Canada versus Philippines for Fireworks Competition

August long weekend at Moosomin Lake

July 19, 2019 4:40 pm
Kevin Weedmark

Organizers are counting down the days until the 2019 Living Skies Come Alive Fireworks Competition August 3 and 4 at Moosomin Lake.

Every August long weekend, the skies come alive over Moosomin Lake. For the last several years the Living Skies Come Alive Fireworks Competition has pitted two fireworks companies against one another.

Each competitor puts on their best show—one on Saturday night, one on Sunday night—and a panel of judges selects the winner.

The fireworks shows are unlike anything else on the Prairies. Timed to music and carefully choreographed, the fireworks shows are a different calibre of show than anything else on the Prairies. The fireworks are shot off across the lake from the main beach, so they are reflected in the water of Moosomin Lake.

The fireworks weekend has grown over the years, with thousands of people taking in the shows each night.

The two-day fireworks competition long pitted Saskatchewan against Manitoba, but for the last two years it has gone international, as Canada took on China and the United States over the last two years.

It will be Canada versus the Philippines at the 2019 Living Skies Come Alive International Fireworks Competition at Moosomin Regional Park August 3 and 4.

Moosomin, Esterhazy Filipino communities involved

The Moosomin and Esterhazy Filipino communities will be involved in the weekend, serving Filipino food and performing.

“We will have a cultural presentation,” said Leo Ilustrisimo, a member of Moosomin’s Filipino community. “We will be performing 4-5 pm on the Sunday, the day the Philippines will be doing the fireworks. We will have a food booth both days, Saturday and Sunday, with the help of the Esterhazy Filipino community.”

He said members of the local Filipino community are excited about taking part in the weekend. “Everybody is really excited, not just here in Moosomin but in all the towns around,” he said. “It will be something new for everyone. They want to see what the Filipino fireworks team can do. We have been talking to a few Filipino communities from surrounding towns and they are really excited about it.

“We’re setting up a tent and will be playing a video on a big-screen TV all about the Philippines so people can learn more about the Philippines. It will be set up close to the food booth.”

Ilustrisimo said he is looking forward to the fireworks weekend. “We were busy with the Philippines National Heritage Month, and then getting ready for the parade weekend (the local Filipino community participates in Moosomin’s Chamber of Commerce Parade and in a Multicultural Celebration on the Moosomin Rodeo weekend). Now that the rodeo weekend is over we are already in preparation for the fireworks weekend. We’re going to be busy preparing for the show the next few weeks. It’s going to be something else. We’re really happy that the committee chose a team from the Philippines to participate. It’s exciting.”

Organizers excited to host the Philippines

“We’re really excited about having the Philippines come this year,” says Laurie Renneberg of the organizing committee. Layne McFarlane, another member of the committee, said he hopes members of the Filipino community across the Prairies come out to see the Canada vs. Philippines competition. “The Filipino community is really quite large between Winnipeg and Regina. We hope a lot of them come out,” he says.

The organizers are hoping to replicate the excitement of the Canada vs China competition two years ago with the competition with the Philippines. “There was a lot of excitement with China coming, not quite as much with the States because they’re maybe too familiar,” said Renneberg. “I think the Philippines will create that same level of excitement we had with China again.”

The weekend also includes music both nights. This year, the live bands are Stuck on Red and The Firm from Langenburg.

The fireworks weekend has become a very successful fundraiser for Moosomin Regional Park. “Last year it raised a little over $100,000,” says McFarlane. “The year before that, with China, it was $130,000. So it’s huge, but at the same time, our overhead cost going into it is like $130,000, so most of all you hope for good weather. I feel a little like a farmer—the costs of the fireworks and the entertainment coming in and the security and the porta-potties and the tents for the beer gardens are committed costs. You’ve put everything on the line, and you see how it goes. Have we been fortunate? Yes, we’ve been fortunate with the weather each year.

“Our new water plant at the park cost in the range of $630,000. A rough guess as to how much has been raised over the years by the fireworks is about $450,000. As a public park, if we could make another significant bite into the cost of the water plant and help pay off some of our loan, that would be wonderful.”

The organizers are hopeful they will get a good crowd again this year. The Canada vs. U.S. weekend attracted 9,500 spectators and the Canada vs. China weekend attracted 12,500.

“We have a cap of 7,000 tickets a night,” says Renneberg. “We’re hoping with the Philippines it will have that international draw like we had with China.”

She says she is looking forward to the August long weekend. “I am truly looking forward to it, because our Filipino community has been so involved in our community, and this is like we’re giving something back to them by having the Philippines come.”

“Having the Philippines come is really special because of the community both locally and regionally,” adds McFarlane. “This should be special for them.”

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact or or call Laurie at 306-435-7746 or Layne at 306-435-9662.

Canada will be represented in the competition by Canfire of Winnipeg, which has represented Canada at the Living Skies Come Alive International Fireworks Competition and other competitions. The Philippines will be represented by Platinum Fireworks. Platinum Fireworks provides fireworks shows for the Enchanted Kingdom theme park in Santa Rosa, Philippines, and has competed in several international fireworks competitions.