BEHIND THE SCENES TOUR OF TORONTO'S AIR CANADA CENTRE
The first meeting of the "New Century" took place at Toronto's Air Canada Centre. We had a fantastic turn out for this special event with over 50 members and guests. The evening included a complete tour of the facility and a demonstration of their sound system. The Air Canada Centre is the home of the Toronto Raptors and the Toronto Maple Leafs and sees many touring acts.
Our tour of the ACC was headed by Dwayne Brown, Technical Producer and Courtney Ross, Head Sound Engineer for the Air Canada Centre. Dwayne began the evening with a brief history of the Centre, outlining the various stages of its development. The tour included the following interesting sites: Control Room, the Catwalk and the Interconnect Room for mobile trucks. The best view of the speaker clusters was from the catwalk high over center ice, where we also got a look at the house lighting rig, broadcast and specialty lighting (moving lights), the amplifiers for the sound system, winches for the clock and the computer brains for SoundWeb, the Centre's audio distribution system (see Bulletin Vol 7 No. 5 January 1999).
We also saw the Control Room, where operators control the scoreboard and Jumbotron displays as well as the in-house PA via SoundWeb. To add to our pleasure, the 9 ft x 16ft Sony Jumbotron greeted us with a friendly "Welcome AES!". The house PA includes a Bose Panarray system and amplifiers. The matrixing system for the Centre's 32 zones is the BSS SoundWeb. Most reflective surfaces in the stadium proper are treated with an acoustic panelling called Tectum.
At the end of our tour, we had the opportunity to hear the sound system and see the Jumbotron from inside the stadium. From our vantage point in the Gold seats the sound was highly intelligible and almost reflection free, which made for a crisp, clear presentation.
We all enjoyed this excellent tour and a special thanks to Dwayne and Courtney for the opportunity to tour this great facility!
by Patricia Carr, Vice Chairwoman of the Toronto Section
Thanks also to Patricia Carr for organizing this event.