35 Years Of Solotech

Friday, June 8th, 2012

Check out the latest issue of PL&P with our extensive profile of Solotech, the Quebec-based production and A/V powerhouse. The firm’s success and international reach is quite astonishing considering their humble roots.

A huge thanks to Ron Morissette and the team at Solotech for their help in bringing the story together. Any comments are more than welcome!


Happy 10th, Lightemotion

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

A happy 10th anniversary to Francois and the team at Lachine, QC’s Lightemotion, an international design firm. We’re currently working on a feature story on a unique installation that took place in the Netherlands, celebrating the country’s iconic Ajax Football Club. The design was completed by Lightemotion, working in tandem with a number of European firms to bring an immersive experience to life. The firm has also recently completed work on The Revelry Casino and Resort in Atlantic City (pictured), the largest casino project in the US over the last 4-5 years – a great way to kick off its 10th year in business. Check the Summer issue for more on The Ajax Experience and the talented team at Lightemotion.

A New New Year’s Story

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

The very-soon-to-be-released Spring 2012 issue of Professional Lighting & Production includes a feature story on the annual New Year’s Eve broadcast from Halifax’s Grand Parade Square by CTV Atlantic. It’s a cool project that relies heavily on the small broadcaster’s in-house resources to pull off, and comes off looking like a far more high-budget project than it is (which is the ultimate goal of any production, provided “high-budget” is synonymous with “great looking”).

In any case, it reminded me that our Spring 2011 issue also included a story on a New Year’s Eve event – the Marina Bay festivities from Singapore (pictured). See the colour on the water? That’s thousands of “wishing spheres,” buoyand in the bay and illuminated from above.

Two very different projects (with two EXTREMELY different budgets) that both came together thanks to the creative thinking of some key lighting and video personnel. Keep an eye for the Spring 2012 issue, and if you have it, take a look back at the Spring 2011 issue for some damn impressive visuals.

‘Tis The Season…

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

So save for LDI and a few others peppered throughout the year, the first half of the year is essentially trade show season for lighting, video, staging, and other entertainment technology professionals – particularly in Canada.

How have your trade-only experiences been thus far? Tour Tech East’s All Access, Cinequip White’s February Freeze, and the Canadian DJ Show have all come and gone; USITT and Prolight + Sound are happening within the next week; and then we’ve got NAB, The PAL Show, Solotech’s En Coulisse, InfoComm, and others right around the corner. Did any have more (or less) to offer than you were hoping? Have you noticed any of these shows growing more or less attractive over the last few years? We’d love your input.

The Canadian International Auto Show

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Anyone made the trek to the Toronto Convention Centre to check out this year’s Auto Show? I myself have never been much of a “car guy,” though the year I had the opportunity to check out the show, I was floored. Cool cars, cool exhibits, cool people. It’s worth checking out.

Those that can’t make it should check our Spring 2012 issue of PL&P, as we’ve got a feature story on what Italian auto maker FIAT planned to make a splash for this year’s show. The exhibit uses a whole whack of LED video walls to achieve a really interesting overall theme that I know for a fact is turning heads on that show floor.

Any other exhibits leave an impression on you from a production standpoint?

2012 Starts Off Big For Tour Tech East

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

The team at Dartmouth, NS’ Tour Tech East has begun its transition into its new facility at 180 Thornhill Dr., just next door to its previous (and now secondary) facility at 170. The building boasts 225,000 sq. ft. on a single level, covering 7.3 acres on an 8 acre plot.

I took a tour with President Peter Hendrickson during the company’s recent All-Access trade show, and it’s absolutely massive. The building will help the company enhance its service department and shipping processes, and also allow them to introduce a new “express counter” for smaller rentals by DJs, bands, etc. This space will also act as a showroom, which has the company’s suppliers quite excited.

Congratulations to the TTE team for the giant step forward.

Sharpen Your Social Media Strategies

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Just got word of an intresting event coming up in Toronto: the Digital Media Summit, happening at the Fairmont Royal York from March 21-22, 2012. Featuring presentations from industry leaders including Arianna Huffington (The Huffington Post), top digital experts from Google, Facebook, the CBC, Bell Media, and more, the conference will connect you with media and brand specialists that can help fine-tune your digital media strategies.

Find out more at www.digitalmediasummit.ca. There’s a current promotion in place to save 40 per cent on registration…

Sneaking Up On Super Bowl XLVI

Friday, January 20th, 2012

We’re only a few short weeks away from one of the biggest televised spectacles of the year, the Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show. This year’s performer is the beautiful (circa 1990) Madonna, and I’m wondering if this year’s production might be a bit more “explosive” to make up for the fact that the 30,000 half-drunk, predominantly male audience may need the extra eye candy to get through the performance from the woman that wrote “Take A Bow.”

In any case, it should be quite the show, and we’ll undoubtedly have some news post-event about the different players involved and their contributions, so do stay tuned. It’ll be San Fran or New York vs. Baltimore or New England – any predictions as to who faces who and, if you dare, who’s taking the hardware?

Boston Pizza & Other Architectural Applications

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

We’ve lined up a cool feature on a pretty extensive install at a downtown Toronto location of Boston Pizza for our first issue of 2012. While we started down this path a couple of years back, we’re looking to incorporate more and more applications that expand beyond concert/theatrical lighting and related projects. From convention centres to restaurants to theme part attractions, the further we can expand into the bread-and-butter type jobs for many sound and lighting companies, the better.

With that, I’d like to extend an open invitation (and the invitation is always on the table for any section of the magazine at any time) for feature ideas on cool applications that use entertainment or architectural lighting or video systems in ways outside of theatres and performance venues (though fear not – there’ll still be plenty of coverage on such spaces going forward.)

Tour Tech Is Giving East-Coasters All Access

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Anyone within driving distance of Halifax should be considering a visit to the annual All Access Trade Show, presented by Tour Tech East. The event is taking place January 26th and 27th, and all of the info is available at www.allaccessshow.com. I’ve attended the last three years, and it’s always been a very high-calibre event, both in the sense of the exhibitors and gear on display, and the conference programming, which is always top-shelf.

Check out this year’s session schedule by clicking here.

The networking opportunities are always plentiful as well, for while TTE’s HQ is never shoulder-to-shoulder busy, the folks making the rounds are all in the industry and all open to sharing experiences and ideas.

Here’s to a great time in Halifax…