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The award winning, TIFF digiPlaySpace returns just in time for March break

The award winning, TIFF digiPlaySpace is back! The exhibit at the TIFF Bell Lightbox brings together kids for an interactive adventure with interactive installations, multiplayer video games, virtual reality, and a DIY makerspace, with an impeccable March Break timing! Kids and kids-at-heart can enjoy this exhibit for seven weeks from March 5th to April 24th.

Collaborating with global artists, technologists and designers

Many of the installations at digiPlaySpace this year are made in Canada, like the fluffy interactive cloud-shaped light sculptures change colour and float over top the lobby of TIFF Bell Lightbox. That’s whimsical Marshmallow Clouds created by Vancouver’s Tangible Interaction, and there’s a lot more to see at this year’s exhibit.

“There are so many great interactive media arts projects from all over the world - but it’s important that we support the amazing work coming out of Canada” said Nicholas Pagee, Curator of the digiPlaySpace exhibit. The range and diversity of work showcased at digiPlaySpace has grown to represent more international talent as TIFF continues to be regarded as a powerful and significant content hub.

“In film industry, there are already strong communities that are part of the process and you know who to go to,” Pagee said. “With digiPlaySpace, we have used Twitter, other social networks and we built relationships with those [organizations] who are doing great work in interactive media arts.” Pagee said that partners like Ryerson University are playing a significant role in shaping the exhibit experience.

Kids learning through play, experimentation and satisfying curiosity   

TIFF Kids digiPlaySpace brings together game designers, interactive media artists and content creators, and filmmakers. “The landscape is changing when it comes to content,” Pagee explained, stressing that exhibits like digiPlaySpace are important for TIFF. “Media literacy (for kids) is important.”

And so, while kids brush up on their digital media literacy knowledge and skills through the mobile game apps they play, video content they consume and computer programming languages they learn - having a local organization like TIFF be a part of that journey makes Toronto proud.

Exhibits like the Augmented Reality Sandbox, where kids can dig, sculpt and sift through real sand to create a topographic environment augmented in real time by an elevation colour map, show that interactive media can extend beyond the screen.

“When we started off, we had more workshops and lesson-based learning experiences. But then we realized that kids just wanted to play,” Pagee said. “It’s important that we include many forms of interactive art.” Accessibility and diversity of installations and experiences have also been a key consideration. The Sensory Imaging installation engages children, including those with sensory processing challenges in an immersive experience that encourages sensory exploration by providing interactive feedback. Other notable installations worth checking out: Keylight, Elements, Flippaper, Line Wobbler, Happy Hockey and The BluVR. 

For kids (and adults) with an appetite for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) behind the installation experiences showcased at the exhibit, TIFF provides a listing of local resources to further their curiosity. This list includes local educational resources and facilities like Kids Learning Code technology camp for kids, and makerspaces like Site 3 coLaboratory and STEAMLabs.

The digiPlaySpace exhibit runs until April 24th at the TIFF Bell Lightbox at 350 King Street West.
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