Holographic storytelling experience features poems and performances by celebrated Canadian women poets including Margaret Atwood
TORONTO – October 14, 2021 – An intimate and imaginative augmented reality (AR) poetry experience spotlighting Canadian women poets will debut at the internationally acclaimed Frankfurt Book Fair (Frankfurter Buchmesse) from October 20 to 24, 2021 in Frankfurt, Germany. Fiery Sparks of Light is an immersive and sensory celebration of poetry and the important contributions women poets have made to Canada’s international literary reputation. The production reimagines a collection of poems by four renowned Canadian women poets – Margaret Atwood, Nicole Brossard, Canisia Lubrin and Sarah Tolmie – as an augmented reality experience featuring holographic performances.
Fiery Sparks of Light will be part of an exclusive hybrid (onsite/digital) programme that celebrates Canada as the Frankfurt Book Fair Guest of Honour 2021. It will be featured prominently among other exciting Canadian literary and cultural experiences that celebrate innovation in creative industries, the promotion of women and youth, and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples at the Guest of Honour pavilion on the fairgrounds.
Using volumetric cinema technology as the foundation, including spatial-sensing capture equipment, Fiery Sparks of Light includes an accompanying printed book that contains QR codes that bring Atwood, Brossard, Lubrin and Tolmie to life as holograms on a mobile device. This enables Book Fair guests to experience these four poets reading their own original poems, which explore feminist perspectives of patriarchy, gendered objectification, stereotyping and oppression, while further augmented audiovisual after-effects enhance the viewer’s experience. This sensory exploration is designed to elicit an emotional response as users set the stage for these fiery written words to spark to life.
Fiery Sparks of Light is the product of a collaboration of a group of Canadians in the arts and culture sector, who have deep respect and admiration for women’s voices and the poetic art form, and who are interested in developing audiences and content for storytelling in immersive media. Produced with the participation of Telefilm Canada, Fiery Sparks of Light is a CFC Media Lab and York University Immersive Storytelling Lab co-production, in partnership with The Griffin Trust for Excellence In Poetry, and supported by OCAD University.
Learn more about Fiery Sparks of Light here. Press contacts are listed below for media interested in previewing Fiery Sparks of Light.
Nataly De Monte, Director, CFC Media Lab, said: “We wanted to shine a light on women’s voices and their special role in challenging gender-based ideology for generations in Canadian literature. Encapsulating their readings spatially means viewers get a more personal interaction with the holograms, in any environment they choose, for a deeper, visceral experience.”
Christa Dickenson, Executive Director & CEO, Telefilm Canada, said: “As Canada is the Guest of Honour at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, Telefilm is honoured and proud to celebrate the work of the prominent female poets of our time. Taking storytelling to a whole new level, Fiery Sparks of Light creates an intimate, sensory experience that speaks to the talent of our Canadian women.”
Ruth Smith, Executive Director, The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry, said: “Poetry transcends borders and boundaries, and Fiery Sparks of Light represents an exciting new frontier, blending literature with technology. We are excited by the opportunity this collaboration affords for viewers to experience the voice and presence of a founding trustee of the The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry as well as three Griffin Poetry Prize nominees.”
Glen Lowry, Executive Director & Advisor to Provost/Partnerships, Outreach & Research, OCAD U, said: “We are excited to collaborate on a project that shines a light on four renowned Canadian poets, including OCAD U creative writing instructor and poet Canisia Lubrin. Fiery Sparks celebrates their outstanding literary contributions, while looking forward to new forms of poetic expression. Richard Hunt, an Associate Professor at OCAD U, is publication designer for the project, and this partnership is a meaningful example of how we collaborate with experts across institutions to showcase Canada’s leadership in shaping arts and culture sectors internationally.”
Caitlin Fisher, Director, Immersive Storytelling Lab, York University, said:
“It is utterly fitting that iconic Canadian women poets are pioneering performances in volumetric augmented reality and advancing new digital poetics. Nicole Brossard’s decades-old image of the hologram as a model for feminist writing is brought to life here through a work that pushes the boundaries of art, science and the imagination. We are thrilled to be part of this visionary Canadian collaboration.”
About the Canadian Film Centre
The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) is a charitable cultural organization that drives the future of Canadian storytelling. Our intensive, hands-on programs in film, television, and entertainment technologies empower, shape and advance opportunities for Canadian creators and entrepreneurs working in screen-based industries.
The Canadian Film Centre Media Lab (CFC Media Lab) is an internationally recognized leader in the development of transformational technologies, businesses and entrepreneurs. The CFC Media Lab is a unique production think tank, training institute and business accelerator that supports hundreds of emerging digital content creators, practitioners, entrepreneurs and companies. Our programs and initiatives provide visionary leadership and extensive expertise in strategy, product, business, finance, and ethics needed by Canadians involved in the digital revolution.
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About York University Immersive Storytelling Lab
Embedded in Cinespace Studios’s flagship Toronto Kipling Avenue complex, next to sound stages being used for major television and feature film productions, York University’s Immersive Storytelling Lab supports collaborative research-creation and technology development by artists and scientists. Part of the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design (AMPD), the Immersive Storytelling Lab advances best practices for content creation for immersive experiences, develops workflows related to shooting, editing and interactivity design in immersive storytelling environments, pioneers augmented reality through experimentation, advances policy discussions around the social implications of living connected lives and trains the next generation of immersive creators.
About Telefilm Canada
Telefilm is dedicated to the cultural, commercial and industrial success of Canada’s audiovisual industry. Through funding and promotion programs, Telefilm supports dynamic companies and creative talent at home and around the world. Telefilm also makes recommendations regarding the certification of audiovisual treaty coproductions to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, and administers the programs of the Canada Media Fund. Launched in 2012, the Talent Fund accepts private donations to principally support emerging talent.
About The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry
The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry is a Canadian initiative founded in April 2000 by Chairman Scott Griffin, along with Trustees Margaret Atwood, Robert Hass, Michael Ondaatje, Robin Robertson and David Young. The current trustees are Mark Doty, Carolyn Forché, Scott Griffin, Sarah Howe, Paul Muldoon, Karen Solie, Aleš Šteger, and Ian Williams.
By funding the Griffin Poetry Prize – one of the world’s largest international prizes for a first edition single collection of poetry – The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry aims to spark the public’s imagination and raise awareness of the crucial role poetry plays in our cultural life.
The Griffin Poetry Prize awards two literary prizes: a Canadian prize is given to a living poet/translator resident in Canada, and an international prize is given to a living poet/translator from any country in the world, including Canada. Both prizes may include works in translation. Each of the shortlisted poets are also awarded prize monies. All of the shortlisted poets are invited to participate in the Griffin Poetry Prize Readings and Awards Presentation held in Toronto in the spring of each year.
About OCAD U
OCAD University is Canada’s oldest and largest university dedicated to art, design and education, practice, and research, and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. Through a studio-based learning approach that champions cross-disciplinary practice and collaboration, and integrates emerging technologies, students learn how to use their creativity to address today’s challenges. Alongside a diverse and supportive team of instructors and peers, OCAD U students gain employable skills, and graduates work in all areas of the economy, including health care, environmental design, industrial design, and animation.
Director, Marketing & Communications, CFC
Publicity and Media Relations, Griffin Poetry Prize
Advisor, Public Relations – English Market, Telefilm Canada