Special Events

Painting with Light

INNOVATIVE DESIGN wowed 400 guests at a recent gala held for a new hotel management company at The Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto. "We wanted to give the event a futuristic edge without looking like a Star Trek set," says Richard Cadoret, artistic designer of Toronto-based C&C Display and Florals.

As crucial ingredients to the modern look, Cadoret lists "efficient use of lighting and projections, modern fabric treatments to create streamlined looks, and use of raw metal."

To transform the ballroom, C&C installed white spandex structures, provided by Toronto-based Eventscape, along the walls and ceiling.

Projections of sunflowers, lilacs, cherries and brilliant skies played across the spandex shapes. "We picked all the visuals from disks we bought off the Internet," he says. As the projections changed, so did the lighting. A truckload of Mac 60 lights as well as pins and other lighting types created kaleidoscopic effects that washed the room in a rainbow of colors. "We used five colors-yellow, lavender, blue, red and aqua. Each color stayed in the room for about five to seven minutes, then there would be a dissolve and the new color would fade in," Cadoret says. The slow change of hue produced a serene effect. "We did not want the guests to feel like they were dining in a discotheque," he jokes. Midnite Hour of Toronto provided the lighting and projection equipment.

In addition to the white spandex shapes, C&C also covered the tabletops and chairs in white, forming an ideal canvas for the colorful lighting.

Cadoret created a "global" motif for his client with the use of round steel sculptures. "We put an 8-foot metal globe in the cocktail area," while smaller versions of the globe formed part of each centerpiece, he says. An array of white flowers-agapanthus, Casablanca lilies and dendro-bium orchids-completed the central table decor.

Cadoret predicts that sleek, simple design represents the future in event decor. "Trends are becoming less prop-heavy," he notes. "Instead, we'll see more streamlined looks-simple approaches that aren't fussy looking."-T.M.

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