||Neil Beaton - Senior Service Technician
Neil was born in Airthrey Castle, near Stirling, in the beautiful country of Scotland. Eventually he decided it wasn’t cold and wet enough, so after a long search around the world, he finally moved to Canada.
He started working professionally in the entertainment industry at the MacRobert Arts Centre, Stirling, when he was still at High School. After university in Dundee, he went on to work for Scottish Opera for four years, where he learned the trade of theatre lighting whilst touring the UK and Europe.
When the job of senior technician at the newly built Harrogate International Centre in North Yorkshire, England was offered to him, he took the opportunity to expand his skills base, leading to proficiency in the use of sound and audio-visual equipment, and production/technical management. Using his hobbies of electronics and mechanics, he also started to repair equipment, and also design & manufacture items that were not available ‘off-the shelf’.
But after four years, the lure of touring the world was still there, as was the chance of working with TASCO, then one of the world’s largest entertainment production companies. He became one of the team working on the design and development of the ‘Starlite’- the first European designed/built ‘moving yoke’ lighting fixture. This led to concert/touring work around the world with the likes of Sting, Judas Priest, Sir Elton John, Chicago, Deep Purple, etc.
During this time he also worked in some unusual show venues including a Greco-Roman amphitheatre, a 747 aircraft hanger, halfway up a ‘very’ active Japanese volcano, and UNDER the English Channel (during the opening ceremonies of the Channel Tunnel).
As well as the R&D and show aspects of this job, he has also lived in Spain, Italy, Germany, and Japan for long periods of time, training the local technicians, helping set up ‘Starlite’ franchises, and learning to swear in many languages!
With the eventual demise of the TASCO/Starlite companies and being bored of living in London, another change was called for, and in April 2001 Neil became a ‘Landed Resident’ of Canada.
After having met with Huntly Christie and Dave George the previous year, Neil joined the R&D dept. of Spectrum Mfg. (formally Christie Lites Mfg.) on his arrival in Toronto, where he worked on many design projects including the ‘Daylight PAR’, the ‘Atomic Colors’ scroller, and the ‘Color Block’ LED fixture.
After three years in Ontario, and with the urge to explore more of the world’s second largest country (and the desire for more rain!), Neil then relocated to Christie Lites Vancouver as the Service Technician/Manager.
He has recently been promoted to the position of Senior Service Technician covering all of the CL shops in North America.
When he isn’t working, Neil likes to travel abroad, ski, read, and otherwise do as little as possible.
Neil may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org