Broadcaster Magazine

Study on Canada’s VR Ecosystem Announced

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  • At the Augmented World Expo in Santa Clara, California, the Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab and OMERS Ventures today announced that they have partnered to co-author a study focused on the VR ecosystem in Canada. Titled Pulse on VR: A Workflow and Ecosystem Study, the study aims to identify the key players in this emerging industry and the primary workflows used to bring Virtual Reality to users.

    The study will undertake crucial research into the VR ecosystem that will be executed by Nordicity, a leading international consulting firm providing solutions for Strategy and Business, Economic Analysis, Impact and Evaluation across the creative and digital media industries. The research is funded by Canada Media Fund, Telefilm Canada, Creative BC, On Screen Manitoba  and New Media Manitoba, the Ontario Media Development Corporation, la Société de développement des entreprises culturelles and supported by Super Ventures.

    The impetus for the study is rooted in a desire to better understand VR workflows – how VR experiences are created and distributed – and which technologies and companies are taking part in designing the different parts of this ecosystem. Ultimately, Pulse on VR will shed light on the enormous market potential and groundbreaking impacts that VR affords the creative and technology industries in Canada and beyond.

    “The current reality of the VR workflow in North America is that it’s complex, multi-layered and not well understood,” said Ana Serrano, Chief Digital Officer, Canadian Film Centre. “This lack of clarity risks hindering growth in the VR ecosystem. With this study, we hope to uncover strengths, weaknesses and gaps in Canada’s VR ecosystem in order to determine and tap into new areas for growth in VR that offer promising market potential.”

    “Virtual reality is very much a nascent technology and it remains to be seen how the Canadian VR ecosystem will evolve,” said Prashant Matta, Venture Capitalist, OMERS Ventures. “This study will help us understand the opportunities and challenges that VR will bring to the entertainment industry and beyond.”

    The research will investigate VR content creators, as well as companies that make software and/or hardware that enable content, from specific jurisdictions across Canada – notably Ontario, Québec, Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia – with additional insights gathered from California. The research will also incorporate experiences such as active VR (e.g. VR games), passive VR (e.g. linear documentary experiences) and hybrid VR experiences (combining both active and passive VR). The study will address specific topics such as who is making VR experiences and creating the tools and/or hardware that enable these experiences, what companies are currently have the potential to shape the VR ecosystem, what challenges exist in creating VR experiences in Canada, and what future opportunities exist for VR.

    An online survey launches on Wednesday, June 1, 2024 in select locations and will be available to complete untilFriday, July 8, 2024. CFC Media Lab and Nordicity will also interview a selection of leading Canadian and international VR companies to serve as case studies of what success in VR looks like. The resulting research findings will be publicly accessible and will benefit companies, funders, investors and content creators working in VR that are seeking to understand where they fit in the ecosystem and how VR workflows apply to them and their projects.