Polar Drive Experience


Nov 27 – Dec 25, 2020


Toronto Pearson Airport

What was the client asking from you when they first called you?

First, the venue had to be conveniently located –  so agreeing on Toronto Pearson Airport was a great choice. Next, the experience had to submerge guests in a ​multi-story​ spectacular suitable for ​all ages. Cars had to dash away down an immersive LED light tunnel, then escape to a magical winter wonderland. After that, a breath taking descend into the crystal cave inspired tunnel. And what is the holidays without Santa Claus? The holidays are all about the sparkle, and the next light tunnel had to deliver just that. Lastly, the final décor level had to have all things gold while you’re immersed in a gold-filled scenery that is dazzling with lights and grandeur. Oh and once it was all over – a Grinch was there to remind you that all good things must come to an end.

What is some background information on the client and the field they work in?

Polar Drive was organized by various nationwide full service events and experiential agencies. This was a collaborative effort with support from the Ontario government.

How large was the audience?

Our client was expecting between 500 and 1000 cars daily. Ultimately they did hit those numbers, recording more than 350,000 unique car visits. When it comes to total number of people that saw the Polar Experience, the best estimate is well over 1,000,000. A great achievement in just 5 weeks.

What was the client’s intent from this show?

Polar Drive committee had big ideas for how they want to redefine drive through experiences. Each level of the drive-through event had to feature six themed environments, filled with iconic holiday elements that are loved by all generations. They wanted to ensure that Polar will submerge guests in a ​multi-level​ photo spectacular; suitable for ​all ages. It should not be your average drive-through experience. During the holiday season, everyone on the committee knew attendees expect more – so we had to give them A LOT more. Ultimately, all the theatrical staging should take guests into three larger-than-life festive worlds connected by massive, 300-foot-long sparkling tunnels, featuring thousands of LED lights.

How did you come up with recommendations for the services they need?

At the Polar Drive Experience we worked with so many event facilitators. As a result, this was one of the few times where we “stood back and followed the lead”. These were some of the best industry professionals putting on a never before seen experience. Our advice was mostly focused on fixture quantity and type; so we can ensure that the perfect amount of static or dynamic lighting provides: colour, texture and event emotion.

Quick summary of how you put together the show at the venue/space given.

The first light tunnel with blue and white chasing lights leads to a magical winter wonderland. This snowy white world features icicles, trees, snow, reindeer sculptures and decorations encrusted in white lights. Next, a sparkling crystal cave tunnel takes you to see the real Santa! That’s right, there was a chance to snap a picture as attendees drove past a real Santa. This world features the traditional colours, textures and décor icons of Christmas. Think garlands, Christmas trees, nut-cracker soldiers, and a sleigh! Then proceed through a shimmering tunnel of gold lights that leads to the grand finale – a dazzling, golden Holiday world, glittering with lights and the visual splendor of the season.

All sounds great, right? It was great, however, without appropriate lighting to ensure all the reindeer, Santa & the Grinch are well lit, the experience simply would not work (or be visible). That is why Pure AV worked tirelessly to deliver, setup and program over 500 lighting fixtures throughout the 5 floors of the drive-through experience. By placing lights into perfect positions, we were able to capture the best elements on every floor. Click on the next tab for the full breakout of the lighting fixture counts.

In regards to audio, all guests had to remain in their vehicles, so we setup a music station called Polar Radio. This was available to every car that was in the tunnel – all they had to do was tune into FM 90.9 as they drove through.

Did you run into any complications/how did you solve them?

Based on the scope of the project, making sure that we had enough electricity not only for ourselves, but for the décor partner, was a challenge. We had to convert various electrical loads from 600V to 208V and even down to 120V for Christmas lights. Furthermore, the electrical room was more than 500ft away, and only on two of the 5 floors. Needless to say, there were lots of cable runs throughout the venue to ensure everyone that needs electrical – had it conveniently located next to them.

Static Lights

  • 36 x LED 12 QUAD Parcan
  • 4 x Chauvet Ovation Q40 LED Bricks
  • 154 x Chauvet FreedomPar Hex-4 Wireless Parcan
  • 48 x Elation SIXPAR 200IP Parcan
  • 24 x Chauvet Slimpar 12 QUAD Pracan
  • 40 x Blizzard ProPar Z19 RGBW Parcan
  • 2 x Chauvet Ovation 260WW Leko
  • 16 x Chroma Q Studio Force V 12 Phosphor
  • 16 x Astera AX5 Parcan
  • 12 x Chroma Q Colour Force II – 72″ Bar
  • 6 x Chroma Q Studio Force II – 48″ Bar


  • 8 x 8′ KADFAB 16″ Truss – Black
  • 8 x 36″ Bases – Black
  • 27 x 8′ KADFAB 12″ Truss – Black
  • 2 x 6′ KADFAB 12″ Truss – Black
  • 2 x 6 Way KADFAB Cornerblock – Black
  • 12 x 8′ KADFAB 12″ Truss – Silver

Moving Lights

  • 8 x Clay Paky Scenius Spot
  • 56 x Martin MAC Aura XB
  • 8 x Chauvet Intimidator Spot 375Z
  • 16 x Elation Platinum HFX Hybrid Moving Head

Audio (FM Transmitters)

  • 5 x Stereo FM Transmitter
  • 1 x Soundcraft EPM 12 Mixer
  • 1 x dbx 2231 EQ Kit

Lighting Control

  • 1 x Martin M1 HD Controller
  • 5 x Elation ONYX Controller w/Laptop
  • 12 x Chauvet D-Fi Wireless DMX Hub
  • 2 x Cellular LTE Gateway for Remote Access

Electrical Distribution

  • 2 x 600V to 220v Transformers
  • 5 x 100/200AMP 3 Phase 208V Distro
  • 50 x L14/30/L21-20/L21-30 Breakout Boxes


LED/LCD Video Wall

AV Production

Virtual/Hybrid Events


Projection Mapping

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