1999 l'International Benson & Hedges Montréal Pyromusical Competition Report
Canada The Fire of Passion Wednesday July 14th, 1999
For the first time in five years, Canada was blessed with perfect summer weather for their three section display. Designed by the 27 year old Eric Cardinal, the youngest designer this year, the display was the first to fully utilize the new firing infrastructure at La Ronde by using the computerized FireOne system.
Section 1 À la recherche de l'âme soeur (Looking for a soul mate).
Part 1 to the music Without LOVE, by Tom Jones. The display opened to large red mines, then blue, orange and green, with colour shells above. Then shells of clusters of slow falling stars in white, then red, turning to fireflies. Candles of silver crossette comets with colour bombettes above and rising tail shells bursting to comets and balls above. These got larger and then shells with slow falling stars, volleys of red mines below, followed by dahlia shells of charcoal comets as the display moved seamless to
Part 2 to the music Savoir AIMER, by Florent Pagny. The charcoal comet dahlia shells continued, as fan comet candles opened below. Then white comet dahlia shells. Groups of silver fountains forming fleur-de-lyss opened up with more dahlia shells above as the fountains turned to salutes. Then shells with tight clusters of colour balls which rose from the burst then fell with larger shells of slow falling comets. Shaped-burst shells of hearts and some shells of whizzers came next followed by large comet to ball shells. Then barrages of dazzling crackling glitter mines with silver comet shells above and shells of blue heart bursts. These were repeated over and over as the display moved seamlessly to
Part 3 to the music I want to know what LOVE is, by Foreigner. Rising tail shells bursting to silvery weeping willow were followed by shells of slow falling comets, then shells of blue stars with white comet pistils, looking really flower-like. These were repeated again and again and followed with orange ball shells and then silver comet and ball shells, more blue ball and white comet pistil shells, more orange ball shells and then another larger silvery weeping willow as the display moved seamlessly to
Part 4 to the music Everything's gonna be all right, by Sweetbox. Crossed fan charcoal comet candles with charcoal comet shells above, some with twinkly pistils formed the repeating opening theme. Then blue bombettes with more brighter charcoal comet candles. Next, three palm trees followed by more charcoal comet shells, some with pistils. This blue bombette, palm-tree and charcoal comet shell sequence was repeated and followed by dazzling volleys of crackling gold glitter mines with blue ball and weeping charcoal comet shells above. Then again and followed with small slow falling clusters of pink stars, shells of balls and comets, more slow falling clusters and some white comet shells which I noted were very cool but I can't read why. The display moved seamlessly to
Part 5 to the music Made in Heaven, by Freddie Mercury. The slow falling clusters continued followed by volleys of large glitter mines with shells of balls and weeping comets above. This sequence was repeated many times until this first section was brought to a close with a really large blue ball turning to weeping willow shell.
Musical Interlude to the music Falling (Twin Peaks theme), by Julee Cruise. Cherubs and Cupid's arrow set pieces in red were fired as note-synchronized red glittering crackle mines were fired. Above these, shells of red hearts and shells of white comets, then the same in blue hearts.
Section 2 Découverte de l'AMOUR (Discovering Love).
Part 1 to the music I Feel Good, by James Brown. Shells of tourbillons with fan comet candles below opened this section. Then ball and comet shells, more tourbillon shells and large shells bursting to balls with small clusters appearing. This theme was repeated as note-synchronized comets flew left, right and then in threes with shells bursting above. The display moved seamlessly to
Part 2 to the music What a Feeling, by Irene Cara. Candles of crossette comets and tourbillons opened up with blue ball and charcoal comet shells above and then glitter comet and blue as the candles continued. Then a theme of slow falling star shells, shells of comets and clusters changing colour ending in large glitter shells with pistils as the display moved seamlessly to
Part 3 to the music Wonderful World, by Louis Armstrong. Nice fan green changing to red comet candles opened up with ball and comet and then gold glitter shells above followed by large gold dahlias. Then blue ball and charcoal comet shells and a repeating section of glitter shells followed by more of the tight colour cluster shells. These were followed by large glitter shells, red clusters with comet candles below, more large glitter shells, some with titanium salutes as the display moved seamlessly to
Part 4 to the music That's the way, by KC and the Sunshine Band. Mine fronts, then screaming whistling serpent candles and a barrage of large nautic mines dramatically opened this segment. More mine fronts and more nautic mines were followed by shells of wiggly go-getters and charcoal comet with twinkling pistil shells. Shells of blue with white comet pistils, more wiggly go-getters formed a repeating theme as the display moved seamlessly to
Part 5 to the music I've Got the World on a String, by Frank Sinatra. Red ball shells and charcoal comet shells with some salutes were followed by slow falling white stars and multibreak colour ball shells. Then more colour shells and salutes, more slow falling star shells and multi-break crossette ball stars. This theme continued, with the multi-breaks forming criss-crossing trails. Shells with twinkling pistils, more salutes and more of the multi-break crossettes. This section was brought to a close with mines, ball shells and titanium salutes.
Musical Interlude to an instrumental compilation. Five white girandolas rose majestically into the air as the audience cheered. Then another five, and another and another, some rising and falling. At the same time, a large number of nautic fountains were fired into the lake as yet more groups of five girandolas ascended. As the fountains burned down, they launched comet serpents into the air, to great crowd applause as yet more girandolas were fired.
Section 3 La Passion (The Passion).
Part 1 to the music I Believe I can Fly, by R Kelly. This section opened with gold glitter comet candles with the same in shells above, the shells turning to gold fireflies. Then a barrage of silvery weeping willow shells, gold dahlia comet shells, shells of blue headed charcoal comets. Next, cones of rockets bursting to salutes, colour stars with mines as well. This was repeated and followed by rising tail shells bursting to large pale silvery weeping willows as the display moved seamlessly to
Part 2 to the music I will always LOVE you, by Whitney Houston. This began with crossed comet candles and crossettes with silver comet and pistil shells above. Then shells of slow falling silver comets, shells of bright balls which burst very wide and shells of the colour clusters. Then more of the very wide burst bright balls, more cluster shells with the pace increasing until the display suddenly became serene as it moved seamlessly to
Part 3 to the music Que je t'AIME, by Sylvain Cossette. A large number of red nautic flares were fired into the lake and the audience cheered as these became dazzling white strobes. Above these, multi-break comet to crossette ball shells. Then shells of glitter, increasing in number and more of the wide burst ball shells with bombettes below. Large ball and glitter comet shells turning to fireflies moved the display seamlessly to
Part 4 to the music Je vais t'AIMER, by Michel Sardou. Thick white crossed comet candles with heart shaped burst shells above and then fan comet candles below. More heart shaped burst shells in blue and some red spirals formed a repeating section followed by rising tail to charcoal comet shells, then glitter comet shells, then charcoal again, alternating and getting bigger and bigger as the display moved seamlessly to
Part 5 to the music Carmina Burana - O fortuna, by Orff. This immediately get of to a dramatic pace with large ball and comet shells and some very large nautic mines. Dazzling crackling glitter mines, large charcoal comet shells, more glitter mines. Then huge weeping willows, colour clusters. The pace and scale increased beyond my ability to take notes as barrages of shells filled the sky and enormous 6" nautic mines blasted out of the lake as thunderous volleys of titanium and other salutes brought the display to a fantastic finale. The audience screamed and shouted with enthusiasm.
At the beginning of the competition, Maurice Cardinal, father of Eric and owner
of Ampleman told me "watch out, we're going to win the competition this year".
He may very well be right. This was a fantastic display, the best I've ever
seen by a Canadian company and they're right in at number one at the moment.
The synchronization was fantastic, there were some really beautiful shells,
especially the colour cluster shells and the nautic shells were stunning. With the
many girandolas and cones of rockets, this display had everything, including the
intense finale which the audience here loves. The choice of music worked extremely well and
the whole concept was superb and the complexity was such that my notes really
don't do it justice. The Ampleman team received a well-deserved standing
ovation in the press room afterwards. This is the one to beat!