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Innovation Week - exhibition

The city of Calgary, Alberta was recently host to an event called Innovation Week, which ran from November 15th-23rd. The week played host to numerous different seminars, sessions, and talks that focused on all things related to extended reality (XR). The fast-growing XR community in Calgary and Alberta in general came together in numbers to share ideas, talk about and show off different innovations in the XR space, and learn from and be inspired by industry veterans and experts. Participants ranged from current students all the way up to people with more than a decade in the XR industry, and there was a welcoming and collaborative atmosphere throughout the week. 

Innovation Week - exhibition

The Learning Network (TLN) was invited to be an exhibitor during one of the technology-focused events, called VR After Dark, on Tuesday, November 21st. TLN was represented by Caroline Dupuis, Senior VP of XR Products, Greg Surbey, Co-Founder of ICOM Productions, and myself. Our team had the opportunity to demo three of our innovative virtual reality (VR) projects: 

  • FireWise, our “off-the-shelf” virtual fire extinguisher training program 
  • PatientAssessment VR, our collaboration with the Bow Valley College nursing faculty which involves virtual patient assessment for a variety of ailments 
  • Heavy Equipment Inspection System (HEIS), which allows participants to do an entire walking tour and safety inspection of a CAT 7495 shovel used as part of an oil sands mining operation 

We also got the chance to show off our brand-new business cards, complete with an AR-enhanced QR code! (You should ask us about these, they’re pretty cool.) 

The event itself was hosted at Platform Innovation Centre and was spread between two floors of exhibitors and an open-air auditorium that hosted guest speaker Samantha G. Wolfe from PitchFWD. Before and after the guest speaking engagement, TLN was part of approximately a dozen technology exhibitors where we both showcased and invited attendees to immerse themselves in our various XR learning environments and programs.

Innovation Week - VR After Dark Conference
Innovation Week - VR

Showcasing our programs using both a Meta Quest 2 and Quest 3 headset, our team was able to meet, network, and answer questions from people in all different sectors of the XR community. People in many different industries and careers came to the TLN booth to experience our VR offerings and ask questions about what we did and how these programs were created. 

We met a huge number of people: there were recent graduates and job-seekers looking to get into the XR space, fellow technology exhibitors, industry professionals looking for ways to incorporate XR into what they do, and even a friendly group of students and an instructor from an XR-based college program that travelled to the event from Lethbridge. The XR community came out in strong numbers for the event, and the TLN team was happy to represent the XR learning space. We would like to thank the event sponsors, ELIXIR Simulations and the VR/AR Association Alberta Chapter for inviting us to be a part of this wonderful showcase. 

To close out the week’s schedule was the Launch Party 2023 at the Big Four Roadhouse on the Calgary Stampede Grounds, which acted as a networking event and showcase for Calgary’s up-and-coming tech startups. Ten startup companies had feature booths that displayed their unique new voice within the XR community, and dozens of other exhibitors and sponsors were also present to talk and network with the event attendees. Also making an appearance, courtesy of the Telus Spark Science Centre, was Flint the Robo-Dog! 

flint the robo dog

Overall, Innovation Week was a wonderful and multi-faceted event that brought many people from different areas of the XR community, and TLN was happy to be invited as a participant and proud to show the local community the contributions and innovations we have made into the XR and learning space. Our team looks forward to continuing to showcase, talk, and collaborate with both the local and global XR community going forward to help unleash their greatness. 

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