Designed by Nicolas Guinard with technical design by Jean Pascal Guinard; Galaxis firing with 45 modules and ~3000 cues; Finale Fireworks visualization
Almost perfect summer weather ensured the grandstands at La Ronde were packed for the return of the Swiss team to Montreal, after making their debut in 2012. And the grandstands were the perfect place to witness this complex display which included a lot of low-level effects that would not be seen from anywhere else. There used to be many flags around the site at La Ronde (appropriate since the park is owned by Six Flags), but now there’s a death of them, making it difficult to assess the wind strength an direction. Unfortunately, during the flag-raising part of the ceremony preceding the display, it appeared there would be next to no wind at all. This was confirmed during the firing of the salutes, where the smoke could be seen gently drifting towards the audience. But all was not lost, as will be revealed shortly.
The display began powerfully, with excellent note-sequenced mines and photoflashes, with the same in shells above. It quickly became clear this was going to be an excellent display. The quality of the firing was very high, enhancing the feeling of synchronization with the music and giving a very fluid and “clean” feeling to the display. Brilliant shapes were produced across ramp 3, but the audience screamed with delight as a giant red heart flew into the air, being produced by rows of one-shots firing vertically into the air. Our own Mylèlene Salvas having had a part in the design of this when she visited Nicolas this past winter! These sequence of one shots enhanced the lancework spread across ramp 3 having the forms of various emoticons including hearts, smiley faces, the symbol of the Ville de Montréal etc. These were used to good effect throughout the display.
Sugyp cleverly avoided smoke accumulation problems with some serene segments, particularly the two that used five multi-angled flame projects located close to the audience on ramp 5. Unfortunately, these did not always work perfectly – those positions to the right hand side of the audience were reluctant to fire during the first segment that used them. However, these segments did give enough pause during the otherwise busy display for the low-level smoke to dissipate!
The quality of the pyrotechnical material used was very high, with a good diversity of products, including many excellent Italian shells. Nicolas revealed to me in the interview there were over 1600 one-shots used together with 2000 shells, including several 300mm and many 200mm cylinder shells. Placing ramp 5 so close to the audience allowed use of large nautical shells – the lake being blasted by massive silver comets at one point, together with some bengals appearing to fly from crazy serpent candles at another point and then a return to large nautical gold kamuros in the finale.
The soundtrack was also excellent with good transitions between tracks. After a serious segment, suddenly the music was jovial, accenting the smiley face and Mickey Mouse shells firing above, to great laughter from the audience. Nicolas’s aim of engaging the audience appeared to work well. More flights of one shots forming smiley faces and other patterns also wowed the audience throughout the display. Other standout sequences included the simulation of a thunderstorm, with massive salutes of all kinds and lancework emoticons of rainclouds and lightning below!
Excellent use was made of all the potential of the display area throughout the display, with pretty much every angle being used. The finale was intense, with gold kamuro and crackle filling the sky, as well as the lake with huge nautical shells. To my mind, it was let down a tad by being dimmer than earlier intense sequences in the display, especially where the silver comet nauticals were used. That said, it was an excellent display and the audience gave the Swiss team a rousing standing ovation, one which was reflected afterwards in the Salon des Artificiers. This display is the first one this year that’s a most definite contender for a Jupiter!