The much-anticipated Vancouver Day is set to return to South by Southwest conference (SXSW): the largest interactive art, music, and technology festival in North America. Vancouver Day is organized by a consortium including the Vancouver VR/AR Association, Vancouver Hotel Destination Association, and Tourism Vancouver, in conjunction with Trade and Invest BC, Launch Academy, Vancouver Economic Commission, DailyHive, and Innovate BC.
Vancouver Day will once more bring the best of the West Coast down south. The full-day mini-conference will see the Canadian city’s premier technology innovators, eSports stars, and musical artists demonstrate why Vancouver is consistently voted one of the most desirable places in the world to live. The event will take place at Canada House, located at The Venue ATX (516 East 6th Street) on Monday, March 16.
The morning will kick off with a first-rate eSports tournament, spotlighting Vancouver’s important role in developing the industry. The city recently hosted the six-day International Dota 2 championship to sell-out crowds of over 18,000, and has now become home to the Vancouver Titans—one of the 20 professional teams in the global Overwatch League—as well as being the headquarters of EA Canada: one of the world’s most productive game design studios. During Vancouver Day, audiences can attend a panel discussing the future of eSports in Vancouver, and how the city is primed to host international eSports tournaments.
“Vancouver’s digital entertainment ecosystem is thriving thanks to a rich talent pool of professionals who frequently move between sectors, diversifying their skills and fostering creative collaboration in the process,” says Eleena Marley, Acting CEO of the Vancouver Economic Commission. “We are expecting continued growth for the foreseeable future, particularly in sectors like eSports where companies are creating rapid expansion through industry-leading software, platforms, content, and training”
Vancouver Day also spotlights the city’s booming augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) ecosystem. Discussions with industry leaders like HTC’s Amy Peck and immersive artist Nancy Baker Cahill will anchor the event, and audiences will experience a number of panels including a breakdown of how Vancouver’s dominance in the AR/VR world can grow the tech ecosystem in the city. Representatives from companies including Dreamcraft Attractions, Stambol, Volumetric Camera Systems, Ictus Audio, Metanaut and more will highlight B.C.’s dynamic innovations to international audiences, and a roster of top organizations will exhibit their cutting-edge technology. Each company will demonstrate why Vancouver is a leading destination for tech investment and industry events, including world-class conferences like SIGGRAPH, TED, and the VR/AR Global Summit.
“SXSW is an unparalleled destination that celebrates the convergence of creativity and innovation,” says Dan Burgar, President of the Vancouver VR/AR Association. “It has become a global stage for us to demonstrate why Vancouver is one the leading VR/AR hubs in the world.”
“Continuing support for the growth of Vancouver’s VR/AR sector and related partners in the digital entertainment field is a major priority for our 37 downtown Vancouver hotel association members,” says Russ Cowan, Executive Director of the Vancouver Hotel Destination Association. “A growing industry in Vancouver will support not only the hotel sector, but also the culture and vibrancy of our destination for residents and visitors alike.”
“Tourism Vancouver is thrilled to be returning to SXSW to showcase our city and our flourishing tech sector,” says Ted Lee, acting CEO of Tourism Vancouver. “Guests attending Vancouver Day will be treated to a glimpse of why Vancouver is a leading destination for not only tech investment and industry events, but also important conferences like SIGGRAPH. Vancouver Day will feature panels by influential Vancouver thought leaders in the AR/VR space. Coupled with activations that represent our West Coast lifestyle, we are excited for guests to experience why our city continues to be an integral hub for tech.”
Vancouver Day will also feature a number of activations that showcase the city’s culture, and highlight its well-earned reputation as a destination for wellness and adventure. A special VIP event will round out the afternoon with musical acts, installations, free drinks and food, and the chance to mingle with developers, creators, investors, business leaders, and government delegations from around the world. In the evening, a curated roster of Vancouver musicians will keep guests dancing late into the night.
For more information on Vancouver Day at SXSW, and to reserve tickets, visit www.vancouversxsw.com.
About the Vancouver consortium
Vancouver Day is organized collaboratively by the Vancouver VR/AR Association, Vancouver Hotel Destination Association, and Tourism Vancouver, and includes partners Trade and Invest BC, Launch Academy, Vancouver Economic Commission, DailyHive, and Innovate BC. Together, the consortium aims to promote the city’s spectacular natural environment and unique urban culture; world-class events and hospitality services; and thriving tech, media, and creative industries.
About Tourism Vancouver
Tourism Vancouver is a destination marketing organization and business association representing approximately 1,000 members in tourism and related industries and activities. Its vision is for Vancouver to be known as the most exciting, attractive, and welcoming location in North America, and a must-visit year-round destination. Tourism Vancouver promotes the oceanside city’s combination of spectacular natural environment and unique urban culture, and connects top business leaders and conference organizers with Vancouver’s world-class events and hospitality services.
About Vancouver VR/AR Association
The Vancouver VR/AR Association is designed to foster collaboration between innovative companies and people in the virtual reality, mixed reality, and augmented reality ecosystem. Its mission is to make BC and Vancouver a world-leading hub for growing and scaling VR/AR companies. The association promotes technology adoption, incubates early-stage companies, facilitates international trade, attracts foreign investment, and builds communities. It has helped turn Vancouver and BC into the second largest VR/AR ecosystem in the world, with more than 250 companies.
About the Vancouver Hotel Destination Association
The objective of the Vancouver Hotel Destination Association (VHDA) is to enhance Vancouver's destination awareness and increase overnight hotel stays, ensuring long-term growth and prosperity. The VHDA is made up of a group of 37 downtown Vancouver hotels who contribute to the Vancouver Destination Marketing Fund. The VHDA invests in initiatives aimed at ensuring the continued long-term growth and prosperity of Vancouver, creating value for all partners in the tourism sector.