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Canada’s Confederation Centre of the Arts Deepens Commitment to L-Acoustics

Canada’s Confederation Centre of the Arts Deepens Commitment to L-Acoustics
Canada’s Confederation Centre of the Arts Deepens Commitment to L-Acoustics

Canada – Charlottetown’s Confederation Centre of the Arts, just off Canada’s New Brunswick/Nova Scotia coast on Prince Edward Island, is a beacon of culture for the country’s Maritime Provinces. And it has plenty of historical value as well; not only is the institution the National Memorial to the Fathers of Confederation, but it's also home to the world’s longest-running annual musical, Anne of Green Gables – The Musical, which recently wrapped up its 51st consecutive season.

Built in 1964 for the national centennial, the Centre had been showing its age in recent years, but is now nearing the completion of a comprehensive renovation of its centrepiece Homburg Theatre, which includes the addition of new balconies.

One of the top priorities of the Centre’s management during the project was the enhancement of the venue’s sound system, which received a $375,000 contribution from the Government of Canada, through Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency's (ACOA) business development programme. This was largely split between two key purchases: the expansion of an existing L-Acoustics loudspeaker system with even more L-Acoustics products, and the addition of two new DiGiCo mixing consoles.

The 1,100-seat venue’s system installed in 1999 comprised four L-Acoustics ARCS enclosures configured in a centre cluster, with left and right side stacks made up of three ARCS each, collectively powered by three LA4 amplified controllers. An LA8 drove four stacked SB18 subs, while five compact MTD108a coaxial speakers served as front fills. Two ARCS Wide per side, installed at a later date, covered the upper balcony and were powered by a single LA4.

This system has now been considerably enhanced with the addition of 20 Kara(i), the fixed installation version of L-Acoustics’ popular Kara touring enclosure, flown ten per side on either side of the centre cluster. Four SB18 subs per side are hung next to the new speaker arrays, and these are powered by additional LA8 and LA4X amplifiers, including a new LA8 for the existing centre cluster. The updated sound system is rounded out with the installation of a DiGiCo SD7T FOH console loaded with the theatre software package and a DiGiCo SD10 to mix the existing L-Acoustics 112XT wedge monitors. Toronto-based dealer Westbury National supplied all of the new audio gear.

“The new system has made quite a difference,” observes Confederation Centre head of audio Kevin MacLean, who installed it with the assistance of his predecessor, Ron Gorveatt, a well respected name in Toronto’s professional theatre and pro audio circles. “We now have a proper line array system, and, with the centre cluster, the theatre can easily move between using just the left and right hangs for music and adding the centre cluster for speech intelligibility for theatrical productions. Also, our new consoles are intuitive and very flexible for any FOH or monitor engineer to use. Literally, any touring music or theatre act can just get off the plane or bus and come in and play.”

The system has performed so well that MacLean is already planning a second phase, which would see the ARCS and SB18 enclosures upgraded to ARCS II and SB28. “Budgets are always a consideration for a facility like this,” MacLean acknowledges. “But what we were able to accomplish with the budget we had says a lot about L-Acoustics’ value. We have a true multipurpose sound system that perfectly matches this multi-purpose theatre. Good sound is critical to helping us continue to be successful, and that’s what L-Acoustics provides.”

4th August 2015

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