Vallea Lumina and The New Experience of the Great Outdoors

The multimedia tour of a Western Canadian forest, and other interactive nature tours like it, are showing visitors a world within a world.

Few places in Canada embrace adventure to the level that Whistler, British Columbia does. The small, but energetic town just an hour and a half drive northeast from Vancouver, is known for its massive ski resorts, lovely views of the Rocky Mountains, charming log cabins, and now, for an interactive nighttime walk through its forests.

When Vallea Lumina opened in mid-July 2018, it represented a departure from what people think they know about Whistler. Introducing an interactive experience with a twist, with lights in the valley, altered perspectives.

Vallea Lumina Source-vallealumina.com

Vallea Lumina Source-vallealumina.com

Vallea Lumina_Source-vallealumina.com

Vallea Lumina_Source-vallealumina.com

Vallea Lumina is produced by Montreal-based multimedia studio, Moment Factory, and Whistler-based deliverer of extreme, but safe wilderness activities, The Adventure Group.

On a site with an intimidating name known as Cougar Mountain, the nighttime experience is based on the fictional story of a father and daughter who went missing on a hiking adventure. Over the course of an hour, visitors are led on a 1.4 km journey to find the missing duo. Projection mapping, sounds, and lasers are used to make trees talk, and make the landscape glow. Songs and posters drop hints for visitors, who willingly play the role of deputy rangers tasked with search and rescue. The whole trail consists of dirt paths and steep wooden steps, with log benches along the way. The story is actually more important than the technology, because the story draws visitors into the experience and pulls them into the search. They are in the forest, but visually transported to another place by technology.

The story of the missing hikers focuses on a hidden valley where living creatures are brought to life by stardust falling from the sky like snowflakes. The trail is supposed to be the secret pathway through the valley. Visitors leave the trail seeing the forest that they thought they knew, literally in a different light, and are entertained in the process.

Vallea Lumina Source-momentfactory.com

Vallea Lumina Source-momentfactory.com

Vallea Lumina Source-momentfactory.com

Vallea Lumina Source-momentfactory.com

Vallea Lumina_Source-vallealumina.com

Vallea Lumina_Source-vallealumina.com

“Our company exists to create moments for people that will be memorable and impactful through their interaction with nature,” said Joey Houssian, Founder and CEO of The Adventure Group in an article for a Whistler tourist site. “Introducing an interactive, outdoor, multimedia night walk is an exciting evolution for us… not the least of which has been working with some of the most creative people on the planet.”

Vallea Lumina Source-vallealumina.com

Vallea Lumina Source-vallealumina.com

Vallea Lumina Source-vallealumina.com

Vallea Lumina Source-vallealumina.com

It all took three months to produce, from concept to completion. All visitors need are closed-toe shoes, a camera, comfortable clothing, insect repellent, and a sense of wonder.

As of now, Moment Factory has been behind eight other interactive adventures like the one in Whistler: Lumina Borealis, Nova Lumina, Tonga Lumina, Anima Lumina,  and Foresta Lumina in Canada; Rainforest Lumina in Singapore; and Sakuya Lumina and Island Lumina in Japan. Each experience of the great outdoors is done with the creative use of audiovisual technologies, motion design, visual effects, animation, and other multimedia tools. In each case, the natural landscape is the backdrop and functions as another tool to share the story to visitors. Vallea Lumina closed for the winter on October 15th, but will reopen next summer.

Words Phil Roberts


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