FIVARS is not only about innovation but has also been an innovator, leading the charge for new modes of storytelling with a series of firsts:

FIVARS Innovations:

  • · The first 100% Virtual Reality stories festival in Canada, launching in Summer 2015 in a series of preview showcases including at Camp Wavelength in August 2015 (the first music festival to allow overnight camping on Toronto Island) with the first official full scale show in September 2015.
  • · The first festival to publicly exhibit Manslaughter – the “world’s first virtual reality feature film”
  • · The first virtual reality festival to be officially listed on WithoutABox.com – a marketplace for filmmakers to submit their works to film festivals, owned by Amazon.com
  • · The world’s first Augmented Reality stories festival

Significant Events in FIVARS History:

FIVARS, the Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories – the first Canadian festival of its kind – showcased a new wave of filmmakers and content producers who pushed the boundaries of virtual reality (VR) narrative, including several world premieres!

FIVARS Preview returns for its second year to Camp Wavelength

Toronto’s only overnight camping music festival on Toronto Island.
Saturday, August 20th – 12pm to 6pm

The inaugural two-day festival ran Saturday and Sunday, September 19-20, 2015 at :
UG3 Live in Toronto, Canada

Special Preview!
FIVARS and VRTO (Virtual Reality, Toronto) offered a limited preview of the weekend show free and open to the public at
Metro Hall, 200 Wellington St W #130, Toronto, ON M5V 3C7
Friday September 18th, 2015, 1-9pm
Sponsored by The City of Toronto, The Canadian Hispanic Congress and Hacklab.to

Award Ceremony

VRTO Presents the FIVARS 2015 People’s Choice Awards
Cadillac Lounge
1296 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6K 1L4
Monday Sept. 21st, 2015

Building on years of experience as VR presenters and event producers, FIVARS returned in 2016 at the VRTO Virtual & Augmented Reality World Conference & Expo at historic Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, the ProFusion show (over 12000 attendees) and the sold-out 3-day FIVARS festival in September that featured over 30 original pieces.

FIVARS 2017 hosted 3-sold out days of a two-story building in the heart of Toronto’s arts district to showcase 35 original pieces, most of which were World or North American Premieres from 18 countries, and attracted visitors from around the world, not to mention many industry figures including distributors, and technology companies. FIVARS introduced 5 of its 2017 selectees for inclusion into the Samsung Developer’s Conference showcase in San Francisco and continues to broker important relationships between creators, distributors and audiences worldwide.

Canada’s original critically-acclaimed International Festival of Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality Stories returned for its 4th year – September 14 – 16, 2018 – bigger and better than ever. The 3-day experience featured dozens of high-quality VR and AR experiences and World Premieres including the Horror Dungeon, the Looking Glass holographic display, Magic Leap and much more. It took place at the historic Matador Ballroom–a venue that reopened after a decade long rest for this exclusive engagement!

Founded in 2015, FIVARS (Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories) is an annual festival that showcases virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) storytelling. It began in Toronto, Canada, and brings together VR and AR creators from around the world to showcase their work and share their experiences and insights with the public. The festival features a variety of VR and AR experiences, including films, games, exhibitions, and performances. It also includes workshops, panel discussions, and other events focused on VR and AR storytelling and its future developments. FIVARS is an important international discovery engine for emerging talent and new immersive productions, working steadfastly to provide a hybrid platform for VR and AR creators, with the public, and with others in the field.

FIVARS was the first Canadian festival of its kind featuring many world premieres and in our preview screenings and events, audience responses are consistently full of contemplation, surprise, delight, controversy and wonder. (FIVARS Wikipedia page)

FIVARS 2018 crew

FIVARS (Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories) openly encourages viewers to enjoy and connect to stories in this newly emergent narrative form, while challenging content creators to showcase ideas that defy and transcend the status quo. The show runs will live events in Toronto, and Los Angeles, and an award-winning WebXR theatre featuring 5.7k stereoscopic spherical video with spatial audio and VR support, as well Eventbrite ticket integration.

At the festival, there is also an opportunity to share conversations both with our team and other industry members in attendance to discuss how to take part in this snowballing revolution in tech, entertainment, research and information sharing.

FIVARS at Matador

FIVARS is led by founder Keram Malicki-Sanchez, and team Aimee Reynolds, Chrissy Aitchison, Elizabeth Fimio, James Baicoinanu, and Stephanie Greenall. The website is designed and maintained by Ben Cross.

FIVARS grew through the hard work of many people who volunteered their time. Some of those include Joseph Ellsworth, Jessy Blaze, Candace Steinberg, Meg D’acosta, Sarah Bradley, Elvira Sanchez de Malicki, Toya Sanchez Jankowski, Marek Malicki, Adriel Malicki-Sanchez, Gibrian Malicki-Sanchez, Corina Death, Rory Wicks, Yoka Makaewa, Jason Spanu, Adam Fimio, Jeffrey Lynn Damon, Laura Bunce, Sappho Hansen Smythe, Rachel Mackenzie, Rorik Henrickson, Michael Hoang, Flynn Dauntless, and our many wonderful partners and volunteers.

FIVARS 2019 Owl by Victoria Nieto

FIVARS 2018 Owl art created in VR by Vladimir Ilic. All rights reserved.

FIVARS is a produced by Constant Change Media Group, Inc., and its partner event VRTO.