Summer 2017 4 Carleton Shaping History for Canada’s 150TH with Virtual Senate Tour Carleton Immersive Media Studio (CIMS) director Stephen Fai and his students have developed an in-depth, interactive virtual Senate tour to help celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. Fifty years ago, when Canada celebrated its centennial, an eight-year-old Stephen Fai watched the ceremonies in the national capital on television from small-town Saskatchewan. The copper-roofed Gothic Revival buildings on Parliament Hill — and the idea that such a place existed in his country — seemed magical. Now, as an associate professor in the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism and director of the Carleton Immersive Media Studio (CIMS), Fai and his students are using cutting-edge digital technologies to help the federal government document, rehabilitate and showcase these historic buildings through a series of collaborative projects that add another layer to Canada’s 150th birthday festivities. “Doing this is literally a dream come true,” says Fai. “We’re putting together material that people will be looking at from across the country.” A virtual tour of the Senate foyer, antechamber and chamber — the first public component of the CIMS work — was launched at an event for politicians and the press in the Sir John A. Macdonald Building on Wellington Street on March 1, 2017. When major renovations begin at Centre Block next year and senators move into a temporary home in Ottawa’s former downtown train station, anyone with internet access will be able to experience their iconic Red Chamber thanks to the interactive CIMS virtual Senate tour. Visitors can enter the virtual building and experience 360-degree 3D animations that bring the chamber’s artwork and architectural flourishes to life, from paintings, sculptures and the speaker’s chair to the four demonic “grotesques” perched over the main door. They can click on hotspots to read or listen to stories about the provenance of these features, as well as view a building information model that reveals that physical substructure above the ceiling. “Canada’s 150th anniversary is not just a time to reflect on the past — it is a chance to look to the future,” says Senator Leo Housakos, chair of the upper