Montreal Fireworks – The 33rd edition of the Fireworks Competition came to an end this past Saturday, well, appropriately with a bang. The Grand Finale titled “C’est dans le ciel: Serge Fiori and Harmonium” featured a pyrotechnic display with a predominance of low altitude fireworks that made good use of the reflection on the artificial lake at La Ronde, increasing its visual impact. The final part, as is customary in these presentations, displayed high altitude fireworks with multiple colours and shapes. It was a well-designed show complemented by the music of Harmonium (themes such as “Aujourd’hui je dis bonjour à la vie,” “Pour un instant,” and “Depuis l’automne”) and Serge Fiori (some of his songs: “Le monde est virtuel,” “Jamais” and “Ça fait du bien” in a duet with Richard Séguin).
Before the closing fireworks, the awards ceremony took place, just at the time when rain was falling. Fortunately, the rain stops during the show. Martine Gagnon, the director of the Fireworks Competition, made a balance of this year’s event and invited the public to next year’s celebration of pyrotechnical creativity in one of the most prestigious events of this kind in the world.
This year the Gold Jupiter (1st prize) went to the firm Jubilee Fireworks Ltd. from England, for its pyro-musical show “Gunpowder and Greasepaint” which featured music from Phantom of the Opera, Cats, The Rocky Horror Movie, and Les Miserables, among others. Jubilee Fireworks had already won the Gold Jupiter in 2015.
The Silver Jupiter (2nd prize) went to the firm Féérie from France, for a show titled “Evolution of Music.” For its part, the Bronze Jupiter (3rd prize) was awarded to Macedos Pirotecnia, from Portugal for its show “A Portuguese Odyssey” focused on the work of early Portuguese explorers. It was perhaps the most interesting theme of all presented this year, which also relied on its musical content on a large part of authentic Portuguese music. One of the criticisms usually heard regarding the musical selections by these firms that come from different countries, is that they tend to rely too much on American pop and rock. Supposedly this is done intending to appeal to North American audiences, but indeed those attending or listening to the shows appreciate when the musical content may not be a familiar tune or style, but might better reflect the culture of the visiting firms. This issue of musical authenticity is perhaps a point of which both, the organizers and the participant pyrotechnical companies may think about.
There were two other distinctions given that night: Best Soundtrack was awarded to the firm Innovative Pyrotechnik GMBH from Germany for its show “Pyro Rhapsody.” A Special Mention for Green Technology was given to Féérie from France.
Now the lights and the bangs are off, Jupiter and his Thunder have left. The night will again light up next year for the 34th edition of the L’International de Feux at La Ronde.