With March 2005 comes the USITT (United States Institute for Theatre Technology) Annual Conference and Stage Expo, this year in Toronto. For the first time, the World Stage Design Expo, an international exhibition of lighting, set, costume, and sound designs, will be held in conjunction with USITT. Designs will be on display at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto during the show (for additional information, you can visit www.wsd2005.com).

Also new at the show this year, Lighting Dimensions and co-sponsors Entertainment Design and ETS-LDI will be presenting the first annual Rising Star award at the USITT banquet on Saturday, March 19. This year's recipient, Kelly Hanson, is a set designer, but of course, up-and-coming lighting designers are also eligible each year.

In honor of Toronto as our host city for USITT, we're taking a closer look at the work of LD Christopher Dennis, who is celebrating his tenth season at the National Ballet of Canada (“Northern Exposure,” p. 38).

And in this, our “architainment” issue, we're taking a look at projects and technical challenges faced by LDs who must consider everything from lighting a slide (yes, a slide) in a bar/lounge (“How I Did That” by Jack Kelly, p. 64), to maintenance of exterior projects (“Exterior Motives,” p. 52). Of course, it's no surprise that LEDs play a major part in so many of these projects. You'll also find a look at Luc Lafortune's lighting design for in our cover story, “A Lexicon for Light” (p. 42).

On a sad note, we have lost another beloved member of our industry, BJ Schiller, longtime member of Showco's sound department and most recently in research and development at Syncrolite. To quote Gary Carnes of Syncrolite:

[BJ] was known, loved, and respected by many and will be greatly missed by them all. Let us never forget this man that taught us numerous things, helped us in incalculable ways, and left us with an extensive list of memories that will not soon be forgotten.

Our regards to BJ's family, friends, and colleagues.