13 Locations Across Canada Welcome the LVA Immersive Holiday Train Experience

PRESS RELEASE – For immediate publication

The immersive train ride to the north ends with Santa in a Candy Cane forest. Great memories can be captured on camera throughout the scenic trip in this new take on Shopping mall Santa.

LVA on track with 13-location holiday train installation for Ivanhoe Cambridge; The North Star Experience.

LiveVideoArt brings the magic of the holidays to shopping centres across the nation


(TORONTO, November 24 2021) Toronto-based LiveVideoArt (LVA) has partnered with real-estate mega-corp. Ivanhoe Cambridge for a new take on in-mall holiday celebrations. Branching away from the traditional in-person Santa Claus photo exhibit, Ivanhoe Cambridge sought a projection-mapping visual display for guests to be all inclusive, Covid19-safe and flexible to roll out simultaneously in 13 locations across Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia.

LVA’s original creative concept was to use the power of projection technology to bring guests on an immersive, simulated train ride through Canada’s North. All aboard the North Star Experience imagination train.

Scott Guy, LVA director and lead creative, designed the original 3D installation. The concept comes alive inside a life-size passenger car of a toy train. Guests step aboard the sturdy platform and take their seats beside a large open window set-facade. Three Panasonic short- throw laser projectors cast originally designed visuals onto a panoramic screen creating an in-motion feeling of travelling as the landscape scenes pass by. 

The North Star Experience begins with a toy train under a Christmas tree. The train sets off through holiday-themed tunnels that transport the guests into Canada’s Northern communities.

Along the way, as passengers journey North, they pass wildlife in their natural habitats with a dash of Holiday magic that highlights all the gifts that nature brings. At the end of the ride guests get a photo opportunity with the virtual Santa Claus.

In refining the concept, LVA reached out to Indigenous Arts Educator Veronica Johnny. Together, they worked to accurately represent Indigenous people living on the passing landscapes. Johnny’s organization, IndigenED, facilitated the inclusion of knowledge-keepers Chrystal Sparrow and Lucy Tulugarjuk. Chrystal Sparrow’s original house-pole design was recreated in 3D animation and is featured in a longhouse design within a passing Coast Salish community. While Lucy Tulugarjuk’s insights guided the elements related to Inuit culture like the inuksuk. Together with these collaborators, LVA proudly produced a piece that reflects the strong connections within nature and Canada’s diverse and vital landscapes and People. To honour and offer support to these Northern communities, proceeds of all ticket bookings go directly to the Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre, a hub of food security and advocacy in Iqaluit and Nunavut.

Guy designed the visual content with 3D animation tools such as Maya ZBrush and Unreal Engine. He says, “Our approach is a style of rapid prototyping and real time content creation that allows a more streamlined production process with less overhead. Five years ago it could have taken a team of animators and many months to create the type of show we can create much more efficiently today. Our real-time workflows and detailed planning enabled us to deliver an unprecedented nation-wide experience without compromising on the brief or our creative vision.”

The original accompanying soundtrack and audio effects were co-written, arranged and produced by Hans Ohm.

It’s a project LVA is more than just proud of. 

“It has come together so well”, says Mandy Leon, producer at LVA, “from the original concept renders, to these thirteen real-life twenty-four-foot train cars set-up across the country, there have been many logistical challenges to work through. Tight timelines, supply chain slowdowns, shipping delays… but we’ve kept the train on track and are delivering this experience on time and budget. It’s a Christmas miracle and the magic of the LVA network.”

A tiny but tactically agile shop based out of Toronto, LVA partners with a finely tuned list of Canada-wide support vendors to provide a scale of services for their clients. The weight of this holiday project called for all hands on deck. The feat of designing, building and shipping the train sets to be assembled on-site was critical to the success of this project. As was their relationship with Panasonic Canada and other crucial suppliers.

All aboard! The trains are rolling into the station and the North Star Experience will be running in all locations by Nov.27 through Dec.24. Bookings on the shopping centre websites.

Installations at Place Montreal Trust, Galeries d’Anjou, Laurier Centre (QBC), Vaughan Mills, Oshawa Centre, Mapleview Mall, Conestoga Mall, Outlet Collection Niagara (ON), Outlet Collection Winnipeg (MB), Southgate Centre (AB), Guildford Town Centre, Metropolis at Metrotown, Tsawwassen Mills (BC).


For more information, experience photos and media requests contact:

Scott Guy, LVA director