Clear summer skies and free outdoor festival entertainment every night already seem like a perfect Montreal vacation combination, but add to that seemingly spontaneous fireworks shows, viewable from Old Montreal to the Plateau, and there might seem to be some magic afoot.
The fireworks have surprised many a Jazz Fest and Just For Laughs visitor strolling through the Quartier des Spectacles, but Montrealers know that the International des Feux Loto-Québec puts on a spectacular show in the sky no fewer than nine times over the course of the summer. It’s all part of a months-long competition between expert fireworks designers from around the world – and we reap the benefits of their ingenuity, either simply by looking up from a good vantage point or by going to the source at theme park La Ronde, where the fireworks launch.
Going directly to the source also adds a musical component to the experience, as the fireworks designers in this competition use music not only as inspiration for their shows but as a component, synchronized with each fireworks display. This year, in the competition’s 29th year, eight competing pyrotechnic firms create unique performances based on different themes, crafting 30-minute shows designed by pyrotechnical and pyromusical experts and aided by a 17-member team.
The International des Feux Loto-Québec begins on Saturday, June 22 with Australia thematically focusing on the “Magic of the Movies”. On June 28, England makes explosive work of its tribute to love, while on July 5, Hong Kong is “Born to Be Wild”, and on July 12, Spain comes right back to the heart of things with its theme, “Languages of Love”. On July 20, the United States sets us alight with the music of “Swan Lake”, followed by first-time competitor Croatia’s exploration of artificial intelligence on July 24, Canada’s light-filled display of the four seasons on July 27, and Italy’s classic-rock “Jukebox Memories” on July 31. The August 3 finale combines pyrotechnical talents in a non-competition “Tribute to U2”, sure to be a literal highlight of the summer.
L’International des Feux Loto-Québec, June 22 to August 3, 2013