Written for Daily Hive by Kate Wilson.
Vancouver’s tech community will continue to make its mark on the international stage next month as the city’s most exciting entrepreneurs head to South by Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin, Texas.
The much-anticipated Vancouver Day will return to Canada House in Austin on March 16 to showcase the technology, music, and culture that makes the city a top-rated destination to live and work.
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Since Vancouver hosted the sell-out international Dota 2 tournament and announced the launch of the Vancouver Titans — a professional Overwatch team created to play at Rogers Arena — the city has stamped its mark onto international eSports. To highlight the city’s role in developing professional gaming, Vancouver Day at SXSW will begin with an eSports tournament for attendees to test their skills. In the afternoon, enthusiasts can enjoy a panel on how eSports are set to grow in Vancouver.
Augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) is another area where the city excels globally, and Vancouver has recently clinched the title of the second-largest AR/VR ecosystem in the world. Vancouver Day is set to spotlight that success. For those excited to get hands-on, attendees can demo some of the best AR and VR experiences produced in the city. As the afternoon progresses, a full lineup of panels and keynotes from industry leaders like HTC’s Amy Peck and immersive artist Nancy Baker Cahill is promised to keep Canada House buzzing throughout the day.
“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 of the leading VR/AR hubs in the world.”
Vancouver Day will also highlight Vancouver’s unique culture of wellness and adventure. The event will feature a number of activations including guided meditation and more. Guests can also enjoy giveaways that will take place throughout the afternoon.
The evening will conclude with a special VIP event featuring musical acts, installations, and free drinks and food. The session invites guests to mingle with developers, creators, investors, and business leaders from around the world. To round out the night, a hand-picked roster of Vancouver musicians will keep guests dancing into the early hours of the morning.
Vancouver Day helps to demonstrate to the global business community why Vancouver is a leading destination for tech investment and industry conferences and has recently played host to major events including SIGGRAPH, the VR/AR Global Summit, and the annual TED Global Conference. The event aims to highlight the reasons why tech giants like Mastercard, Shopify, and Amazon are making serious investments in the region, choosing the city for its natural beauty and rich talent base.
“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 at SXSW is organized by 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.
SXSW is North America’s largest annual interactive art, music, and technology festival. This year’s event will be held from March 13 to 22.
More information, as well as ticket availability for Vancouver Day at SXSW can be found online.
Daily Hive is a proud media partner of Vancouver Day at SXSW.