Filipino competitor has lots of international experience

July 30, 2019 3:21 pm
Kevin Weedmark

Representing the Philippines in this year’s Living Skies Come Alive is Platinum Pyrotechnics, co-owned by Patrice Guy.

“I am originally from Montreal,” says Guy. “I started in fireworks 33 years ago. In 2000, I started doing international gigs and I eventually ended up in Hong Kong. I met my wife in Hong Kong, my wife happens to be Filipino, and three years ago we moved to the Philippines and I became co-owner of a company there, Platinum Fireworks.

“We do a lot of shows in the Philippines, we also organize the Philippines International Pyromusical Competition, so we do have our own competition where we invite companies from all over the world to come to the Philippines to compete, and we also compete abroad.

“In the past two years we have done shows in Poland, Macau, China, Australia, all over the place.

“What differentiates the Philippines is there are not high budgets for some of the shows, so we have to be very inventive, we need to work with not a lot and turn it into a show. That forces you to be inventive.”

Peak fireworks season in the Philippines is the Holiday Season, with the summer being a slacker time.

“Fireworks are very, very popular with everyone in the Philippines except the government,” Guy says with a laugh. “We start getting really busy around mid-November and that carries on until New Year’s Eve, which is the busiest night of the year, and right after that we get into the hosting of our competition, which keeps us busy until May, and then summer is the low season, so summer is when we do the international shows.”

He said he has a very special show planned for Moosomin. “We have quite a show for Moosomin. We are well aware of the Filipino community in that part of Canada, and we went all out. The soundtrack is 100 per cent Filipino music. They are all-time favorites. Filipino people who come and watch the show, you will see a big smile on their face because they will totally relate to the soundtrack.

“It’s a very complex show, we have well over 2,500 ignitions, so technically it’s a very complicated show. The Philippines is my adopted country now, and we aim to do them proud.”

The show is planned to take advantage of the reflections from Moosomin Lake, since the fireworks are set off across the lake from the main beach.

“We plan for the reflections, we plan for the size of the site. The venue affects the design of the show,” said Guy.

Guy said he often doesn’t see his company’s fireworks shows, since he has crews in different areas putting on shows, but he plans to be at Moosomin Regional Park for Living Skies Come Alive.

“The show was designed in the Philippines by our designer, and usually I don’t go to all of the productions, I try to give the chance to our employees to travel and see the world, so usually I stay back at the office and they go and do the productions. But since this one is in my home country, I took the opportunity to tag along and be present for the show.

“Every device has a position in the field, has an angle, has timing, so we have a very detailed list that has over 3,000 lines to implement the show.”

Guy says work on the Moosomin show began in the spring. “We started the choreography in April,” he said. “We started by working on the soundtrack. That took about a week. Once that was done, the soundtrack was handed over to our designer, and our designer takes about three weeks to design the show. When that is done, we contract all of our suppliers all over the world to produce the material. Then it boils down to logistics, to ship everything to Saskatchewan.

“I’m absolutely looking forward to coming to Moosomin. Personally, it’s going to be the highlight of my year. I’m really looking forward to it. It’s going to be a blast.”