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Vancouver Mural Festival turning into augmented reality art hunt this month

This special winter edition of the Vancouver Mural Festival will feature the works of several artists spread across the city in February 2021.
Vancouver Mural Festival
The Vancouver Mural Festival is hosting a winter festival using augmented reality to showcase various artists' works across the city.

This year the Vancouver Mural Festival has been transformed into an augmented reality art tour taking place through the city’s streets.

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, in 2020 VMF brightened the streets of nine Vancouver neighbourhoods with over 60 murals on boarded up storefronts for #MakeArtWhileApart. The summertime festival also included a three week live performance series. Now the event is back in a new instalment called VMF Winter Arts which intends to blur the line between the real and virtual world

Using augmented reality, VMF Winter Arts will transform public space across the core of Vancouver into an interactive, open-air gallery to show artists’ works. According to information found on VMF’s website, the unmapped and individualistic nature of the festival will allow people to admire the works at a safe distance from each other.

Presented in collaboration with the Downtown Vancouver BIA, the festival was created out of both pressures from COVID-19, Vancouver’s wetter winter weather and VMF’s desire to keep the spirits of Vancouverites high. 

“VMF Winter Arts was created as an opportunity for Vancouverites to explore the city, discover new art, be outside while safely respecting COVID guidelines, and support our communities,” a statement on the festival’s website reads.

The festival will take place between February 12 and 28 during which time the augmented reality activations and additional details will be made available. 

When the locations of the virtual murals are released, just download the VMF mobile app or download the digital map, the links for which are both available on VMF’s website. QR codes will be on signs at the sites where the murals are located and to see them simply scan them with your phone’s camera. From there just select Instagram or Facebook to activate the filter. 

While the complete list of exhibits will not be released until the Feb. 12, some augmented reality murals can be previewed from scanning the QR code found on VMF posters around the city.