BOWMANVILLE, ONTARIO – With two NHL size hockey ice pads, spacious lockers and a well-supplied pro shop, the Garnet B. Rickard Complex is an ideal sports venue. Although the modern brick building also houses a conference room for events, its event space does lack the defining architectural elements that are often necessary to add warmth to a gathering and make it more inviting. The absence of such finishing touches can present a challenge for anyone lighting an event at the facility. However, Matthew Beauchamp of Mobile Productions met this challenge in stunning fashion at Ontario’s Fire and Ice Gala recently by using WELL Series uplighting fixtures from CHAUVET Professional to create a more inviting atmosphere in a lackluster space.
“This is what I would call a blank canvas,” said Beauchamp. “Although the room is comfortable, there aren’t a lot of architectural features defining the space. I made up for this by using 25 WELL 2.0 fixtures to wash the walls and stage with rich colours. By doing this, I added another dimension to the room and transformed the aesthetics of the environment for the biggest impact using a minimal and balanced design. Throughout the evening, to reflect the different phases of the event, I programmed sequences and color blends to keep the look interesting, highlight specific key areas and incorporate their chosen color palettes.”
The Fire and Ice Gala raises money for Community Living Oshawa/Clarington, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting achievement for people with intellectual disabilities. The group, which opened the first special needs school in Ontario back in 1960, raises money through Fire and Ice ticket sales and at a silent auction held in conjunction with the event. Beauchamp used lighting to accent the silent auction tables, giving them a separate identity from the main stage.
“We used lighting to maximize the impact of all the different elements of the event,” said the LD. “Since this is a charity, containing costs is of paramount importance. The WELLs being affordable and compact saved money and the cost of load in and design hours, so they were invaluable. I also liked that they are battery powered and wireless, since this gave me the freedom to uplight any section of the room necessary to create the impact I had envisioned, without worrying about minimal power sources and fixture placement.”
Beauchamp, who was retained specifically to uplight the event, selected a color palette that played on the Fire and Ice theme of the fundraiser. “I incorporated a lot of frost whites, soft/dark blues and ambers and reds, since these reflected the theme and provided two different design elements. Later in the evening when the dancefloor opened I used a full color spectrum to create a spectacular dancefloor experience,” he said.
Uplighting was also used by Beauchamp to make the stage a central design element of the room. With only a minimal amount of stage lighting available, the area could have looked barren, according to the LD. However by highlighting the brick design work on either side of the stage, as well as the divisions of the stage backdrop itself, he was able to turn it into a scenic element.
“I never cease to be impressed with how uplighting can transform a room,” said Beauchamp. “It can give any area a sense of warmth and definition. This is a good room, but it needed to be rounded out and brought to life, which is exactly what we were able to accomplish with our uplighting fixtures.”