Sydney to be brought to life by paper engineer as Imagination unveils SydNYE

Creative and experience agency Imagination has collaborated with local paper engineer, Benja Harney, for Sydney New Year’s Eve, the agency’s final work of its official contract with the City of Sydney.


This year’s theme: SydNYE

While the city will have the option to renew the contract for two more years, this year’s celebration will mark the sixth for the agency.

This year’s theme, SydNYE was made to represent all the best aspects of Sydney and offer it to the world as a welcoming place to visit.

The campaign features three dimensional imagery of echidnas, local fish and the New South Wales’ Waratah.

Heath Campanaro, director at Imagination, said the decision to work with Harney was part of the agency’s ongoing commitment to bringing a “new lens” to each New Year campaign.

Harney has previously worked on City of Sydney events with Imagination, creating cardboard engineered headpieces for the wait staff at The Lord Mayor’s Party.

Sydney New Years Eve

Australia is one of the first countries to celebrate the New Year. Source: Sydney New Years Eve Website.

“He’s completely self-taught and has ended up in this trade where he creates amazing things out of paper. Basically we worked and collaborated with Benja to build a hyper-version of Sydney.”

We knew what he was capable of and when the idea of building or visualising this idea of SydNYE, an amazing version of Sydney came up, we thought who better to give that brief to than someone that can actually create it in a three dimensional thing,” Campanaro added.

Campanaro described this year’s concept as “the best bits amplified for a twenty four hour period of time.”

SydNYE will feature more than 2,000 fireworks over the Harbour Bridge arch, as well as 5 hours worth of pylon projections.

The planning process began more than fifteen months ago, and was led by a core team of nine creatives.


Campanaro: “Unlike working on a traditional brand…this is a city and millions of people are going to see this creative”

Campanaro said working with the City of Sydney for the past six years has allowed for creative freedom.

“The city are very courageous creatively. They love the creative process and it is a creative city.”

“Unlike working on a traditional brand that is very locked in about the way it needs to be brought to life, this is a city and millions of people are going to see this creative and it’s a celebration.”

“You can be a bit more liberal in the way you develop creative and that’s really fun.”

As part of its role in the New Year celebrations, the agency is responsible for creating the master theme, with colours and a palette as well as the soundtrack for the 9pm and midnight fireworks.

While the 2016 New Year celebrations marks the last year of Imagination’s official contract, Campanaro explained the city will have an option to extend for another two years without going to tender.

Campanaro added if the agency had it their way the would run New Year’s “forever.”

“This is a real privilege of a job. We do a lot of terrific work here at Imagination and amazing work for clients and meaningful work for government organisations,” he said.

“We have arguably the world’s biggest NYE, or the one of the biggest and most recognised events in the world as part of our portfolio. It’s something we’re all hugely proud of and get excited about and if we had it our way, we’d do this forever.”


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