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Pair of Castor fireworks artists take part on world stage

A pair of Castor-based pyrotechnic artists had the opportunity to perform on the world stage in August.
Castor-based pyrotechnicians Jarek Bursik (left) and Anthony Holland (right) were part of teams helping set up the fireworks displays in Calgary for GlobalFest. (Anthony Holland photo)

A pair of Castor-based pyrotechnic artists had the opportunity to perform on the world stage in August.

Anthony Holland and Jarek Bursik of Castor’s Pyro Knight Fireworks were invited to assist with GlobalFest, the international fireworks competition held in Calgary every August.

“It was a mind-blowing experience,” said Holland.

“We helped set up for Spain and for the Canadian finale.”

Holland and Bursik were among 10 other pyrotechnicians invited to help set up the shows from around the province.

According to Holland, setting up for the shows was “industrial,” with nearly 2,000 separate fireworks holders which had to be set up and wired over three eight-hour days for one show.

“We got to see everything from half-inch shells to eight-inch mortars,” said Holland.

“I couldn’t imagine two people doing it. It gives me something to strive for.”

A lot of the work the duo did was measuring angles, wiring, and making sure everything was properly secured with sandbags.

“It’s not set a cake on the road, light a match and run,” said Holland.

Being able to share his art on the world stage has intensified the bug for Holland and Bursik, with Holland noting that some new ideas are in the works with tips gleaned from other experienced pyrotechnicians.

“It was like I was a first-time shooter,” said Holland.

“We learned little things we can do to help ourselves. We’re definitely implementing some of these strategies in the future.”

Competing in the 2023 edition of GlobalFest were Spain, the United States, Brazil and Mexico. Canada, acting as the host country for this competition, didn’t compete but still provided the finale.

Holland says he and Bursik would “absolutely” jump at the chance to take part in GlobalFest again if the opportunity presents itself.

Pyro Knight Fireworks can be found on social media and will be launching a new website soon.

Fireworks over the water at Calgary GlobalFest. (Anthony Holland photo)

Kevin Sabo

About the Author: Kevin Sabo

I’m Kevin Sabo. I’ve been a resident of the Castor area for the last 12 years and counting, first coming out here in my previous career as an EMT.
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