international d'art pyrotechnique de Montréal, known for the past few years as L'International
des Feux Loto-Québec presented by TELUS, was founded in 1985 at La Ronde, which
was created for Expo '67, and which ranks as the largest amusement park in Québec.
Right from the very first year, the competition was a smashing success. La Ronde
was filled to capacity on the evenings when fireworks presentations were scheduled,
and the city of Montréal witnessed unprecedented levels of crowd movement. More
than 5.7 million people attended the displays during that first season, setting
a record in Canada for this type of event. As a result of this extraordinary success,
the competition was brought back for the following year, and has been an annual
event ever since, attracting crowds of enthusiasts that include citizens from the
Greater Montréal Area and large numbers of tourists.
outset, the competition included two types of shows: traditional, so-called "classical"
fireworks displays; and pyromusical displays involving careful synchronization of
the fireworks to a musical score. Since 1987, the displays have been exclusively
pyromusical. Over the years, the competition has carved out a place at the summit
of the pyrotechnical industry. The leading firms in the world set their sights on
participating in the Montréal event, striving to attain the highest distinction
in their field.
As testimony to its illustriousness, the competition received a laudatory article
in the prestigious New York Times published on June 27, 2008 in "Escapes",
its Travel Section. Reporter Henry Fountain described the event as "a world-class
competition" and wrote that Montreal was "a city known for its festivals" and where
the International Fireworks Competition L'International des Feux Loto-Québec presented
by TELUS is like " exclamation marks" that punctuate the summer evenings in the
so many years, one may think that Montréalers would have become somewhat blasé.
Nothing could be farther from the truth! Year in and year out, more than 3 million
fireworks enthusiasts gather at La Ronde, on the Jacques Cartier Bridge, and on
either side of the river to take in the spectacle. In fact, Montréalers are now
one of the most informed publics in the world when it comes to fireworks, and they
genuinely value the work of the participating pyrotechnicians.
Moreover, the pyrotechnicians, who are accustomed to playing a supporting role during
festivities in their native countries, have become the true stars of the evening
in Montréal. At La Ronde, they are considered to be artists in their own right,
and not just explosives technicians.
its third year, the Montréal International Fireworks Competition enlisted
the services of Giovanni Panzera as artistic director. He brought to the event his
vast experience in the field. He was the initiator of the first musical fireworks
displays ever held in Europe and an organizer of the Cannes Fireworks Competition
from 1973 to 1983. Mr. Panzera also fine-tuned the famous Roman Candle for his own
company, Panzera S.A.S., based in Turin, Italy. The year 2000 marked the end of
the close association between the "maestro" of pyromusical arts and La Ronde for
Giovanni Panzera died on September 6 at the age of 70. His fine artistic sense and
his unsurpassed knowledge of the fireworks industry enabled him to set the tone
for the Competition and to play a significant role in the event's success. His mission
was to make Montréal the hub of pyrotechnic arts and to bring about an expert
appreciation among the public. From 1987 to 2000, he had the honour of presenting
the closing night displays for the event; all those who saw them acknowledged, unanimously,
that they reflected the work of a master of the pyromusical arts.
In 2009, L’International des Feux Loto-Québec presented by TELUS delivered a spectacular
25th anniversary edition. As part of the celebrations, not only was there a heartfelt
tribute to Cirque du Soleil, but from the 8 countries who took part in the competition,
5 were previous Gold Jupiter winners at La Ronde. For the first time since the beginning
of the competition, all five continents were represented in the same year, proof
that the event is now considered the “Olympics” of the pyrotechnical world!