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Thanks for your replies.
I think that rules out using a DSLR. Some sessions will last a potential 9 hours.
That leaves me with using a webcam, a comsumer camcorder or a professional video camera.
I am not sure about the quality of a webcam, because even though the main use is live streaming, the video will also be archived and given out on DVDs. Webcam quality seems a bit rubbish for that.
A consumer camcorder will have ok quality if the lighting is good, but will they be reliable for such long hours?
A pro video camera fits the technical requirements, but they cost a bomb, and they might be a bit complicated logistically, as in a bit of a large object to have hanging on a bracket off the ceiling.
I've also seen CCTV style cameras that look the part and are probably going to be the sturdiest and most reliable of the lot, plus they would look right fitted on the ceiling, but as far as I know those have slow frame rates and not great image quality.