Canadian Heritage

We were accepted to the Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) and Canadian Heritage agreed to be our testing department. We were thrilled. This meant that the team at Canadian Heritage was able to work with us to create a number of apps as experiments to test our online authoring tool.

How can we empower Canadian Heritage to create new ways to engage visitors around the Capital Region?

The members of the Canadian Heritage team that wanted engage visitors in and around different sites in Ottawa and Gatineau. We had three main objectives for the test:

  1. Make sure our technology solution was working as it should.
  2. Empower the Canadian Heritage team to use new technology to bring more visitors to the various sites.
  3. Help visitors engage more deeply with the history and the content once they were there.

They had a fascinating list of sites and pieces of history that they wanted to highlight including: Parliament Hill, Life during Prohibition in Hull, Cold War history, the National Holocaust Monument and Major’s Hill Park. Given the size and visually interesting aspects of these places, we wanted a solution that would complement them. We decided to create a tailored app for each one of these locations and topics. The apps used several technologies but there was a focus on geolocation (GPS), audio and augmented reality. GPS and audio would let users walk through these amazing places and topics while delivering the content at the right place and time.


Our Process

We had the technology, Canadian Heritage knew the content. Our goal was to empower them to tell the story of a place using our apps and our online authoring tool. We flew out to Gatineau to discuss their ideas and train them to use our technology. We scheduled multiple online training sessions with each team member to get them up to speed with authoring their stories.

The Solution

The team at Canadian Heritage started with a basic test app which let them use our authoring tool right away. After a few design iterations and training sessions, the team at Canadian Heritage were bringing history and sites to life with their creations. This was exactly what we wanted to test as part of BCIP. The test showed that the people who knew the content were able to use our technology to tell their stories.

We are thrilled with the result!


10 engaging and informative apps that help tell the story of the capital region

The result was 10 apps for the 5 locations/topics. One in English and French for each. As this was part of a test, it is at the sole discretion of Canadian Heritage if these apps will be released to the public.

The apps are:

  • Gargoyles - Players learn about Canadian history by capturing gargoyles that have stolen important objects from the statues and monuments on Parliament Hill.  This quest-based experience uses geo-location and augmented reality to encourage students to collect historical items, answer quizzes and collect points.
  • Building By’s Home - A game for kids to have fun exploring Major’s Hill Park in downtown Ottawa. By visiting different locations in the Park using geo-location, the player will collect various items and tools to achieve the goal while engaging with interpretive content.
  • Comrade X - Based loosely on the Gouzenko Affair, the tour asks players to listen to audio, find secret messages, deliver them to a decoder, obtain virtual objects, answer questions, and enter a variety of buildings in Ottawa’s downtown core (mostly along Wellington Street) to answer questions and obtain clues.
  • Hull Report - The player is a young reporter who needs to file a story on how Ontario prohibition is affecting Hull. Play begins at Portage and Eddy and ends at a “telegraph office” where they can file their story. The game is a fictionalized version of Hull in the 1920s.
  • National Holocaust Monument Tour - This is a guided tour with audio support. Topics will be explored as participants walk throughout the monument between one location and the next.


Cold War

“Our government is pleased to collaborate with and the Build in Canada Innovation Program as the testing partner for this exciting and innovative gaming guided tour app platform. We will continue our efforts to support and promote our creative industries as they continue to innovate and grow.”

Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage