vrara

2017: A Year in Review (Vancouver Chapter)

Where did all the time go?! 2017 was a busy year for VRARA Vancouver, as our first full one year as a chapter in Vancouver. As a chapter, we hosted 6 events in total with 60 new VRARA members.

Vancouver is making a name for developing into a global hub for VR/AR/MR – serving as a home to 130+ innovative companies in this space. We are proud of this homegrown talent, and in 2017 we created VR/AR Ecosystem Map to showcase our local ecosystem. Our first version was launched in Fall 2017, and we plan to update it every quarter – if we missed you in this version or have any suggestions, give us a shout!

 
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We kicked off the year with a sold out event, VR/MR: Beyond Gaming, which took place at the TELUS Garden Flex Space on February 23rd. Kharis O’Connell, author of Designing For Mixed Reality, led the keynote speech on practical usage of VR/MR. Immersive technology is best known to mainstream audience for its usage in gaming. We wanted to break this shell and discuss further on the possibilities of integrating virtual and mixed reality not just in business, but also in our daily lives in the near future.

 
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Read more on VR/MR: Beyond Gaming

Consumer Virtual Reality (CVR) can’t be missed when discussing immersive technology in Vancouver! CVR 2017 expanded into three whole days after it received overwhelmingly positive response in its inaugural year in 2016. Oh, and did we mention after party? VRARA Vancouver hosted the Official CVR Industry Day After party on May 5th at the Roxy. The night was filled with sips and bites, networking, Mega McGrath’s live painting auction for the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, and a performance by Alex Maher.

 
 

More than before (especially with Apple ARKit launch this year), we’ve heard business discuss more on how they are integrating immersive technology to enhance consumer engagement. We’re already seeing plenty of big players like GE, NASA, IKEA, BMW, Verizon and more getting a head start on VR/AR. Our event Branding For the Future hosted at Hootsuite HQ on September 28th was just about that. We had Alan Smithson, CEO of MetaVRse, and Mira Leung, lead in Google ARCore team, discuss how businesses can start strategizing now to get ahead of the game before the technology becomes mainstream.    

 
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Read our highlights and watch the keynote and panel discussion.

Last but not least, we wrapped up our year with Growing Innovation: Investment Opportunities for VR/AR on November 30th at BCIT Downtown Tech Hub. By 2020, VR/AR will be a $150billion industry and with Vancouver leading the charge, we wanted to start a discussion on how to venture into this rapidly developing ecosystem. We brought together VR/AR thought leader Tom Emrich from Super Ventures, along with expert panel fireside chat with notable investors and tech executives, and finish with a round of 10 lighting pitches from local VR/AR startups – something we’ve done for the first time!

 
 

A lot has happened in the VR/AR/MR industry globally in 2017. Here are some highlights from what’s happened right here in our city of Vancouver.

Vancouver’s first ever VR film festival (YVRFF) was a huge success with a sold out weekend.

 
 

Chapter President Dan Burgar represented the VR/AR tech sector with Archiact / VR AR Association at the United Nations Peacekeeping Conference.

 
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Motive.io successfully won the contract of $482,000+ through the Government of Canada to bring Canada's history to Ottawa.

 
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Microsoft President Brad Smith promoted Vancouver as a virtual reality 'supercluster.'

 
 

BC Tech launched The Cube, Canada's First Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality Hub.

 
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LNG Studios worked with Concord Pacific on their Brentwood development project and used virtual reality to showcase the new condos before any were built.

 
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VRARA Vancouver would like to thank you all for being part of our community and making all this happen in 2017! We are working on many exciting ways to bring value to our members in 2018 so stay connected through our social channels and subscribe to our monthly newsletter. If you would have any suggestions or feedback, please contact Chapter President Dan Burgar at dan@thevrara.com.

 
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Why 2018 is going to be the year of VR/AR in Vancouver

DailyHive Vancouver Article - By Vancouver Chapter President Dan Burgar

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Vancouver’s technology sector has grown leaps and bounds over the past decade and today stands toe-to-toe with legendary centres of innovation like Silicon Valley and Seattle. In short, we’re on the cusp of a VR/AR explosion, and Vancouver is a major player.

In fact, BC is Canada’s leading tech hub with the fastest growing technology sector in the country, which employs upwards of 150,000 people.

This development is thanks in large part to the rise of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). So far, VR/AR enterprise has created 17,000 jobs and driven more than $2.3-billion in revenue for the province.

And the industry is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

An influx of corporate investment, international attention, and a focus on education promise to make 2018 the most exciting year yet for VR/AR in Vancouver.

Read the full article here

What the hell is VR/AR and why should I care? Daily Hive article by VRARA Vancouver President Dan Burgar

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Original article posted on Daily Hive

Imagine receiving information about the world around you just by looking at it.

You walk by a restaurant and browse the menu without stepping inside, try on a sweater without going into the store, or follow directions to a new destination without having to look at your phone.

Now let’s take it one step further.

Imagine walking through your new apartment before it has even been built, exploring a foreign city without leaving your living room, or practicing open heart surgery without the risk of endangering someone’s life.

Sound crazy? This is the future that VR/AR technology promises and it’s not that far away.

In fact, a lot of it is happening right now.

By the end of 2017, roughly $1.6 billion USD will have been invested into the advancement of VR and AR technology.

And Vancouver is playing no small role in this development. Our city has become a top tech hub with upwards of 130 VR/AR companies exploring everything from gaming and filmmaking to architecture and enterprise solutions.

Read the full article here

VR/AR Association Releases Vancouver Ecosystem Infographic: 130+ VR/AR Companies and Growing

 
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130+ Companies and Growing!

(Thursday Sept 21, 2017) - Vancouver is a city in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, renowned around the world for its majestic mountains, pristine waters and stunning beaches. Recently, Vancouver’s also been making a name for itself for another reason. The city has become a global hub for VR/AR/MR and is home to 130+ innovative companies. in the space. These companies are solving problems, creating immersive storytelling experiences, educating and building the next wave of computing. 

A 40-plus-year legacy in film & television production. More than 30 years of cutting-edge VFX & animation. World-class games & mobile entertainment cluster over two decades in the making, a strong tech scene and one of the top startup cities in the world.

Click here to read the full report

VR/AR Association hosting the biggest tech party in Vancouver for CVR!

RSVP HERE

The VRARA is an association that accelerates growth, knowledge and connections and what better way to cultivate this mandate by throwing an entertaining night after CVR Industry Day. The Vancouver Chapter led by Dan Burgar is showing the world why this city should be recognized as a top global hub for VR/AR/MR.

CVR has really grown into one of the biggest global VR/AR/MR events in the world, led by one of our chapter Board Directors of the Vancouver Chapter Anne-Marie Enns. The VRARA is fully embracing this event and having the technology be at the forefront by bringing together leaders of all types.

We're hosting the biggest tech party of the year tomorrow Friday, May 5th, with not only leaders in VR/AR/MR like HTC, Google, Microsoft, CognitiveVR, Super Ventures and Meta. But some of the other attendees joining us will include Oracle, Lululemon, CNN, Ford, Accenture, Nasa, Delta, Sony Imageworks, EA, Capcom, Best Buy and many more. 

  • Network with the VR/AR Industry influencers, companies of all types, VCs and thought-leaders of top companies

  • One of Vancouver's hottest musicians Alex Maher, Alex’s music fuses elements of soul, pop, funk, and jazz with insightful lyrics, he utilizes a loop pedal and is called "the one man band"

  • Our VRARA DJ will be spinning all your favorite tunes

  • Amazing street script artist Mega McGrath will be painting live and we'll be auctioning the painting off and the proceeds will go towards the Canuck Place Children's Hospice

  • Futurist, Entrepreneur and Global TV personality Lindsay Smith will be the MC for the night

VR/AR Experiences:

  • IngeniousVR from LA called First Date experience, an exciting interactive virtual reality comedy experiences and more

  • Aloha 360 is a VR experience that brings people to one of the most beautiful places in the world, Kaua’i, Hawai’i. Here they meet one of the most beautiful people in the world, Sabra Kauka, a Hawaiian Kupuna (elder) who is known as a living embodiment of aloha (love). Experience the beauty of this special place as Sabra shares a blessing of Aloha with you. The experience made it's debut at VRLA and NAB 2017. Aloha 360 is directed by award-winning filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer, Josh Thome.

Sponsors:

Skyrocket Digital A global digital branding agency offering global services in branding, web app development, ux, ecommerce, digital strategy & social marketing. 

Gowling WLG With a team of over 80 legal professionals, Gowling WLG's Vancouver office is one of the city's leading business law, litigation and intellectual property law firms.

CreativeBC Creative BC is an independent not for profit agency responsible for promoting and developing the creative industries in British Columbia.

Archiact A leader in VR/AR products and content.

BCLC Entertains players with the chance to dream, play and have fun, benefiting the people of British Columbia

BC Lions BC's CFL team, gearing up for the 2017 season

Brainstation BrainStation is a global leader in digital skills training empowering individuals and organizations to achieve digital success through courses, workshops, events and corporate training.

We're proudly supporting Canuck Place Children's Hospice. Canuck Place offers a comprehensive clinical care to over 670 children living with life-threatening illnesses the families who love them throughout British Columbia. The unique program offers world-class health care within a home-like environment. 

Whether a life is measured in days, weeks, or months, children deserve the opportunity to learn, develop and grow. Canuck Place encourages families to live in the moment.

Please contact Dan Burgar (President, VRARA Vancouver) at dan@thevrara.com for any inquiries.