Sunday, September 26, 2021

Thinkwell crafts nighttime show for retired Niagara Falls power plant

“Currents: Niagara’s Power Transformed,” presented by Thinkwell, is a nighttime show situated in the heart of a century-old hydroelectric power plant, which follows the transformation of water to electricity. Featuring immersive, interactive storytelling techniques, “Currents’ offers a multisensory experience amongst the massive decommissioned generators housed within the first major power plant on the Canadian side of the Niagara River. Thinkwell Studio Montréal designed and produced the all-new immersive experience at Niagara Parks Power Station, working in close collaboration with the Niagara Parks Commission.

Spanning a 61,000-square-foot, 115-year-old industrial space, Thinkwell created over 40 minutes of projection-mapped content and lighting design for the nighttime show. In lieu of using off-the-shelf solutions, Thinkwell created fully custom tools for the project, utilizing a network of 23 projectors, 35 speakers, and full-fledged proprietary projector autocalibration and interactive tracking systems in order to bring the power plant to life.

Since operations ceased in 2005 and the plant decommissioned from active service, the power station has been reopened as a historic visitor experience and now transformed into an immersive and interactive light and sound show through projection mapping, an original score, and reactive technologies that Thinkwell Studio Montréal designed and developed custom for the project. Visitors of all ages are invited into the show’s story of following water’s transformation into electricity, beginning as one tiny drop of water in the Horseshoe Falls, moving through the turbines and transforming into a spark of electricity.

“It’s not a show just for adults. It’s inspired by children and their wanderlust: their desire to explore these really unique places and to look under and all around. We introduce children as characters very early on in the show, so that hopefully they inspire people to stay connected to that playfulness and this desire to explore,” states Émilie F. Grenier, Thinkwell Studio Montréal Creative Director.

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