Opened on June 2, 2006 Element Club, Bar and Grill is a 600-capacity club and the third largest licensed establishment in British Columbia. Martin dealer Skaha Sound of Penticton, British Columbia has supplied a Martin lighting package along with LED lighting and conventional luminaires.

Lighting design was handled jointly by cousins Florio and Fred Vassilakakis, who enlisted other family help as well. Florio comments, “The actual physical design of the club was done by my father, Nick, with collaboration from me, my cousin Fred, and my brother George. My uncle John also helped out. It’s a family company. What can I say?”


The town of Castlegar in Western Canada is situated in the majestic West Kootenay mountains and is home to about 7,200 people. It is home, as well, to outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking and skiing/snowboarding, this area of 63,000 people had no place to call a nightclub until now.


Martin effects
Element is located on a main floor overlooked by a lounge grill. Above the dance floor and mounted directly to the ceiling for a clean look are eight MAC 250 Krypton profile moving heads along with four Wizard Extreme effect lights and four Atomic 3000 strobes. Atmospheric effects and mid-air projection canopy comes from a Jem ZR33 Hi-Mass fogger located under the dance floor. Lighting control is from a PC-based LightJockey and Martin Fingers controller. All Skaha Sound-supplied Martin lighting was distributed through Martin’s Canadian representative, Martin Canada.


Making ideas reality
“My lighting plan was always up in the air, as we originally had a partner who was a lighting professional but he bailed before plans were even started, so we had to go it on our own,” comments LD Florio Vassilakakis.


“When it came to lighting the place up, I had many ideas from the places I had traveled. I always make a point of visiting nightclubs anywhere I go from Vegas to the UK, Vancouver, Athens, and other European cities. Making these ideas reality was really much easier than I thought. Research on the Internet and help from our local sound and lighting company helped point me in the right direction. About six months before construction started, I was lucky enough to meet Martin Pro rep Clayton Hubick from Edmonton. He showed me some samples of club lighting from Martin special effects to Pulsar LED.


Additional lighting includes 12 1,000W PAR cans above the stage on a custom hydraulic scissor. Eight 2' Pulsar ChromaPanels color a feature wall and 300' of Advanced Lighting eLum RGB strips light two bars, a main bar and an upstairs bar, as well as to backlight the club’s sign on the outside of the building. Also outside are 16 Pulsar ChromaFloors illuminating the sidewalk.


“I contacted another company from Minnesota, Advanced Lighting Systems, and designed ambient lighting and signage with DMXable LED. The sign, bars, and other signage is all LED and controlled by LightJockey. It was nice to have computer software be so complex that it can control almost anything at any time.


“With Clayton’s help, we designed a light show that was really spectacular and that fit within our budget. To be quite honest, I never thought that a light show of this caliber would have ever been within our budget. We took it upon ourselves to install it all, and with crossed fingers, we hoped it all worked. It did and the rest is history. Clayton really went above and beyond and came to our club and trained us on the software and even programmed some light shows. Really, without his help this thing wouldn't have happened as well as it did. Martin has the best lighting in the industry with great support.”


Features of the Martin lighting that Florio gives special recognition to include the ease of software use, quality of construction, effects capabilities, and built in macros. “The lights are awesome, solid, with no concerns to their longevity,” he states.


“This project is 300km from home, so it has definitely been difficult for everyone in our family, but the fruits of our labor are here and now we can enjoy them.”


Lighting equipment:
8 Martin MAC 250 Krypton
4 Martin Wizard Extreme
4 Martin Atomic 3000
1 Jem ZR33 Hi Mass
1 Martin PCI LightJockey
1 Martin Fingers + touchscreen
12 1000W par can
1 NSI DMX dimming pack
8 2' Pulsar Chromapanels
16 Pulsar Chromafloors
1 Chromazone
300' Advanced Lighting eLum RGB
3 DMX power packs