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 Montreal Fireworks Forum —› 2017 Display Reviews —› Closing - GFA Pyro & La Ronde reviews
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Posted: Aug 5, 2017 18:27:21

I realize that it is off-competition, but if you would like to provide comments and/or reviews concerning this closing display, feel free to do so here!



Posted: Aug 5, 2017 18:30:57

I must have logged out when this was posted...


Posted: Aug 6, 2017 18:48:38   Edited by: fredbastien

Following an eventful hour prior to the show (see here for details about the award ceremony and surrounding events), Groupe Fiatlux-Ampleman and La Ronde presented a very good closing show as part of the “Finale des étoiles” series, an annual tribute to one famous music group or artist. Following Céline Dion (2010), the Beatles (2011), Queen (2012), U2 (2013), Pink Floyd (2014), Madonna (2015), and Elton John (2016), the organizers, for sure inspired by the 375th anniversary of Montreal, selected local group Harmonium and one of its singer, Serge Fiori.

All five firing ramps have been used for this 31-minute show. The third ramp displayed many lake-oriented devices, which shot huge, huge nautical shells (up to 150mm, which impressed me), as well as some nautical comets. The latter were displayed during a serene segment with sounds of waves and birds. Another calm tableau was on the music of “Depuis l’automne,” with nautical flares and strobes in the background. A huge number of double-ascension girandolas flew from the 2nd firing ramp : some of them reached very high altitude, others were moved by the wind on a long distance, towards the Jardin des étoiles. It was reported by Paul that various kinds of shells made a large proportion of the arsenal, so I think the show was also interesting for the outside audience, across the area. Despite the diversity of colours and patterns of these shells, it caused some repetitions, including with the falling leaves and whistling serpents. The shells were often acompanied by various types of mines and candles below.

The soundtrack included 16 segments and was prepared by competition technical director Paul Csukassy, in cooperation with Serge Fiori and his collaborators. La Ronde soundsystem had been augmented by additional speakers located on three towers, reportedly to create a surround environment at the request of Harmonium. However, I didn’t hear any significant difference and my impression was shared by other viewers I talked with after the show. The soundtrack combined vocal and instrumental segments. Overall, I found the pyromusical design and the synchronization very good through the show. The finale was made of many layers of effects, including Z-cakes of twinkling stars, thick comets, and a final barrage of nautical shells.

During the show, Serge Fiori was sat on one of the seats specially added on the concrete basement (where the old control room used to be) close to me. I looked at him a couple of times through the display. He looked captivated and impressed by the extravaganza.


Unfortunately, the trend in lower attendance observed this year has continued. For the first time since the start of the “Finale des étoiles” series, in 2010, tickets were still available when I arrived at La Ronde around 7pm (“sold-out” signs were previously posted at the entrance the park). It was likely the largest crowd of the season, but seats were still free at 10pm.

It was also a nightmare to leave La Ronde parking, especially for those whose car was at Cap sur Mer, the tip of the island where the Goliath extends its track. I left the party organized at the Salon des artificiers around 1:30am and, from La Ronde "behind-the-scenes" parking, we were fortunate to reach the ramp to Jacques-Cartier bridge around 1:40am. Whereas the way is typically free at this late hour, it was still jammed across the island. The reason is that a car accident caused the closure of the Concorde bridge, which connects the Notre-Dame and Ste-Hélène islands to the Cité du Havre. As a consequence, all the traffic was oriented towards the Jacques-Cartier bridge.


Posted: Aug 7, 2017 00:52:30

My video compilation of this closing display:


It was an enjoyable closing show, but the winds and cooled air from the moderate rain showers made it difficult to really be immersed in it. I was also hoping for a much more forceful and enduring finale to close the season, but it was okay!


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