Magical Wings and Wizards interactive exhibit flies into Vancouver

The touchless and immersive exhibit merges art and storytelling to create a fantastical adventure in 7,000 square feet of BC Place Stadium.

Wings and Wizards is a touchless, interactive, immersive exhibit coming to BC Place next month.

Fans of the fantasy and magical genres hold on to your wizard hats. There’s a new magical interactive experience coming to B.C. Place in Vancouver this summer.

Wings and Wizards, a touchless, interactive and immersive exhibit that merges art and storytelling to create a fantastical adventure, will be set up in 7,000 square feet of space at the stadium and will run from June 8 to September.

“This is fun for the whole family, even small children, toddlers, will really enjoy this experience,” said Gemma Scott, operations director for SHINE Experiences and Go2 Productions.

She said you don’t have to bring anything to the approximately 45-minute experience or wear costumes, but if you want to dress up as your favourite fantasy character then go for it because it’s all about feeling that magic of childhood and storytelling.

Each party receives a “magic wand” that can interact with motion-activated, proximity-based displays while following along a self-guided adventure mission.

There will be trees that talk in the Enchanted Forest, spells to unlock with your wands, a Wizard’s Academy, and of course wings.

“The story has to do with finding the rare jewelled dragon egg, so I think it’s safe to say there will be a dragon,” she said.

There are no animatronics, she said, but there are elaborate props, special effects and lighting wizardry. But don’t worry if the little ones can’t complete the tasks or spells, magical UV footprints will guide the participants into the next room.

The exhibit uses technology such as motion tracking, proximity-based devices, lights, projections, props, and soundscapes — all to weave a “spellbinding narrative experience.”

“We are using arduinos, with DMX shields and LDR sensors. This is a light-based sensor so they recognize the LED tip of the wand and we are also using NUCS with cameras for gesture tracking recognition so it will recognize shapes and patterns drawn in the air with a wand,” said Scott.

Each room has a beam breaker which triggers lighting, audio and video queues. There are 10 media players which play video and audio and there are more than 300 lighting fixtures.

“By entering a room that group of people will bring that room to life,” she said. “Its all very together so the lighting and audio triggers happen at the same time.”

The adventure begins June 8, but that opening date could be delayed if current public health orders are extended because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wings and Wizards has been a labour of love for three Vancouver production companies and one in South Africa — SHINE Experiences, Go2 Productions, Innovation Lighting, and Spectra Events Group — who have collaborated throughout the pandemic to create the experience.

She said they have all worked together extraordinarily well and have built a lot of trust as collaborators on this project. The original story was not based on any book and was scripted in Vancouver.

Scott noted that the experience will be COVID-friendly, with participants required to wear masks, there will be sanitizer stations, and only one family or group of up to six people allowed in any room at a time.

There is no touching the exhibit and everything is done with the wand. And, when your quest comes to its end, the wand is yours to keep.

Tickets go on sale May 13 at 10 a.m. on the exhibit website and via Ticketmaster.

Prices begin at $65, with duo and family packages starting at $100. Each ticket package comes with one wand included. Additional wands may be purchased for $30 each online at the time of ticket purchase.

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