ArcSystem lights Winnipeg concert hall
Monday, 9 September 2019
etc-arcsystem-centennialhall-1The Centennial Concert Hall is the largest performing arts space in Winnipeg
Canada - Acting as a hub for performing arts in Winnipeg, the Centennial Concert Hall has long upheld a sense of community for the people of Manitoba. With a seating capacity in excess of 2,300, the venue is the largest performing arts space in Winnipeg. When Centennial Hall decided to upgrade its lighting system to improve energy efficiency and coverage, ArcSystem stood out as a top choice.
The outdated system at Centennial Hall was causing multiple problems for the staff, patrons, and performers. On top of poor lighting quality, the old system required excessive maintenance. Denis Crymble, stage electrician at Centennial Hall, says, “I never liked the feeling of the light. To me, it was always dingy. The upkeep of it was horrendous. We had little to no flexibility in the old space.”
For decades, the venue had few technology upgrades. Looking to the future, the Centennial Hall team decided to move to an LED house lighting system. Although the staff knew this move would greatly reduce the venue’s ecological footprint, many were concerned about the quality of light that could come from LED fixtures.
“When we started looking at LEDs for house lights, I was sceptical. The ceiling is 60ft feet high in some places,” says Crymble. “I didn’t know if we were going to get enough light out of LEDs.”
Vince Paulich, facility supervisor at Centennial Hall, knew that throw distance was going to be a major challenge when looking for LED luminaires. “When I first saw ArcSystem, it stood out as a solution that could solve the majority of our problems. There was certainly increased comfort knowing that the product was coming from ETC. Our house equipment is all ETC, from our Eos to Source Four PARs. It is a fantastic company.”
In addition to the brightness of the luminaires, the Centennial Hall team was impressed by the flawless dimming.
“The thing that impressed me the most was the dimmer curve,” says Crymble. “In my experience, getting LED lights to dim to zero smoothly is very difficult. When I saw the ArcSystem luminaires, I was thinking ‘wow.’ They don’t bump out and they don’t bump in.”
Prior to updating the lighting system, patrons frequently complained about visibility in the theatre. Visitors had difficulty reading programs and finding their way to their seats. Paulich says, “Walking to your seat, you would notice that you were walking in a dark spot and then a bright spot. It wasn’t inviting.”
ArcSystem has eliminated this problem. General manager Martin Kull says, “Now we have zero complaints. The level of light is so much more consistent. There are no dark spots.”
The venue increased the amount of control stations with Paradigm, meaning staff can access lighting controls from more spaces in Centennial Hall. Paulich says, “The ETC Paradigm product is incredible. It communicates with a broad spectrum of protocols. I love the sleek touch screen capabilities. It’s definitely a top of the line lighting controller.”
The advancement in technology also means less maintenance for Centennial Hall. With the old system, staff had to spend eight hours each week replacing lamps and sockets. Paulich says, “It was getting to the point that we had 10-15 lamps go out in a week. The heat from the outdated fixtures was also affecting the wiring. It was a real challenge for us to keep the system running.”
(Jim Evans)

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