Creatives in Extended Reality (XR): Art and emerging technology

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Magical things can happen when art and extended reality (XR) intersect. Thought leaders in digital media explore how we're picking up STEAM.

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What does art look like in the field of emerging technology? Big thinkers in digital media production share their thoughts on the intersection between extended reality (XR) and artistic creativity. From building inclusive and diverse communities within tech for artists, to real-time use of special effects for immersive performing arts, to bridging the spatial gap with rural communities — connect with us to share your creative endeavours and learn from experts!

Special guest Sydney Goodfellow from the Digital Tech Supercluster will also be presenting on Capacity Building initiatives, including a description of the current call for projects and how EMBC CoP community members can get involved.


Tommy Lewis | Microsoft

Presentation: The State of Realities from a Cautious Optimistic

We have been riding the rollercoaster of hype and practicality for Augmented and Virtual Reality for a while now. We’ve had great highs along with great lows and sometimes we even question “Why did I get into this space… especially in 2020!?!?” In this talk, we are going to not only talk about the highs and lows, but what we need to do as creators, builders and members of this community to continue moving the state of realities forward and things we need to consider. Spoiler, Thomas is very optimistic!

Thomas Lewis is a Spatial Computing Cloud Advocate in Microsoft’s Developer Relations. He’s been advocating on behalf of developers, designers, creators, and builders of Mixed Reality experiences. After putting on a Mixed Reality headset, he knew that he had experienced a taste of the future and sees the beauty, sadness, and hope that it can bring to humans.

Sang Mah | AMPD Technologies and Shocap Entertainment

Presentation: A Diverse Open Source Community for Visual Storytelling: Art, tech, and visual effects-the VFX scene in Vancouver

Sang Mah, currently wears two "day" hats: (i) Research, Community and Special Projects at AMPD Technologies Inc. ( (ii) Managing Director, Operations & Research, Shocop Entertainment Ltd. (

Sang Mah has enjoyed a multi-faceted career in digital media, encompassing content creation, technical research and development, and private public partnerships. Prior to her current roles, Sang spent eight years leading a national non-profit organization supporting industry-academic collaborations and consortiums across all disciplines. Other former roles include Director of Interactive at Bardel Entertainment, and executive roles with local tech start-ups. Sang has managed multi-million dollar research projects and participated in two university spin-offs from SFU. She has a MSc in Computing Science (Animation & AI). She is an active member of the leadership committee for Spark CG / Vancouver SigGraph.

Derek Jacoby | PCCA and QVirt Labs

Presentation: Immersion: then and now!

Derek Jacoby has worked on advanced interface design at Microsoft Research, was founder of the Victoria Makerspace, a technology collective, and is the executive director of the Pacific & Coastal Computing Association (PCCA). Derek gave one of the first talks at RAVR in 2017 and since that time he’s been working on using XR and immersive experiences to connect with remote communities.

Moderated by: Yvonne Coady, Visiting Professor, Northeastern University — Vancouver

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