Hyper Festival

The interactive tech + arts conference makes its debut at Artspace in the Exchange District on November 26th.

On Saturday November 26th, Hyper takes over Artspace with award-winning virtual reality experiences, workshops and industry talks. In 2016 Fabio Hofnik, a longtime promoter and early adopter of VR, developed Hyper Festival, a conference which explored the growing trend of virtual and augmented reality technologies, with thousands of professionals from all over the world attending. Its first iteration was hosted in Brazil. When Hofnik moved to Winnipeg in 2019, he met Joshua Banman, a Winnipeg-based digital artist you might remember from his Nuit Blanche installation. The two saw an opportunity to bring Hyper to Canada, and specifically the Exchange District, where there’s a budding immersive tech industry.

Hofnik has curated a first-rate all-Canadian slate for the festival. Filmmakers, digital artists, architects, engineers and computer scientists come together to explore the creative possibilities of new emerging technology. 

Gaming and cinema are often what people associate with VR and AR, but Banman shares that there’s recently been a renaissance of making art in this space. Equipment is becoming more accessible, giving artists a relatively low-cost way to explore different mediums. For instance, an artist can sculpt in VR without the cost of physical materials or workspace. At Hyper Festival, you’ll be able to witness local artists in action working with VR.

Along with workshops and VR experiences, there are also roundtables with industry leaders exploring visions of the future, including The Metaverse: What is that? Why does it matter? 

“By next winter, we’ll start seeing things on the market that are iPhone disruptive,” predicts Banman, referencing how Apple completely changed the game with the “internet device” finding its way into everyone’s back pocket. Soon, wearable tech will go beyond Apple watches and AirPods, once again shifting the way we interact with technology in our day-to-day life.

Get tickets and learn more about Hyper here.