The Flying Course (Winter)
Source of the inspiration: traditional festivals and fairs
In playgrounds in Canada and the United States, in the last century there were many aerial play structures to climb, hang on and jump on. They have now disappeared because they are considered too risky or dangerous in the event of a fall. What is true here is not necessarily everywhere (in Moscow, Russia they can still be found today in an urban park that promotes play heritage).
Among these, the Giant Steps (also called the Flying Course) which was so successful that a few years ago these were still some in play parks here in Quebec. We met adults at parties who told us they had played there as a child.
Our Giant Steps
A red cedar pole (an old transformed Hydro Quebec pole), another of white cedar (which we chose in the forest), both 20’ high and held in the air by 3 to 4 guy-wires (anchored to the ground on stakes, concrete blocks, trees) actually offer us 2 attractions!
The first is that of the Cockaigne Pole, which the public is invited to climb to ring the bell at the top of the pole. The second is that of the Giant Steps, also called The Flying Course. The audience grasps one of the 4 handles, hooked on the end of a rope suspended from a rotating ring, then walks, runs and flies. This last game was, a long time ago, a gymnastic apparatus known under the name of Vindas (we still find a few in playgrounds in Quebec).
Safety and Use: Summer and Winter
The Cockaigne Pole is more suitable for summer use, as the public is hung on a safety harness and followed by one of our artists, whereas the Giant Steps is a 4-season attraction. For user safety, the landing surface on the ground must be soft (grass, sand, mulch, snow, straw). A security perimeter is created around the structure (flags, barriers, straw bales).
2 to 4 hours of continuous animation
– Original idea and Artistic direction: Christophe Meunier
Layout plan of the Cockaigne Pole and the Giant Steps (upon request)