Sound Advice and Jands worked together to deliver an advanced lighting system for the Canberra Theatre Centre (CTC) using lighting fixtures from ETC.

The CTC upgrade was necessitated by the growing demands of touring companies that staged their productions at the national capital’s premier performing arts centre. Keeping customer satisfaction in mind, the CTC management decided to invest in the new lighting system with the support and expertise of staging and lighting specialists, Sound Advice and Jands; this decision has paid off for the centre with performing arts companies confirming their satisfaction with the upgrade.

Andrew Tweedie, Head of Lighting at the CTC said that they had reached a point where touring companies were expressing their dissatisfaction with the existing lighting system as it was becoming very difficult for them to stage a production. Additionally, the Canberra audience, which had seen really big shows in Sydney and Melbourne, expected the same quality in their own city.

A key challenge preceding the upgrade was the fact that the CTC was a government-owned organisation that was answerable to taxpayers and ratepayers. In addition to the proposal requiring immaculate paperwork and a transparent tendering process, the project stakeholders also needed to ensure the lighting system had the right level of versatility to accommodate present and future requirements.

The CTC comprises of three venues: the 1200-seat Canberra Theatre, which is a traditional proscenium arch theatre; the 600-seat Playhouse, and the 100-seat Courtyard Studio. Andrew was responsible for the quality and safety issues with the equipment and installations of all three venues, working out the requirements, and preparing specifications for the several tender documents to cover different parts of the upgrade.

The ETC brand seemed to be the preferred choice of luminaires for various production companies. Andrew was given a budget to redo the entire lighting rig including consoles, data distribution and all the luminaires in the two main venues, and also improve the third venue.

Sound Advice and Jands worked together to deliver a comprehensive system as per the tender process. On comparing prices, value for money and quality control, Andrew found that ETC came out in front, with Sound Advice the best possible supplier.

A total of 248 fixtures made up the CTC upgrade including 10° ellipsoidal luminaires, 15-30° zoom ellipsoidal luminaires and 25-50° compact zoom ellipsoidal luminaires. Ancillary items such as iris, pattern holders and a number of enhanced definition spare lens tubes were also supplied.

The successful installation has convinced Andrew that the system upgrade would meet production needs for the next 10-15 years. He says it’s been immensely satisfying to talk to lighting designers and touring electricians and inform them that CTC now has an ETC rig.

CTC is also very grateful to the ACT Government for the ongoing support and funding to guarantee the future of Australia’s oldest arts centre. Andrew adds that CTC is now measuring up to industry standard, to world’s best practice. Sound Advice, working with Jands, came to the party with the right mix of price, product and service to create successful outcomes.