Thursday, August 02, 2007

Celebrating Light in Vancouver

Since 1991, Vancouver has staged a famous fireworks event every summer.
Called "Symphony of Fire" until 2001 when the event changed to "Celebration of Light", under the sponsorship of HSBC, it draws crowds of over 1 million people around the shores of English Bay every year.

The world's leading fireworks manufacturers consider the HSBC Celebration of Light international fireworks competition to be the most prestigious events of its kind in the world and an exciting arena where they can unveil the latest pyro-musical techniques and the most innovative fireworks materials.

Each year, 3 countries compete by sponsoring its own fireworks show and then join together for a grand finale demonstration. The shows take place 3 days apart from each other between the last days of July and the first week of August.

The 3 days are no mere matter of choice. It takes 3 days through 12-hour work shifts to get each show set-up by a crew of at least 16 people.

The fireworks are shot from a 150-meter barge filled with 1000 tons of sand and anchored by six anchors weighing 4 tons each.
The sand is spread as an even 20cm-deep layer where the mortars are placed. Each competitor will fire anywhere from 2,000 to 4,500 bombs, depending on the show.

People can vote for the best show through their cell phones, and the elected judges cast their votes based on the following criteria:
  • General Concept - presentation, structure and scale of display
  • Colour - choice and variety of colours
  • Originality - design and architecture
  • Quality of Production - rhythm of fireworks, volume of effects and quality of construction
  • Correlation of Music - choice of music, synchronization of effects, adaptaion of moods
This year's grand finale will take place Saturday, August 4, 2007 at 10:00 p.m.
I will update this post with pictures from the final event!

You can find out more about the Celebration of Light at the official website.