Interactive Project Lab
The Interactive Project Lab (IPL) was an innovative program created to foster the best in Canadian interactive art, information and entertainment by advancing innovative new media prototypes in the marketplace. The program was a catalyst for the creation of original Canadian content and strategic alliances among the private and public sectors in new media, as well as between carriers and developers of content.
The IPL was collectively designed and delivered by three highly-respected interactive media institutions: (1) The Banff New Media Institute,(2) L'Institut national de l'image et du son (INIS) in Montreal and (3) the Canadian Film Centre's Habitat in Toronto. Together they formed the Bell Globemedia Content Innovation Network (BGCIN). The national collaboration formed a digital education, production, research and development network linking the country's best new media training institutions. Its mandate was to build Canadian capability in the areas of interactive entertainment and cultural expression. As members of the network, participants had access to the best resources, faculty, ideas and training that Canada had to offer in new media.
The Interactive Project Lab’s mandate was to build and accelerate the creative, business leadership and technical skills of Canadian talent, enabling them to create innovative projects, viable and sustainable start-up companies and project teams focusing on the production of interactive cultural and entertainment works.
Goals and Objectives
The IPL focused on the acceleration of interactive projects and the incubation of start-up companies with market-ready interactive entertainment prototypes. Content for the IPL could have been anything from games on gaming consoles, to interactive documentary and edutainment, to interactive art installations and multi-player thrillers using mobile and PDA platforms.
Each institution in the BCGIN chose two projects per eight-month term. Teams were assigned a full-time, dedicated mentor to guide the development process, ensuring the completion of set deliverables and training modules.
Teams were selected from within BGCIN founders’ existing programmes, or they could apply externally.
- Each team had a minimum of two participants
- Teams had a working prototype with a draft business plan already in place
- The majority of the team members were Canadian citizens or had permanent resident status at the time of application
- Upon selection, the jury determined the financial and non-financial support needs of each start-up company
- Each team was awarded partial development funds of up to $15,000.00
- Teams were assigned part-time, dedicated mentors
- Teams had access to the entirety of the Bell Globemedia Content Innovation Network, including travel to Habitat, BNMI and INIS where needed and access to faculty and other network resources
The IPL incubation program was a rigorous, yet flexibly-timed process in which companies were assisted by a dedicated mentor and other advisors to develop projects for the marketplace.
The types of sessions included Reality-Check Workshops in Toronto and Montreal and Virtual Strategy Clinics across Canada.
SEED is a cell-phone driven interactive installation which aims to affect environmental change in the real world from a virtual position. The ultimate goal is to green our urban centres by providing a creative entry point that could allow for change in the way we see and manage our urban and global forests. Over the last seven years the Seed Installation has been presented all over the world at such events as CODE live, the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, the 2008 Urban Screens festival in Melbourne, Australia and at the 809 INIAF festival in Hubei, China.
Creators: Napolean Brousseau, Gabe Sawhney and Galen Scorer
Developed by the award-winning Xenophile Media, Anxietyville is a darkly comic web series and alternate reality game. It focuses on the lives of six urban neurotics, linked together in a web of technology-accelerated paranoia that turns out to be completely justified when they make a shocking discovery. Part love story, part mystery, all set in a virtual city on the verge of destruction, Anxietyville explores surveillance cyber sex, with characters searching for everything from true love to the right deodorant.
Creators: Patrick Crowe and Thomas Weliner
Pax Warrior is a rich educational software program inspired equally by documentary practice and by the serious game movement. The software proposes that the application of narrative and game theory to learning, and subsequently to our understanding of our world, is the next evolutionary step in digital education. Pax Warrior was selected to represent Canada as best eLearning program for the World Summit Awards. There it won the award for Best of Region for the Americas and Oceania. Pax Warrior has also sold over 200,000 licenses around the world including UK, South Africa, Canada, Australia and beyond.
Creators: Daniel Berman, Sean Hopen and Andreas Ua'Siaghall