Interview with Team féérie

Joel Harmon (l) and Dugast Yvonnick(r)

Joël Harmon (l) and Dugast Yvonnick(r)

I met with Joël Harmon and Dugast Yvonnick who are the thematic and pyrotechnical designers for this third participation of féérie in the Montreal International Fireworks competition, their previous displays being in 2012 and 2007.

Joël told me he had heard that 2017 would be Montreal’s 375th anniversary and had thought it would be great to come this year and, to his surprise and pleasure, received the call in late 2016 inviting féérie to compete!

He said the approach féérie are using in 2017 is quite different to their previous participations in 2012 and 2007 and the Montreal display is completely different to their recent attendance at a new fireworks competition held this past June in Timmins, Ontario. Not only a different type of site but a much different length of display too.

The soundtrack for their display essentially tells the story of the evolution of music from the beginning of time, where it was just the rhythmic banging of coconut shells together, all the way through American music with the birth of Jazz, rock-and-roll and up to contemporary music including the much missed Leonard Cohen and his new classic, Hallelujah.

On the pyrotechnic side, féérie are using mainly products (around 95%) from Igual in Spain because of their known performance and quality, especially with respect to colour and effect. Joël stressed this quality aspect is very important for their company. The remaining 5% will be special Chinese products. The display is not using a big arsenal of large calibre shells, though there will be quite a lot of 175mm calibre. Dugast stressed they are looking for the overall effect in the sky rather than just single large shells.

The display will consist of around 3500 cues with approximately 2500 one-shots, which is rather more than their display in 2012. All firing ramps, including the floating pontoons, will be used and there will also be nautical devices, but no special structures.

Let’s hope for favourable wind conditions for their display where the team hope people will move and dance to the music!

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