Professional Lighting & Production - Winter 2017 - Page 23

Solotech ’s insistence on innovation is a part of the reason that the company maintains so many long- term clients. It’s a constant willingness to provide state-of-the-art, larger-than-life experiences for clients and their patrons, audiences, or consumers. That’s true of every facet of the business – from touring and rentals to integration and beyond. “The promise we make to them is to keep them involved, make them look good, and be in the back,” Tremblay says, laughing. “We’re not the star of the show, but we’re providing them quality. I admire our staff. If there’s one thing they and we are, it’s passionate. I relate to that. It’s all about passion. You don’t do what we do with- out that passion.” The Montreal-headquartered company has become a powerhouse over time, boasting a roster of clients that includes some of the world’s most successful performers and entertainment firms – an arc rooted in Solotech Founder Denis Lefrançois’ initial efforts. In 1975, Lefrançois, then a loudspeaker designer and manufacturer, was approached by Montreal’s Olympic Committee to provide and operate audio systems for the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics. Lefrançois rose to the challenge and, over the next year-and-a-half, provided the staff and inventory necessary to cover the vast audio needs of the games. Following the Olympics, Lefrançois and partner André Riendeau purchased one of the primary companies they’d worked with for the events, Audio Analysts, and launched Solotech as an audio sales house in 1977. Within a year, they’d tripled their income and soon embarked on a series of acquisitions and expansions. Having become a major force in Quebec’s audio market, Solotech extended its reach and variety of services. In 1984, they acquired premier Quebec lighting firm Éclairage Tanguay and moved into the rental, sale, and servicing of professional lighting gear. By 1990, they’d added video technology, bulked up on staff, and in the next five years, added mul- timedia and complete AV system services and established an integration division. As it acquired more businesses, such YEARS Winter 2017 | 23