Lighting Canada’s Element Club a Family (and Martin) Affair

Lighting Canada’s Element Club a Family (and Martin) Affair

July 13, 2006

The town of Castlegar in Western Canada is situated in the majestic West Kootenay mountains and is home to about 7200 people. Home, as well, to outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking and skiing/snowboarding, this area of 63000 people had no place to call a nightclub until now.

Opened on June 2, 2006 Element Club, Bar and Grill is a 600 capacity club and the third largest licensed establishment in British Columbia. Martin dealer Skaha Sound of Penticton, British Columbia has supplied a Martin lighting package along with LED lighting and conventional luminaires. Lighting design was handled jointly by cousins Florio and Fred Vassilakakis, who enlisted other family help as well. Florio comments, “The actual physical design of the club was done by my father, Nick, with collaboration from me, my cousin Fred and my brother George. My uncle John also helped out. It’s a family company, what can I say.”

Martin effects
Element is located on a main floor overlooked by a lounge grill. Above the dance floor and mounted directly to the ceiling for a clean look are 8 MAC 250 Krypton profile moving heads along with 4 Wizard Extreme effect lights and 4 Atomic 3000 strobes. Atmospheric effects and mid-air projection canopy comes from a Jem ZR33 Hi-Mass fogger located under the dance floor. Lighting control is from a PC-based LightJockey and Martin Fingers controller. All Skaha Sound supplied Martin lighting was distributed through Martin’s Canadian representative, Martin Canada.

Additional lighting includes 12 1000W par cans above the stage on a custom hydraulic scissor. LED lighting is used to light two bars and outdoor sidewalk, as well as to backlight the club’s sign on the outside of the building.

Making ideas reality
“My lighting plan was always up in the air as we originally had a partner who was a lighting professional but he bailed before plans were even started, so we had to go it on our own,” commented LD Florio Vassilakakis.

“When it came to lighting the place up, I had many ideas from the places I had traveled. I always make a point of visiting nightclubs anywhere I go from Vegas to the UK, Vancouver, Athens and other European cities. Making these ideas reality was really much easier than I thought. Research on the Internet and help from our local sound and lighting company helped point me in the right direction. About six months before construction started I was lucky enough to meet Martin Pro rep Clayton Hubick from Edmonton. He showed me some samples of club lighting from Martin special effects to LED.

“I contacted another company from Minnesota, Advanced Lighting Systems, and designed ambient lighting and signage with DMXable LED. The sign, bars and other signage is all LED and controlled by LightJockey. It was nice to have computer software be so complex that it can control almost anything at any time.

“With Clayton’s help we designed a light show that was really spectacular and that fit within our budget. To be quite honest, I never thought that a light show of this caliber would have ever been within our budget. We took it upon ourselves to install it all and with crossed fingers we hoped it all worked. It did and the rest is history. Clayton really went above and beyond and came to our club and trained us on the software and even programmed some light shows. Really, without his help this thing wouldn't have happened as well as it did. Martin has the best lighting in the industry with great support.”

Features of the Martin lighting that Florio gives special recognition to include the ease of software use, quality of construction, effects capabilities and built in macros. “The lights are awesome, solid, with no concerns to their longevity,” he states.

“This project is 300 km from home, so it has definitely been difficult for everyone in our family, but the fruits of our labor are here and now we can enjoy them.”