Portfolio of Kimberly Johans

A collection of articles created during my stint as a journalist at The Macau Daily Times

Wynn signs on for the big bang in September

Posted by Kimberly on August 2, 2007

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
August
2, 2007, page 6 (1,171 words)

Wynn Macau was once again announced as title sponsor yesterday, for the 19th Macau International Fireworks Display Contest to be held next month.
A sponsorship agreement was signed between Wynn’s President Mr Ian Michael Coughlan and Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) Director Mr Joao Manual Costa Antunes during a press conference to promote the event.
Mr Coughlan said, “it is an important way in which we can support the development of Macau as a must-visit destination in Asia, with unique attractions and one-of-a-kind events like this competition.”
He added that the casino was committed to helping transform Macau into an entertainment destination and a centre for business and luxury travel, while developing local talent and investing resources into Macau’s tourism experience.
The fireworks will be held over two weeks in September with five separate shows designed to enthral and excite.
The five displays will occur on September 15, 22, 25, 29 and October 1 at the sea area in front of the Macau Tower.
The ten shows used to span a period of one month but were shortened to half a month. No comment was made as to the reasons behind this.
Of Wynn casino’s involvement, Mr Antunes said “our cooperation with Wynn Macau again in this event signifies that the participation of tourism related enterprises plays an important role in enhancing the development of Macau’s tourism industry.”
With 18 years of history, the Macau International Fireworks Display has gain worldwide recognition for the quality of its participating teams and the performance standard of the contest.
This year features ten teams from the United Kingdom (UK), Korea, Australia, Taiwan, Portugal, the Philippines, United States of America (USA), Japan, France and China.
The teams taking part in this year’s contest include Kimbolton Fireworks Limited from the UK, Hanwha Corporation from Korea, Five Star Fireworks from Australia, San Tai Fireworks from Taiwan, Grupo Luso Pirotecnia from Portugal, Starmaker from the Philippines, Illumination Internationale from the USA, Marutamaya Ogatsu Fireworks from Japan, Artifices JCO SA from France and Hunan Xintiancheng Fireworks from China.
Each fireworks display will last approximately 18 minutes and there will be two displays each evening,the first at 9pm and the second at 10pm.
As the organisers, MGTO will provide a subsidy of US$17,000 to each fireworks team.
The winner will receive US$6,000 togethe with a trophy and certificate.
First and second runners-up will receive US$3,200 and US$1,800 respectively, along with a trophy and certificate.
Three of the teams will be competing for the first time: Kimbolton from the UK, Hunan Xintiancheng from China and Artifices from France.
The Taiwanese team, San Tai Fireworks, is no stranger to the contest, having won previously in 2006, with the skills and capacity to challenge the rest this year.
Grupo Luso Pirotecnia from Portugal is a group of five companies with branches located around the country, some having a history of close to a century.
The pyrotechnic group is an active participant is worldwide fireworks competitions and was the winner of the Macau International Fireworks Display Contest in 1996.
This year again, each time is required to add music to their shows to create a light and sound spectacular and for the first time, spectators will also be ale to listen to the live music during the displays through Radio Macau’s live broadcast at FM100.7.
Sound systems will be installed at the waterfront of the Macau Tower Outdoor Plaza, at the Macau Tower Street seaside and at the square in front of Kun Iam statue on Ave. Dr Sun Yat Sen.
Another first this year is the unveiling of a book published by the MGTO, titled ‘Fireworks Art in Macau’, by two enthusiasts, Mr Lei Ip Fei and Ms Anita Fung Pou Chu, which will be launched on the day of the first contest.
The five sections will introduce the 18-year history of the Macau International Fireworks Display Contest, the history and development of fireworks and firecrackers, the art and culture of fireworks, the artistic appreciation of fireworks and a series of artworks, using oil on canvas, illustrating fireworks and historic sites in Macau.
“We hope that the public will learn more about the relationship between Macau and the art of fireworks through this publication,” said Mr Antunes.
The Macau contest first began in 1989, with only five participating teams.
By 1995, the event had developed into a ten-team one with two different teams showing their expertise each night.
Last year’s winner was Brezac-Artifices from France, with Pyro Spectaculars by Souza (USA) and Foti International Fireworks Pty Ltd (Australia) coming in second and third respectively.
Of the competition, Mr Coughlan said, ‘this competition is a reminder of Macau’s potential to grow and solidify its position as a must-visit destination in Asia with unique attractions and events
in addition to its importance as a centre for business and luxury travel and conferences and exhibitions.”
He added that when Wynn sponsored the event last year, the casino had yet to open but with it’s continued alliance with the MGTO, it is hoped that this collaboration will continue for years to come.
Of the contest itself, Mr Antunes said “glamorous fireworks displays are a symbol of romance but beyond this it stands for a festive activity ideal for families.
“We hope that the fireworks display contest…coupled with the rich blend of Chinese and Portuguese cultures, our unique world heritage, leisure facilities, festivals and gastronomy will make Macau the preferred destination for visitors.”
As two days of the contest, September 25 and October 1 will fall on the Mid Autumn Festival and China’s National Day respectively, “teams from Portugal, the Philippines, France and China will make full use of their skills to add extra sparkle to the celebrations, “ said Mr Antunes.
He added that no effort will be spared to bring the displays to residents and visitors, but also to promote the contest “worldwide through various international, regional and local media channels including National Geographic, CNN, BBC, the Discovery Channel” and major stations around China, Hong Kong and Macau. Print will not be left out, with effort going into newspapers on the Mainland, in Hong Kong and Macau, as well as travel magazines, posters and leaflets.
And if that wasn’t enough, the MGTO have joined forces with the General Union of Neighbours Association of Macau to present the Fireworks Carnival.
This will “offer an array of live entertainment, cultural activities and culinary delights on the fireworks display nights,” said Mr Antunes.
Finally, a photo and drawing contest were held again this year to capture the moments of the fireworks displays.
The winners of both competitions were presented with trophies and cheques, with runners-up and commended receiving certificates or trophies.
Over the course of the past 18 years, well over 100 teams have participated in the fireworks display contest.
The contest attracts a large number of visitors and local residents, playing an important role in enhancing Macau’s tourism industry and raising its profile.

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