Category Archives: Professional Fireworks

Brad Dezotell PROFESSIONAL FIRER

Fireworks spectaculars, Canada’s busiest fireworks display team.

In 2001 a young pyrotechnic enthusiast named Brad Dezotell based in Calgary, Canada decided to follow his dream and started up his own fireworks company. Little did he know at the time just how successful he, and his 25 strong team of experts were to become.

From a very early age Brad had always been fascinated by the wonderful booms, bangs and crackles that he had seen around the country and on TV. From displays for the Canada day celebrations on 1st of July annually, to the local Calgary Stampede Rodeo show (well-known for its spectacular fireworks finale) – Brad was hooked and wanted to learn everything he could about the hobby that would one day take over his life.

His vision was to bring fireworks to the masses and take them to a whole new level. Brad’s enthusiasm and determination brought to him like-minded people from the industry; from apprentices wanting to learn the trade and specialists in close proximity pyrotechnic effects, they all wanted to get in on the action. Today, the team fires more than 160 shows a year this is one of Canada’s busiest firework display companies, with a pretty impressive list of clients who come back year after year for more.

Brad’s biggest challenge is keeping up with the ever-changing world of fireworks as new effects, colours and new techniques are being developed daily. Fireworks Spectaculars are one of the few display companies who will set up not just one show, but two. It’s a great way to ensure that if the weather decides not to ‘play ball’, Brad and his team have a “plan B” is already in place to offer ultimate safety to the watching crowds.

Using state of the art computer controlled firing systems such as ‘FireOne’ and ‘Pyrodigital’ alongside ‘Visual Show Director’ and Showsim3d (virtual firework show software) allows the team to achieve split second choreography of the shows. This software also gives the client the opportunity to see the full display in 4k resolution and enables them to tweak things in real-time before a single firework has been taken out of storage. Today’s computer systems are so accurate that the team can burst a shell accurate to a 13th of a second allowing for some complex and breath-taking symmetry in the massive displays.

Since 2005, Fireworks Spectaculars have been invited back to wow the crowds at one of the world’s biggest rodeo’s; The Calgary Stampede. Back in 2012, it was Canada’s centenary year so the team were tasked with creating a further 24 shows to fill the skies over Calgary in celebration of 100 years of independence.

The list of awards, accolades and competitions they have won is long and varied making them one of the most respected pyrotechnic companies in the world. The crowning glory must be when they won the gold Jupiter award at the L’International des Feux Loto-Québec (Montreal International Fireworks Competition) in 2010.

The team have a host of other silverware including winning various international events almost annually between 2001 – 2014.

It is easy to why they are such a force to be reckoned with when you see the team and Brad’s vision in action:

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The Firework Guy Lighting Up The Night Sky Over Canada

Pat Farrell of Sunnyside, Newfoundland has made his childhood fascination into a job in the fireworks field. Aged just nineteen years he decided that he would pursue his dream and started an apprenticeship to become a professional pyro-technician and each time he fired or assisted, he got a little closer to his pro-firer goal. He continued to strive for excellence and after a number of times of helping out and studying, he reached his target.

Nowadays, whilst he is fully qualified to do film and television pyrotechnics he would rather fire a small show for the general public both in his home region and on occasions on any number of islands in the Caribbean. He is quoted as saying that the reason is that at least on the more personal events he gets fed!! (I am sure any other pro firers can fully appreciate).

He is predominantly a “specialist” and as such spends most of his fire in a full fire suit loading mortars and affixing pyro to firing boards.

He works for both Nova Scotia-based Fireworks FX and has a long list of private bookings providing a packed calendar of events in the forthcoming year including a number of events in Barbados, Antigua and Cuba – oh how he suffers.

Although he loves pyrotechnics of all types he had a particular fondness for aquatic fireworks. These are specially created shells which are shot into the water at a 40-degree angle before being shot into the air. He is one of the few people in Canada trained for this specialist type of firework.

Unlike in the UK, where the vast majority of our fireworks come from China, he remains resolute that the best shells are from Spain as he thinks that they have the brightest and most vivid colours and the reports are incredibly loud and crisp.

Pat says that the one area that he would love to get involved in doing fireworks to live music performances but feels that a refresher might be of benefit.

Of course, being a father of two little girls, whenever they have a birthday, fireworks are of course a must and the final shell is cued to an electronic lighter for the birthday girl to fire.

Here at Epic, we receive emails every week from people asking how to get into the business. On the whole, you will need to enjoy being wet, cold and miserable for the most part and hauling stacks of heavy fireworks around but if you are interested, please go to UKFR (UK Fireworks Review) and ask. The forum is full of professionals and enthusiasts who will happily help you with any questions that you may have and as long as you are prepared to pull your sleeves up, I am sure that they will help you to achieve your goal just as Pat did all those years ago.

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Epic Fireworks Used In A Professional Firework Display

The ULTIMATE test – How will our consumer grade Epic Fireworks fare against a load of professional (category 4 fireworks) CAT4 fireworks?

Lets find out !

Our good friend Paul at PDC Fireworks and Cris from Matthews Bros Pyro put the epic fireworks to the test at Renhold Lower School Charity Firework Display.

What do you think?

Further information on the firing order can be found here.

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