The Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre (PAC) is a 44,200-square-foot, multi-venue building in Alberta, Canada, nestled in the heart of the city of Camrose. Equipped with nearly 100 ETC Source Four® LED Series 2 Lustr® luminaires , the venue earned a prestigious level-four Green Globe distinction for its revolutionary, energy-efficient building design and commitment to green technology before its doors even opened in October 2014.
The city of Camrose is home to a blossoming arts community and by 2012, the city desperately needed a new, large-scale performance venue. “There weren’t any venues within a 45-minute drive of the city that could accommodate touring Broadway shows and large-scale dance or theatrical productions,” explains Nick Beach, technical director and operations coordinator of the Jeanne & Peter Lougheed PAC. The primary goal for the new venue was to be as green, flexible and technologically advanced as possible.
When it came to planning the lighting system, an all-LED house was the natural choice. There was one small problem: “LEDs on the market back in 2012 simply didn’t perform up to the specifications of the venue. We decided to wait on purchasing any LEDs until technology caught up with what we wanted,” says Richard Schick, theater consultant from Schick Shiner and Associates, who worked on the installation. “It was like stepping into the abyss.”
In January 2014, ETC dealer Christie Lites contacted Schick, informing him that his leap of faith had paid off. “I was told we could have access to a prototype of the Source Four LED Series 2 Lustr and that we’d want to see it in action,” explains Schick. “I was excited that ETC had developed such a great fixture,” says David Neal, Christie Lites sales executive. “We knew it would be the perfect fit.”
“Before the Series 2 Lustr, nothing we found on the market even came close being able to meet our 55-foot, front-of-house throw distance,” explains Beach, “and what we did find didn’t color-mix well at all.” The Source Four LED Series 2 Lustr utilizes the x7 Color System™ with an additional lime-green emitter that increases the luminaire’s lumen output, making whites and lighter colors livelier and brighter while marrying the two ends of the color spectrum with ease. “The Series 2 luminaires are powerful enough that we could place them in our front-of-house position,” continues Beach. “Most LEDs are only good for small venues. The Series 2 is great for long-throw illumination, and outputs fantastic saturation and brightness.”
Neal says: “My first reaction to the Series 2 luminaires was very positive. I loved the intensity of the rich colors and how beautiful it looked on different skin tones.” The Series 2 Lustr luminaire’s lime-green emitter also works in conjunction with double the red emitters to produce rich ambers, straws, pinks and magentas that match gel colors produced by conventional fixtures. “We needed the best quality of light and color available and the Series 2 delivered just that.” Beach says: “Sometimes being the first with new technology can be very nerve wracking, but I’ve never had a lemon from ETC, so we knew we were in good hands.”
Additionally, the Jeanne & Peter Lougheed PAC uses a Gio® console to control their theatrical lighting rig, making color-mixing easy and fast. Beach says: “I especially love the direct selects and the color-picker tool for working with LEDs, not to mention that the RDM device management has been a lifesaver.” He has been working on an Eos®-control system since software version 1.2 and likes the changes in the recent Eos 2.2 software release. “Being able to create stage ‘snapshots’ is an easy way to recall a specific look very quickly,” says Beach. And in terms of hardware, “having more screen real-estate and more buttons is also a very good thing. I can’t image working with anything else other than an Eos-family desk.”
As the largest Source Four LED Series 2 Lustr installation in the world, the venue is able to save between $30,000 and $35,000 each year in energy costs from the lighting system alone. And the community reaction to the space has been overwhelmingly positive. “There are community theater groups and dance studios that are already clamoring to get in,” explains Beach. “This was a big project and we couldn’t have made this happen with anyone but ETC.”