Fireworks – council buys local for big boom

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Gary Colquhoun, owner of Fireworks Atlantic, with some of the family fireworks products the company sells to retailers throughout Atlantic Canada. The local company produced its first professional fireworks show over Yarmouth harbour on Canada Day and will be providing the fireworks display during Seafest as well.Belle Hatfield photo

By Belle Hatfield


Yarmouth’s town council is buying local for this year’s big booms. On Canada Day a Yarmouth company, Fireworks Atlantic, produced its first professional show over Yarmouth harbour and it is set to do the Seafest fireworks later this month.

“We have heard nothing but positive comments about Sunday’s show,” said Yarmouth Mayor Phil Mooney. “

Professional fireworks displays are highly regulated and require specialized training. On hand with company owner Gary Colquhoun were two local accredited fireworks supervisors, Charles Clairmont and Dwayne LeBlanc.

For Colquhoun it was a dream come true.

“I just love fireworks,” he says.

Turning a passion into a profession began five years ago when the Arcadia resident started Fireworks Atlantic as a wholesaler of family/consumer fireworks. The company now ships to retail outlets across the Atlantic provinces and beyond.

 “We are a major distributor of family fireworks in the Maritimes, one of the largest for sure,” he said.

Along the way, his interest in the professional fireworks market has grown. With the Canada Day launch, he now has his eyes set on towns throughout Nova Scotia.

“Fireworks. Thousands of years old and people have never lost their fascination.” Gary Colquhoun

He says the market for professional fireworks displays across the province is around $2 million and he wants some of that business.

“We have Halifax in our sights. We’re hoping to grow the professional side of the business. We’re targeting all the towns throughout Nova Scotia,” he said.

Colquhoun, who used to operate 10 to 10 Video on Main Street (and where customers would have been used to seeing fireworks for sale), is convinced he’s on to a winning venture – one that has the potential to grow local jobs.

“The video business is not something with a future, but fireworks – it is thousands of years old and people have never lost their fascination.”

As for Mayor Mooney, he says it’s a win-win for Yarmouth.

“Gary went above and beyond to give us a great show and we were able to support local,” he said.


Geographic location: Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

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