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Downtown Rideau Business Improvement Area Launches New Multimedia Programming Pole Project

Demonstration Launch: Thursday, September 4, 2014 — 9:30 to 10:00 pm  Waller Mall at Rideau St.

Hosted by: Peggy DuCharme, Executive Director, Downtown Rideau BIA

Downtown Rideau Business Improvement Area (DRBIA) is working with the City of Ottawa to install a new multimedia programming pole infrastructure along Rideau Street to promote festivals and events taking place in Downtown Rideau, and create artistic encounters throughout the district. In addition to district branding signage, the poles have computerized audio, video, music speakers, Wi-Fi connectivity for live online exchanges, and LED monitors for digital posters, print poster panels and lighting fixtures to project images onto surfaces, such as buildings, trees and plaza areas.

“I conceptualized and developed the new multimedia programming poles for Rideau Street as part of the City of Ottawa’s Rideau Renewal Project”, says Peggy DuCharme, Executive Director of Downtown Rideau Business Improvement Area. “This project has been 2-years in the making.  The new lighting effect supports Downtown Rideau’s nighttime lighting vision for Ottawa’s Arts, Fashion & Theatre District by creating an artistic lighting program for pedestrians, as well as condo and hotel tower viewers to experience.  The lighting will be a set length of time that will stop and replay, and will, in and of itself, become a subtle attraction on Rideau Street with the potential to be a spectacle attraction during special events.  Most importantly, every aspect of the multimedia effects can be computer programmed and controlled from the Downtown Rideau BIA office”.

Prototype Pole Demonstration Launch on Waller Mall

Thursday, September 4, 2014, 9:30 to 10 pm

Downtown Rideau BIA is launching a prototype of these poles on Thursday, September 4 from 9:30 to 10 pm on Rideau Street at the entrance to Waller Mall.  The demonstration is part of the program of the International Downtown Association’s (IDA) 60th Anniversary Conference and Tradeshow being held this year in Ottawa from September 3 to 6.  The 60th Annual IDA Conference is being organized in part by Downtown Rideau BIA’s Peggy DuCharme, who is chair of the Host City Committee and also an IDA board member.

The prototype is a stand-alone pole at this time, and is designed to be part of a computerized network synced together and controlled by Downtown Rideau BIA from its office.  The prototype pole lighting features will project onto the trees along Waller Mall, the Mall’s plaza surface, and the entrance surface from Rideau Street.  Downtown Rideau BIA invites all to attend the demonstration on Thursday, September 4 to observe this project live.

From September 2014 to March 2015, Downtown Rideau BIA will test a variety of colours and images on the prototype pole, as well as show length and replay time point.  It will also experiment with music complementing festivals and events, volume, lighting levels of the LED monitor, and spill of the projected lighting.

“Based on the 6-month test period, Downtown Rideau BIA will install 5 other programming poles between King Edward Avenue and Dalhousie Street, so that we have a total of 6 fully functional poles by the summer of 2015” explains Peggy DuCharme.  “An additional 6 programming poles are being planned for the remaining portion of Rideau Street, between Dalhousie Street and Sussex Drive, as part of reconstruction of the street for Ottawa’s light rail transit project.  Downtown Rideau BIA looks forward to utilizing these multimedia poles to create special event spectacles for celebrations, such as Canada Day 2017 during our nation’s 150th birthday”.

Downtown Rideau Programming Poles Team

During the demonstration show time on Thursday, September 4 from 9:30 to 10 pm, Downtown Rideau BIA’s multimedia project team will be on site to demonstrate the pole’s features, capabilities and to answer questions. Below is the team that put together Downtown Rideau’s new programming poles:

Peggy DuCharme

Executive Director, Downtown Rideau Business Improvement Area (DRBIA)

Peggy DuCharme conceptualized and developed the new multimedia programming poles for Rideau Street as part of the City of Ottawa’s Rideau Renewal Project.  Peggy has been instrumental in working with the community stakeholders and the City of Ottawa to create an arts-appreciative vision for Downtown Rideau, and to develop programs and initiatives that support and showcase Downtown Rideau’s cultural assets.  This, coupled with her marketing experience, has resulted in the successful branding of Downtown Rideau as Ottawa’s Arts, Fashion & Theatre District, positioning it as a destination for shopping, dining and culture.

Peggy is a board member of the International Downtown Association (IDA), Vice Chair of the Canadian Issues Committee of IDA, past President of the Ontario BIA Association (OBIAA), and volunteer manager of a Canadian Downtowns Network database.  She has been an active member of IDA since 1997 and served on several of its committees over the years, including more recently as Chair of the Canadian Legislative Issues Task Force, Vice-Chair of the Canadian Issues Task Force, and International Downtown Association’s (IDA) 60th Anniversary Conference and Tradeshow  Conference Committee.

Recognitions and awards for Peggy’s work include the 2013 Tourism Partnership of the Year Award from Ottawa Tourism for Chill Factor during Winterlude. In addition, she was given the 2012 Business Recognition Award from the Council for the Arts in Ottawa for firmly established Downtown Rideau as the arts and entertainment district of Ottawa.

Joshua P. Moon

Partner, Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall

Joshua P. Moon is a leading legal practitioner in municipal planning, land development, commercial leasing, project finance, administrative law, and P3 infrastructure projects.  He has successfully represented clients before numerous municipal councils and administrative tribunals, including the Ontario Municipal Board.  He is a former urban planner and served on a municipal council in Quebec for 5 years.  Josh was a senior executive in property management and commercial development for almost a decade. In addition to his expertise in the law, Josh knows the National Capital Region, the market, the regulations and the people. With this solid, broad background, he manages major real estate transactions and projects with great efficiency, providing his clients with clarity and direction in a complex environment. For this project, Joshua represented Downtown Rideau BIA and negotiated their agreement with the City of Ottawa.  The agreement is a result of negotiations for compensation of removal of streetscape assets that Downtown Rideau BIA owns as part of the Rideau Renewal Project.

David Atkinson

Planner / Urban Designer, City of Ottawa

Member of the Canadian Institute of Planners and Registered Professional Planner, David Atkinson moved approval through the City of Ottawa and provided advice on what was possible for Downtown Rideau’s concept of the design for the multi-functioning programming poles. In response to the policies and objectives for the city’s arts and theatre precinct, he worked with the streetscape renewal project team to develop detailed designs, conditions for use and programming, and navigated a labyrinth of legal, operational and corporate requirements to execute a partnership agreement between the City of Ottawa and Downtown Rideau BIA.

Lynn Cox

Lighting Design Consultant

For over 20 years, Lynn Cox has worked in lighting design, set design, producing, stage management, technical direction, and scenic painting at such venues as Arts Court, the National Arts Centre and Great Canadian Theatre Company, among many other theatre organizations. She won the Capital Critic Circle award for Best Professional Design and a Rideau Award for Outstanding Lighting Design. She has contributed to over 1,000 theatre, and interdisciplinary productions. Early in her career she became a professor of Technical Theatre and Design at the University of Ottawa, and Memorial University in Newfoundland. Lynn is now a tenured professor of Technical Theatre and Design for Algonquin College’s Theatre Arts Program. She is the Lighting Design Consultant on the hang, focus and programming phase of the Downtown Rideau BIA’s multimedia programming poles project.

Martin Vaillant, Ryan Carman


Founded in 1977, Solotech is a leader in advanced technology integration and renting in the field of entertainment, theatre, cinema, broadcast television and communication, and provides equipment rental and sales for full-service integration of audio, lighting and video systems. Martin Vaillant was responsible for technology, infrastructure, and concept of the sound, video and lighting. Ryan Carman was responsible for the manufacturing of the integration parts, programming the lighting alongside the Lighting Design Consultant and programming the video content in the media player. In addition, they installed an optical fibre infrastructure on each pole for remote operation of the pole’s multimedia on a web-based platform.

Stewart Bailey

Founder, Intu Design

Intu Design is an Ottawa-based industrial design firm with a strong background in site-specific design for public spaces. Founder Stewart Bailey designed the kiosk and the brand identity element for Downtown Rideau BIA’s Technilum programming poles to suit the electronics required, and Downtown Rideau’s streetscape. He managed a strong fabrication team consisting of Dymech Engineering (represented by Mike Surowiec), and kiosk fabricators and brand identity element fabricators (represented by Anthony Kilgallen). Both fabricators brought significant value to this unique project.

Martin Conboy, Scott Windsor

Martin Conboy Lighting Design (MCLD) 

Martin Conboy Lighting Design (MCLD) has been supplying lighting design services for over 25 years. MCLD has received numerous international awards for its work on projects of commercial, theatrical, institutional, urban and public character. Martin Conboy and Scott Windsor provided lighting consultant services during the technical development phase of this project.

Tracey Shipman

Senior Project Manager, GBA

Tracey Shipman has over 10 years of extensive project management experience, representing GBA in project procurement, budget and scheduling requirements for approximately $470-million dollars of infrastructure capital in Ottawa and its surrounding regions. She applied her project management skills and expertise to her work on a variety of project teams, including the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre and the Ottawa Convention Centre. Tracey was retained by Downtown Rideau BIA to assist in the final coordination of the team-at-large, ensuring that the schedule and responsibilities of the various partners were carried out as contracted.

Downtown Rideau BIA is grateful for the support they received from the City of Ottawa project team of the Rideau Renewal Project under the Leadership of Randy Dempsey, P. Eng., Senior Engineer, Infrastructure Projects Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability, City of Ottawa.

For interviews, please contact:

Peggy DuCharme,, 613-241-6211

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