The 4th annual Virtual & Augmented World Conference & Expo (VRTO)one of the world’s most important roll-up-your-sleeves-and-sort-it-out symposiums on the future of immersive media and technologies, will take place June 1-3 at the Toronto Media Arts Centre, featuring a mix of keynotes, panels, presentations and roundtables. Beloved by the industry on which it is focused with laser-intensity, VRTO represents the vanguard for a new medium that will transform the way we engage with data, the world, and with each other.

From volumetric capture to eSports, surgery to interactive storytelling, if you’re interested in how technology, culture, industry and arts are coalescing and advancing, VRTO is among the most reliable harbingers.

The conference features over 35 thought-leaders, developers, producers, inventors and designers in various formats. An exhibition hall — over the three day conference — will feature a collection of ground-breaking Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and 360 interactive Video works alongside provocative art installations from local Universities and international product makers.

Programming director Keram Malicki-Sanchez has carefully curated a lineup of speakers that he describes as flowing like a melody, from one vector of the industry to the next. Two of the conference’s most notable speakers are also bestselling authors – Douglas Rushkoff, and Blake J. Harris.

Douglas Rushkoff is the author of a dozen books on media, technology, and culture, including his latest, Team Human. He will host a live edition of his Team Human podcast at the VRTO Virtual & Augmented Reality World Conference on June 2.

Blake J. Harris (Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo and the Battle that Defined a Generation) was embedded with Palmer Luckey, Brendan Iribe, and Zuckerberg himself during the period in which Facebook was negotiating with and ultimately purchased Oculus for $2.5 billion. The story is captured in his latest best-selling book, The History of the Future, currently No. 2 on Amazon. Console Wars is currently being adapted for television by Legendary Entertainment, and producers Seth RogenEvan Goldberg, and Scott Rudin.

Tiptatat Chennavasin, co-founder of the $50 million dollar Venture Reality Fund, will deliver a keynote backed by real data, about their last 3.5 years of investing in immersive tech startups across Silicon Valley and beyond, and why some succeeded while others failed.  The VR Fund has looked at over 5000 startups in the space and invested in 30.

As Head of Business for Intel StudiosSarah Vick and her team explore how breaking the fourth wall through volumetric capture and immersive formats can help us create new and more impactful media experiences.

Amelia Winger-Bearskin, who was awarded the 2018 Bloomberg Mayors Challenge $1 million grant to prototype their AR Citizen toolkit, and creator of the  Stupid Hackathon, which now holds events around the world, will employ her soulful approach to finding ideas for what to make with VR.

Lee Vermeulen, CEO of Alientrap Games, is one of the world’s most interesting and advanced game developers for spatialized media and Internet of Things, and will share a behind-the-scenes talk demonstrating his hybrid VR/AR experiments that can, for example, get a Virtual robot assistant in the mirrorworld to turn on the real lights in his apartment.

Only 150 Conference Passes are available. There is no separate exhibition pass.

VIP package upgrades are available, offering priority access, a private meet and greet reception, a free ticket to Scarygirl – free roaming multi-user VR experience from Dark Slope, a sneak-peek preview on June 1st, access to a special networking lounge throughout the event and a special gift bag.

Dedicated to training the next generation of developers, two leading institutions Ontario Tech University and OCAD University are co-presenting/hosting a full day workshop on May 31, at VRTO, for 30 students and neophyte developers who want to build their first quality, functioning VR experience applications. This workshop required its own ticket.

VRTO Conference Runs 10am-7pm daily at the Toronto Media Arts Centre (32 Lisgar St).