NAC is extending performance and event cancellations and postponements until August 31
© Mathew Borrett

By Lisa Jackson, Mathew Borrett, Jam3 and the National Film Board of Canada

Biidaaban: First Light

VR Experience

This event has passed
© Mathew Borrett
Indigenous arts Exhibitions & installations Film Storytelling Festival events

Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square is flooded. Its infrastructure has merged with the local fauna; mature trees grow through cracks in the sidewalks and vines cover south-facing walls. People commute via canoe and grow vegetables on skyscraper roofs. Urban life is thriving.

Rooted in Indigenous futurism, Biidaaban: First Light asks users to think about their place in history and their role in a possible future. As they move through a highly realistic future Toronto reclaimed by nature, they hear the languages of the place originally known as Tkaronto. Through gaze-based interactions, users engage with the written text of the Wendat, Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) and Anishinaabe (Ojibway) and gain insight into the complex thought systems of this land’s first peoples.

Biidaaban: First Light is part of the exciting all-Indigenous programming taking over the NAC’s performance and public spaces September 11-29, 2019. This premiere Indigenous Arts Festival, Mòshkamo, celebrates the inaugural season of NAC’s Indigenous Theatre and the resurgence of Indigenous Arts. Learn more at

Biidaaban: First Light is an interactive VR time-jump into a highly realistic—and radically different—Toronto of tomorrow. As users explore this altered city now reclaimed by nature, they must think about their place in history and ultimately their role in the future.

The Exhibit will be open from 10am to 2pm and 3pm to 7pm daily from September 17th through September 26th. Patrons are asked to join the wailing list available next to the exhibit and be admitted on a first come, first served basis. The experience is about 8 minutes in duration and the total time of 15 minutes includes the adjustment of the equipment for individuals.

© Mathew Borrett