Opening – July 1st – Rozzi’s Famous Firworks / Panzera SAS

Celebrate Montreal 375

Soundtrack selected by populate choice and crafted by Paul Csukassy; design by Michael Lutz; PyroLeda firing with 136 32-cue modules and ~4300 cues

Warm and wet weather for most of the day finally cleared late afternoon as the sun came out, though  the added distraction of Canada Day celebration the 150th anniversary of Confederation sought to keep the crowd on the low side.

This off-competition display used music that had been selected by a popular vote from the public and then distilled down by the competition’s technical directory, Paul Csukassy, into a soundtrack of 18 songs representing the diversity of Montreal. Presumably due to the Canada 150 celebrations, a US company was selected to turn this soundtrack into a display and it was fitting that Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks (who most recently competed in 2015 with an inventory of almost all Panzera SAS products) again teamed up with Panzera for this display. Since the competition’s inception in 1985, Panzera had performed most of the closing shows and a couple of opening shows (usually when there was a special year) so it was good to see them represented for this special display.

The soundtrack was very well put together, with a ride variety of musical styles as well as intensity levels. The transitions between the songs were done well, either seamlessly transitioning from one to the next of, where appropriate, a pause that gave time for the audience to applaud.

The display featured a large “375″ set piece in red, though this lit up before the countdown had started. With the programmable illumination system in place on the Jacques Cartier Bridge, we wondered if this would be included in the countdown sequence (where the lights on the ferris wheel are turned off in sections on the count). We were not disappointed as the special red and white Canada Day light show on the bridge transitioned and took part in the countdown, leaving the bridge with just streetlights on for the duration of the show (and a return to the Canada Day theme once the display was over).

The display was well executed, with a great diversity of products used and the famous Panzera Roman Candles. The timing on these is so good that it was sometimes hard to determine which shots were from candles and which were just one-shots. Some excellent multi-break shells were used where the breaks were also timed to the soundtrack. A particularly memorable sequence was during the Loca Locas “Le But” song that is famous as it celebrates Montreal’s Canadiens hockey team. A red cross lit up, representing the red cross of the Montreal coat of arms flag – then sequences of one shots spectacularly drew each of the four flowers from the flag: a blue fleur-des-lys, a red rose with green leaves; a purple thistle and a green shamrock – these representing the four communities that built Montreal (French, English, Scottish and Irish). A red heart also rose into the sky in a similar fashion.

All five firing ramps were used with a good diversity of angles and effects, including nautical mines, flares and fountains as well as flights of whistling girandolas and spinning wheels of various types across ramp 3. The finale, to rocker Éric Lapointe’s Hymne À Montréal (Ville-Marie), was dramatic! Some members of the audience said to me that, to their minds, this was designed by the Italians – a definite compliment to Michael Lutz’s design skills!

All in all, an excellent off-competition opening display that was an appropriate tribute to Montreal’s 375 anniversary. Moments after the display had finished, the heavens opened!

Comments are closed.