Canada’s Parliament Turns Into Massive Light and Sound Show (+Video)

When the politicians leave for summer, Canada’s Parliament Hill becomes a giant TV screen 500 yards long by six stories high.

Thousands of people turn out for the free nightly high-tech sound and light show that’s been running every summer since 1967. It gets updated every five years, growing with the technology it uses and the history it captures.

This year the show is called Mosaika, an exploration of Canadian history, from the times before Europeans arrived, to the present.

The show begins with scenes of a natural land, possibly uninhibited, then goes to imagery from Canada’s various Aboriginal people, before showing the arrival of Europeans. It notes Canada’s great wars, including the War of 1812, when the land was still a British colony and invaded by the United States. The U.S. lost the war, but gained the closest ally it has ever had.

The show moves to the present and includes a moment of mind-bending possibility when the building itself comes to life and begins to shift and move.

“The whole thing is just great. It is worth coming to Ottawa just for this show,” said Philip Husemann, visiting Canada from Germany.

The 30-minute show started July 8 and will end September 6.