2023 Recap: Designing events in Ottawa and upgrading our video wall

2023 Recap: Designing events in Ottawa and upgrading our video wall


At the beginning of the year, it felt hard to put a cap on what was an incredibly eventful 2022. But it just goes to show that sometimes good things only get better, and that hard work really does pay off. 

In 2023, we produced some of our most exciting, transformative events ever, and we’re so proud of what our team, partners, and clients accomplished. We wanted to share just a few of the highlights, as well as a peek behind the scenes at the people (and tech!) that made it all possible.


Events in Ottawa: Making magic with sound & light


Fire & Ice Winter Festival

Ottawa’s Fire & Ice Winter Festival is one of the flagship events on our annual calendar, and this year we took things to a whole new level. With stage projection mapping for the festival’s concert line-up, ten art installations that guests could walk through and immerse themselves in, and an interactive LED video wall with built-in AI, this was our most involved, high-tech production yet – and we’re thrilled with how it went.

See how it all came together here:


We’re honoured to partner with Centretown BIA on this event every year. Read the full event recap here to learn more about how we helped make this year’s festival the most magical one yet!


Two image collage with a red tower of tube lights and a blue ice tunnel looking towards immersive cave display


Ottawa Tulip Festival

We were thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the Ottawa Tulip Festival again this year. The festival is one of Ottawa’s major tourist attractions, and we wanted to create an unforgettable experience that elevates our beloved city to residents and visitors alike. 

We’re incredibly proud of our “Battle of the Atlantic” sound and lights show, which was performed every evening on the Dow’s Lake boardwalk. The show told the story of two courageous Canadian Naval ships in the midst of the Second World War, blending storytelling with our own sound and light alchemy to create a multi-sensory experience that brought history to life in a whole new way.


The boardwalk at Ottawa's Dow's Lake is lit up with green, yellow and pink lighting for the Tulip Festival

A giant tulip display made of neon tube lights in green and purple shines in the nighttime as part of the Ottawa Tulip Festival


We used our newly upgraded video LED wall for a daily “Movies in the Park” feature that was perfect for those balmy, early summer evenings. 

The video wall was also put to great use by the many kids who visited the festival and loved the interactive game we created for them. (Who are we kidding, the grown-ups and young at heart loved it too!)


OSE's large LED video wall is used for an outdoor movie display with a woman onscreen

A Tulip Festival attendee plays an interactive game in front of a large video wall.


KFEST & K-pop Contest

2023 marked the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Canada and Korea. To celebrate, the Korean Cultural Centre Canada (KCC) and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea hosted their largest-ever Korea Week, including the brand new ‘K-FEST’, a full day of events that included cultural booths, food, and – our favourite part – a massive K-pop contest and concert. With over 15,000 attendees, it was a huge success.


A contestant for the K-Pop cover dance festival performs onstage with two large LED video walls in the background


We were honoured to work with the organisers to produce the K-pop contest, a mind-blowing cover dance-off that we hope becomes an annual Ottawa tradition. Our event alchemists outdid themselves on the stage design and production, creating a vibrant backdrop for the contestants’ crazy moves that kept the off-the-charts energy from the competitors and crowd going all night long. The evening’s grand finale was a concert featuring solo K-pop artist, and former leader of IZ*ONE, KWON Eun-Bi, and the K-Pop boy group, KINGDOM. It was a truly inspiring evening and one of the highlights of the year for our team!


The silhouettes of five women performing are lit up by blue lights and a large LED video wall showing a pink and purple moon.


Capital Pride

Capital Pride has been one of our longest-standing partners, and every year we embrace the challenge of coming up with a new stage design that captures the heart, joy, and freedom that make this event such a delight to work on. The photos tell it all… and we can’t wait to do it all again in 2024!


Confetti falls on performers and staff celebrating onstage at Capital Pride

Capital Pride performers onstage with red and yellow lighting

A Capital Pride performer onstage with purple and pink lighting


It was a privilege to work with Avant Garde Designs on the video mapping, audio, video, and lighting design & production for Caivan’s Annual Gala. This project turned into a total design playground, and the results were absolutely breathtaking. They included:

  • Full room video mapping
  • A jungle themed video wall for the DJ booth
  • A giant suspended neon lights cage

We’ve shared a few photos here, but check out our Instagram post to watch some incredible video footage of an incredible evening!


Tall LED video wall panels and tube lights set up for the Caivan Gala

A lush jungle display at the Caivan Gala is light up with large light installations of blue, purple and green cubes made with tube lights.

A beautiful jungle image is projected onto the walls of a dimly lit conference centre dining room at the Caivan Gala


Nature Nocturne

We were proud to sponsor four Nature Nocturne events hosted by the Canadian Museum of Nature over the course of the year. These memorable events turn one of Ottawa’s most important museums and architectural venues into a delightful blend of cultural exhibits, themed activities, and dance floors that are always smash hits. 

With themes of Garden Party, Pride, Masquerade, and Glow, we jumped at the opportunity to add a little lighting magic to these events… and the occasional visual illusion to keep things interesting.


A large art installation of a brightly coloured mushroom is light up in pink, blue and green at the Nature Nocturne event.


More unforgettable highlights

We couldn’t let a 2023 recap go by without also mentioning these incredible Ottawa events. We’re so proud of our design and production work at each one. 


JON Festival 2023

We partnered with Wall Sound & Lighting to help make this brand-new hip-hop and R&B festival’s stage design, audio, lighting, and visuals a massive crowd-pleaser. The festival is confirmed to return in 2024, and we’re excited to see how it continues to grow!



We loved doing the stage design, AV, and production for this absolutely electric event!


An Afrofest performer is onstage with a large video screen and blue lighting

An Afrofest band performs onstage with red lighting and a large video wall


Latin Sparks

The Latin Sparks Festival celebrated their 10-year anniversary this year, and this party always brings the heat…. so we made sure our stage design and lighting sizzled, too!


The Latinfest stage is lit in bright yellow light and a large video screen celebrates the event's 10 year anniversary

Four women in dramatic feather costumes perform onstage at the Latin Sparks festival


Tour de Gatineau

The Tour de Gatineau is an inspiring women’s cycling race that is part of the Union Cycliste Internationale’s program of international competitive cycling events. Our outdoor video wall was put to excellent use throughout their individual timed trials, road race, and award ceremonies.


A lit up video screen at night showcases the day's Tour de Gatineau performance

Tour de Gatineau winners pop champaign and celebrate in front of a large video wall with the Tour de Gatineau logo


Canada Day in Barrhaven

We celebrated Canada’s 156th birthday in style at the Barrhaven Canada Day celebrations, where we integrated LED video wall panels into our stage design for dynamic on-stage video content that perfectly complemented the talented performances and festive atmosphere.


The stage at the Barrhaven Canada Day celebration is lit up in red and white video panels

A band performs at night at the Barrhaven Canada Day celebration with a blue and pink video display lights up tall panels in the background


National Art Gallery – Jean-Paul Riopelle Gala

We collaborated with Chic & Swell to produce this annual fundraising gala at the National Art Gallery. Our video wall and lights production made the perfect backdrop for their jaw-dropping performance artists! 


An acrobat balances on his hands on stilts in front of a black and white video wall display


RCGS Geographica Dinner

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s 94th annual Geographica Dinner convened dignitaries, astronauts, explorers and community leaders in a celebration of their achievements in storytelling, geography, and exploration over the past year. We were proud to contribute to the event’s video production, which included bringing our video wall, projection, and camera work to the stunning venue at the Canadian War Museum.


A Canadian astronaut speaks to gala attendees from a lit-up stage and large video screens at the Royal Canadian Geographical Society's Geographica dinner.


Making event design happen: our team, crew, and partners

None of these incredible events happen on our own. Our team of event alchemists and the many freelance crew members who support us are absolute dynamite when it comes to dreaming up and implementing a creative vision that is unique to every show we do. They are what make the magic happen! 


Two OSE crew members work with high-tech audio equipment while setting up for an outdoor concert

Three OSE crew members wearing branded jackets and winter hats smile for the camera during the Fire & Ice festival


We’re also incredibly grateful for the network of brilliant partnerships we’ve built over the years. These amazing affiliates are an absolute joy to work with: Chic & Swell Event Designers, ASA Live, Oxygen Events, Avant-Garde Designs  and so many more. And a special shout-out to our essential vendors, including Wall Sound & Lighting, Christie Lites Toronto, Theatrixx Technologies, and CR34TE – just to name a few! Their collaboration was pivotal to making 2023 another successful year of outstanding events.


Upgrading key pieces of our event design technology

Top-notch event production means always staying at the front of what’s possible when it comes to audio-visual technology. In 2023, we made a couple of investments in essential AV equipment that levelled up our ability to create stand-out events and memories for our clients and their guests. 


2.6mm LED Video Wall

In 2022, we acquired Ottawa’s highest-resolution indoor/outdoor LED wall, and it was an instant hit. So this year, we upgraded our setup with an additional set of indoor-only LED video wall panels that offer an even brighter, crisper, and more immersive video experience. 

To learn more about video walls, how we use them when designing and producing special events, and what to consider when adding them to your own event, read our guide here.


ZENIT B200 Wash Light

We’re also very excited to add a new suite of powerful indoor/outdoor waterproof, battery powered and wireless wash lights to our inventory. These ZENIT B200 lights are incredibly bright, adding high-resolution colour and brilliancy that pop on even on the brightest summer day. They’re also versatile and adaptable – an essential feature when every event we do is custom-designed and completely unique. 

From stunning colour washes to dynamic effects, these lights have been a game-changer in our lighting design, giving us even more ways to create those ‘wow’ moments that make each event a truly illuminating experience.


Here’s to 2023!

2023 was one of our best years yet, and we want to raise a glass to every client, team member, partner, and guest who made it so special. At the same time, we’re always looking ahead. We have big plans for 2024, and can’t wait to welcome you to our next magical, unforgettable event!

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About OSE

Optimal Show Experience is a multi-award winning event design and production company specializing in the art (and science!) of using sound, lighting and video to create immersive and one-of-a-kind live events.

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