to Hershey Centre signifies a milestone in the City’s history, allowing not only Odysseo – the largest touring show on the planet – to set its ‘moving theatre’ on what is now the perfect outdoor site, but also to pave the way for other large-scale events to follow Cavalia’s innovative lead and make a stop in Mississauga.
The White Big Top is part of a larger ensemble; the Odysseo village will take shape over the next few weeks when a team of 80 experienced workers will be charged with its construction. The Odysseo village consists of five tents: The White Big Top, the stable tent, the exclusive Rendez-Vous VIP tent, the warm-up and artistic tent, and the kitchen tent for the 120 permanent employees. In total, 110 semi-trailer trucks will be required to transport the world’s largest touring production to Mississauga.
Covering a surface area of 5,425 square metres, the size of a football field, Odysseo’s impressive White Big Top is a mix of art, technology and advanced engineering. Normand Latourelle, Cavalia’s Founder and Artistic Director, partnered with specialized companies in Europe and Canada to create this high-tech structure. By removing the usual supporting masts from the stage and shifting the weight of the structure from the masts to three arches above the tent, this specially designed White Big Top is the best environment for the horses to feel free and comfortable and for the artists to perform breathtaking numbers. The gigantic stage – larger than the Hershey Centre ice rink – is 1,626 square metres and requires 10,000 tons of stone, earth and sand to create the vast performance area.
The multi-dimensional and magical world of Odysseo is conjured through images of the most beautiful landscapes from around the world, projected onto a 780 square metre screen, a feast for the eyes with staggering effects created by state-of-the-art scenery. The technical grid, worthy of the largest installations in Las Vegas, New York or London, supports 80 tons of stage equipment including a majestic life-sized merry-go-round. During the breathtaking finale, a virtual waterfall overhangs a lake made possible by an underground drain system that releases 150,000 litres of recycled water onto the stage, in which horses, riders, and artists come together to frolic, leaving behind them an astonished audience.
Tickets are priced from $39.50 to $139.50 + applicable taxes and fees. For a memorable evening, the Rendez-Vous package offers the best seats in the house, full meal buffet dining before the show, open bar, desserts during intermission and an exclusive visit of the stables after the show. This unique VIP experience takes place in a tent alongside the White Big Top. The Rendez-Vous package prices range from $139.50 to $224.50 + applicable taxes and fees. Special pricing and packages available for groups, children (2-12), juniors (13-17) and seniors (65+).