What does it take to become a lighting designer? Steve Bedard, a senior lighting designer at Eos Lightmedia answers this question in the 2018 fall issue of Professional Lighting & Production. Here’s a quick run down of how he began a career of creating light and media shows that “transform spaces into experiences”.
Journey of a Lighting Designer
Steve Bedard followed an unusual pathway to becoming a professional in the lighting industry. While many lighting designers come from a background in theatre, his work experience and technical training is more diverse. His journey is one that involved a unique balance of travel, family, creative experience, networking, and, of course, hard work.
Life After Highschool
After completing high school, Bedard took some time to experience life. He travelled, worked odd jobs, and followed his interest in fine arts by taking some courses at university.
Eventually Bedard went to college to study professional studio photography, which he believes was important in preparing him for a career in technical lighting. He mentions in his interview with Professional Lighting Production that it “was a very technically-focused program, so it was really lighting-intensive.” When he completed his two year diploma, he refined his skills working as a photographer.
Working Construction with the Family Business
For a change of pace, Bedard began working with his father’s construction business. Bedard values this time in his life, because it gave him a chance to experience working on a job site and to be part of the construction process. He got his hands dirty pouring concrete, doing the physical labour involved in building condos. It has given him a deeper understanding of how construction sites run, which helps with his current work on installations.
Back to University
Bedard’s drive for creativity brought him back to school, where he studied environmental design at the University of British Columbia. There, he gained experience in architectural design technology, expanding his skillset further. In his last year of studies, he reconnected with a friend from high school, Shaun August. August, who was working as a lighting designer at a Vancouver firm, encouraged Bedard to apply for a summer internship, which lead to full time employment for Bedard.
Eos Lightmedia Begins
A short time later, Bedard and August were invited by Douglas Welch, an award-winning Vancouver designer, to join his new company, Eos Lightmedia. Bedard reflects upon this time, when the company was a small team, and is grateful that he was able to utilize and develop his diverse set of skills in a meaningful way. Eos quickly became a place where Bedard could grow as a lighting professional, alongside Welch’s design experience and business expertise.
Steve Bedard, Senior Lighting Designer
Fast forward ten years, and Steve Bedard is now a Senior Lighting Designer at Eos Lightmedia. Whether working on designs locally or abroad, Bedard finds his line of work to be inspiring and fulfilling. He has worked on iconic landmark lighting projects such as the 3D light shows on Science World and the dynamic exterior lighting at BC Place. Soon he will be working on a spectacular new show at the Britannia Mining Museum. Bedard is grateful for the opportunities he has as a lighting designer; to travel, to keep building his skillset, and to be a part of a team, creating unique, interactive lighting projects.
Click here to read more about Steve Bedard in this fall’s issue of Professional Lighting & Production!