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    IFAI Canada 2010 Honours Program winners exemplify industry excellence

    Uncategorized | May 1, 2010 | By:

    The annual IFAI Canada Honours Program recognizes the latest advancements in design and manufacturing in the Canadian specialty fabrics industry. Open to members of IFAI Canada, the competition provides an opportunity for members to gain recognition for exceptional projects in several categories. Entries are judged equally on complexity, design, workmanship, uniqueness and function.

    In memory of Jeff Nash, former IFAI Canada Chairman, one Honours Program entrant is selected to receive the Nash Award, given to a first-place recipient that most typifies the high standards for craftsmanship, function and innovation to which Jeff Nash held all of his projects.

    The winners were announced at IFAI Expo Canada 2010, held Feb. 18–20 in Gatineau near Ottawa, Canada’s capital city. The program was established by IFAI Canada members more than 30 years ago.

    Nash Award winner – Commercial Canopies

    First place

    Sollertia | Montreal, Quebec
    Project: Bistro de la Gare retractable roof
    Fabric: Ferrari 502 by Ferrari

    The owner of Bistro de la Gare wanted his patrons to enjoy the open sky on nice days and be protected from the weather when it was inclement. To satisfy the client’s wishes for a distinctive structure, Sollertia designed a motorized, retractable, double-curved tensile fabric roof that could withstand even the windiest conditions. The translucent, 1500-square-foot membrane lets diffused light through, so the terrace remains bright and inviting even when the roof is extended.

    Commercial Canopies

    Second place

    House of Canvas | Ottawa, Ontario
    Project: Chance R Restaurant
    Fabric: Precontraint 502 by Ferrari from Trican Corp.

    The goal for this client was to create a three-season canopy that would provide additional seating for the restaurant—rain or shine. The canopy needed to be unique to accommodate the building and patio’s curved architecture. After the project’s completion the restaurant reported a huge increase in their business due to providing comfortable, outdoor seating.

    Commercial Awnings

    First place

    Lethbridge Custom Canvas | Lethbridge, Alberta
    Project: Taber Floor Coverings
    Fabric: 104T by Hiraoka from WRI Industries

    Needing signage for a new location, the customer wanted Lethbridge to give a building with arched build-outs framing the window sections a new look by covering the sections with an awning on one continuous frame. The result was high visibility and a fresh look for the business.

    Second place

    Raymond Brothers Ltd. | London, Ontario
    Project: Sweet Cakes
    Fabric: Ferrari 502 from Trican Corp.

    The owner of a cake shop wanted to to create a fun environment and capture attention the minute customers walked into the upbeat farmers market where the shop was located. This was accomplished with an appealing peach-toned pink awning that mirrored the store’s cupcake logo. With only a construction beam for support, Raymond Brothers had to overcome a unique challenge installing the awning.

    Marine Products

    First place

    Lethbridge Custom Canvas | Lethbridge, Alberta
    Project: Full travel cover
    Fabric: Sunbrella by Glen Raven from J. Ennis Fabrics

    The customer required a custom travel cover with a secondary cockpit and bow cover, cover for the speaker and tower lights, and covers for ski and board holders for travelling long distances. The tower cover in particular was a challenge because it had to be easy to put on and take off, but stay in place at highway speeds.

    Second place

    Bennett Custom Canvas Ltd. | Toronto, Ontario
    Project: Electric launch bimini top
    Fabric: Sunbrella by Glen Raven from George N. Jackson Ltd.

    The client, a skin cancer survivor, wanted a bimini top to protect him and his family from the sun while cruising the canals of Toronto Island. He also requested a half mooring cover that would zip to the bimini to protect the battery banks at the front of the boat. Each frame of the bimini had to be manufactured smaller than the next in the shoulders to make the bimini taper from front to back and follow the contour of the gunnels of the boat. Also, matching the stripe pattern of the material from the flaps through the mooring cover required careful attention.


    First place

    Lethbridge Custom Canvas | Lethbridge, Alberta
    Project: Gazebo
    Fabric: Soltis #92-2047 grey by Ferrari from Arquati Inc.

    A rarely used gazebo was transformed with a retractable shade screen system installed on the west openings to provide a wind block and shade from the afternoon sun. Because it is a log structure, the openings had to be custom trimmed to fit the screens properly. The completed project created a sheltered space for the outdoor fireplace in the gazebo while still affording a stunning view of the mountain scenery.

    Second place

    Raymond Brothers Ltd. | London, Ontario
    Project: Wesaga Beach mural
    Fabric: Ferrari 502

    The owner of a bar on Wesaga Beach, Ontario wanted to dress up the exterior wall of his establishment with a beach-themed banner. A single photo was divided into six pieces, to accommodate six openings in the wall, and then digitally printed on banner fabric. Measuring was the most difficult aspect of this job, a zoom boom was required for installation.

    Residential Awnings

    First place

    House of Canvas | Ottawa, Ontario
    Project: Fleming, residential shade structure
    Fabric: Sunbrella by Glen Raven from Trican Corp., Gatorshield from Allied Tube

    The project’s purpose was to achieve an elegant atmosphere for entertaining and relaxing around a residential pool area, while providing three-season protection from the elements. A functional shade structure paired with a highly sophisticated look reflected the owner’s personal style. House of Canvas has continued the business relationship with bi-annual service and storage.

    Second place

    Raymond Brothers Ltd. | London, Ontario
    Project: Thamesville Awnings
    Fabric: Sunbrella by Glen Raven from Trican Corp.

    The client was looking for shading the home and improving energy efficiency, while accenting the exterior look. The completed awning project provided a practical solution and an attractive complement to the home’s architecture.

    Tent Rental

    First place

    Fiesta Tents Ltd. | Lachine, Quebec
    Project: Quebec City 400th anniversary

    The client’s request was for a temporary structure to be used for summer concerts, without the feeling of being in a tent. It was also a complex project because the client initially required a double decker structure, but eventually a regular 30-meter Losberger building was used and Fiesta Tents custom-built an interior mezzanine for guest seating, which increased the capacity of the tent.

    Second place

    Fiesta Tents Ltd. | Lachine, Quebe
    Project: Grey Cup 2008

    The client requested the most square-footage possible, by fitting several tents into a crowded downtown Montreal park. Installation was strategically accomplished—first in the middle of the park and then in concentric circles—allowing the company to pull back the machinery as needed and finally exiting the site upon completion. Conventional tent stakes could not be used, so over 200 cement blocks were trucked in. No forklifts or heavy machinery were allowed on the grass, so a crane had to place the heavy pieces and transport cement blocks. Since this was a project done in late November, tents had to be engineered to handle snow loads.

    Tent Manufacturing

    First place

    Fiesta Tents Ltd. | Lachine, Quebec
    Project: Lamport Stadium
    Fabric: Duraskin by Verseidag from Verseidag US

    The client needed a canopy that would allow the soccer team members to get from the stadium to a domed soccer field, without having to go outside in the winter. The project was challenged by limited site drawings and measurements to create a clear span structure that would follow the steps, while keeping the roof lines level.

    Second place

    Fiesta Tents Ltd. | Lachine, Quebec
    Project: Uniprix Stadium
    Fabric: Duraskin by Verseidag from Verseidag US

    The client needed a canopy to extend the sky lounges to create more space at tennis tournaments. A structure that would marry the existing irregular stadium architecture and offer proper protection from inclement weather also needed to be easily removed and reinstalled in the future.

    For more information on IFAI Canada, next year’s IFAI Canada Expo or the Honours Program contact Elizabeth Newman, IFAI Canada managing director, +1 651 225 6925,, or visit

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