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(September 20-24, 2006)

Mike Posehn

California State Railroad Museum

Roberto Portolese

Toronto to China Virtual Transportation

Ontario Place, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

September 22, 2006 6:30PM Local Time

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© 2006 Roberto Portolese, All Rights Reserved.

You are Virtually trasported from Toronto to China in this 360 VR Panorama.

This is the Rogers Chinese Lantern Festival at the Ontario Place in Toronto. A group of 80 artisans from China came to Toronto in the Spring to build, in 45 days, a display of 30 lantern structures to tell the story of all the Chinese Dinasties from first to last. The space where the lanterns are built is the land and water area of the Ontario Place, an amusement park on Lake Ontario in front of the city of Toronto. Every lantern structure is made with 350 to 4500 light bulbs.

The whole project was completed without computers; all artifacts and drawings were made by skilled craftpeople by hand. This is an example of the multicultural aspects of Canada. There are more than 32 million people living in Canada and more than one million are of Chinese origin.

On the night of the Lantern Festival, cities and villages alike are dramatically illuminated by countless, beautifully decorated and intricately crafted lanterns hung from temples and carried by children as they walk through the streets. Today, streets are jammed not only with the traditional lanterns, but also with crafted floats and highly complex light shows that dazzle and awe millions of spectators.

The lavish installations, some as high as 50 feet and as long as 300 feet, depict traditional Chinese temples, dragons, and lanterns, using thousands of lights and traditional materials such as Chinese painted porcelain dishes, small glass medicine bottles, and tiny hand-crafted silk pods. Each display was meticulously designed and built by the China Colour Lantern Museum of Zigong, China.

While these paper lanterns were illuminated by candles for the vast majority of their history, the electric version has become more popular in recent years. Both versions, however, share one thing in common: they are unique and intricate works of art, carefully crafted by master artisans who have handed down the secrets of their artistry for generations.

The individual designs are countless. They typically fall into one of two categories: iconic or scenic. The iconic lanterns are made in the shape of butterflies, dragons, birds and many other creatures. They are typically the more common, red spherical lanterns.

The scenic lanterns and floats depict scenes from popular stories and legends. Educational in nature, the themes reinforce traditional Chinese values in a fun and appealing manner. In Northern China, some cities even make lanterns from blocks of ice!

Just as they did hundreds and even thousands of years ago on the night of the Lantern Festival, the colourful, dramatically lit streets throughout China become the backdrop for dragon and lion dances, parades, and other festivities.

Information from the Rogers Chinese Lantern Festival Website.
http://www.ontarioplace.com/ http://www.chineselanternfestival.ca/

USA-Canada / Canada-Ontario

Lat: 43° 37' 47.71" N
Long: 80° 26' 6.07" W

Elevation: 74 m

→ maps.google.com [EXT]

Precision is: High. Pinpoints the exact spot.

Nikon D70 / 18-70mm Nikon at 18mm / Manfrotto 303 SPH VR head / Velbon Sherpa tripod / Adobe Lightroom Beta 4 / Photoshop CS2 / Realviz Unlimited / PowerBook G4 Mac /

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