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.