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Location: Vancouver
Project Type: Power Distribution
Industry: Events

Trinity Powers an Urban Festival Without Generators

If powering a music and arts festival is a delicate logistical tightrope act, then powering a music and arts festival in an urban centre, on First Nations traditional territory, in a park where generator use is prohibited, is the equivalent of tightrope walking across Niagara Falls. That is, seemingly impossible.

Luckily for the organizers of an inaugural Vancouver festival, the Trinity team doesn’t believe in the “impossible”.


The Client: An Events Management Company


With a portfolio that includes high-profile events like the much-missed Squamish Valley Music Festival, our client — a seasoned events management company — has no small amount of experience with unique temporary power requirements.

Working with local First Nations, our client’s vision for the festival was to showcase excellent food, music, art and wine, in celebration of the unique and the eclectic.

Located in Vancouver’s Stanley Park – a four kilometre square park in the heart of Vancouver that boasts a forest, beaches, restaurants and an Aquarium — the festival was a three-day event featuring multiple musical acts on four stages, food vendors, an art pavilion, and tasting areas that showcased local spirits and wine.

Festival goers enjoyed a feast for the senses, but bringing it all together was a work of art in its own right.


The Challenge: Connecting the Power System to the Grid


The first hurdle was the restriction of generator use; in order to increase the chances of the event being permitted to happen again, event organizers were adamant that generators not be used. This meant that their temporary power system had to be connected to the grid.

In order to make this happen, the Trinity team spent long hours on the phone with BC Hydro and the Vancouver Parks Board, getting the necessary permissions. Because the festival was being held on First Nations territory, any ground disturbance had to be closely monitored by two archaeologists, including any time our electrician needed to place ground rods.

To add to these challenges, due to a low-clearance bridge, equipment delivery required a police escort using an alternate route.


The Solution: A Substation and Fused Disconnect


The Trinity team rose to these challenges and more.

To power the festival without using generators, Trinity supplied a substation that would connect to the grid. Because the eight foot by 20 foot substation was too heavy for the originally scouted location, which overlaid some underground ducting, a new location had to be found.

Rolling with the punches, the Trinity team provided a light, stand-alone 15kV disconnect switch for the Hydro connection. We then ran a 15kV cable from that switch to the substation, which was placed 20’ away. Since we hadn’t used this switch as a Hydro connection before, the Trinity team had to act quickly to make the modifications necessary to ensure the switch met BC Hydro’s strict guidelines.


The Result: A Successful Festival


Thanks to Trinity’s expert logistics management and temporary power design, our client was able to stage a successful festival that could be branded as a green event, greatly increasing its chances of becoming an annual staple of Vancouver’s festival scene.

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