The long awaited expansion of the Downtown Rideau Business Improvement Area’s (D.R.B.I.A.) multimedia programming FX Poles along Rideau Street is underway. Expansion will be completed with the final stage of the Rideau Renewal Construction project concluding in December 2020. Upon completion, Downtown Rideau will have a total of 12 FX Poles between Sussex Drive and King Edward Avenue.
The FX Poles were conceptualized by D.R.B.I.A. Executive Director Peggy DuCharme beginning in 2012 during the City of Ottawa’s Rideau Renewal Project Phase One. The initial six FX Poles were installed in 2014. They are a key asset in Downtown Rideau’s Animation & Lighting Vision to support festivals, events and cultural programming in the Arts, Fashion & Theatre District, and create artistic experiences along Rideau Street. “I’m happy to finally see the completion of this project almost eight years later”, says Peggy. “This special effects lighting supports Downtown Rideau’s nighttime lighting vision for Ottawa’s Arts, Fashion & Theatre District by creating artistic lighting programming for pedestrians, as well as condo and hotel tower viewers to experience and enjoy.
Theme lighting will be programmed at 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”.
Between themed programming and cultural promotion programming, the FX Poles are used to promote Downtown Rideau members and Public Service Announcements (PSAs). The poles are on a computerized network with audio/video equipment including music speakers, district branding signage, Wi-Fi connectivity for potential live online exchanges, LED monitors for digital posters, backlight print poster panels and theatre lighting fixtures to project images onto surfaces, such as sidewalks, buildings, trees and plaza areas. Concept and development of these multimedia programming poles for Rideau Street began in 2012 as part of the City of Ottawa’s Rideau Renewal Project.