Interview with Team GFA / La Ronde

I met with Eric Cardinal, designer of the fireworks for the special closing show, along with La Ronde technical director, Paul Csukassy, who had put together the soundtrack.

Paul told me he had been inspired by senior pyrotechnician, François Leger, as he had toured with Harmonium “back in the day”. Working together with Harmonium frontman, Serge Fiori as well as founding bassist, Louis Valois, they spent time in Serge’s studio putting together the special tribute soundtrack. Paul said there was a lot of back and forth and Eric noted that he didn’t have the final soundtrack in his hands until mid June, though he’d heard drafts up until that point.

With a busy schedule for GFA this year, particularly in Ontario where they did a show on the CN Tower as well as many others in the area, Eric said he didn’t have time to start working on the design of the show until around July 13th. Fortunately, with GFA being local, all the products they needed were already in stock.

Paul Csukassy (l) and Eric Cardinal (r)

Paul Csukassy (l) and Eric Cardinal (r)

Eric said the show will be composed of around 3500 products and, due to the nature of the music, will be more of a show of shells rather than a one-shot dominated show. He noted that ramp 2, in particular, is very large with seven positions and that there are over 2000 shells in the show. Cue count reflects the lower number of one-shots with around 2600. All ramps will be used and Eric noted that the show fill feature a lot of large nautical shells, with calibres up to 150mm that “will take your hat off”. Another interesting feature of the display is the use of a lot of mines on ramp 3, with calibres up to 125mm. Mines seem to have fallen out of favour in recent years with competitors favouring one-shots. These are available as mine-effects, but usually no larger than 60 or 75mm – so mines of 125mm calibre should provide some dramatic effects.

Eric and Paul both said they enjoyed working on the show and it should be an enjoyable conclusion to the 33rd edition of the competition!

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