Ecosystem Leadership

Pulse on VR: A Living Ecosystem
Virtual Reality Pulse
Pandemic Effect Study

CFC Media Lab has become a leader in the rapidly transforming media and technology ecosystem in Canada and beyond through its research, thought leadership, publishing, speaking and convening activities.

Original Industry Reports

CFC Media Lab maintains a robust publishing schedule throughout the year, commissioning original coverage of the media/tech ecosystem, the venture capital and innovation communities, and a range of industry trends and events.

Because so many Canadian media/tech startups travel to Southern California as they expand their business, CFC Media Lab commissioned Notes from Silicon Beach, a unique series of reports about that vibrant media and technology ecosystem, written by CFC advisor and Los Angeles-based consultant Nick DeMartino. 

To receive the latest updates, sign up for the Media Lab’s newsletter here

Notes from Silicon Beach Archive

Pulse on VR: A Living Ecosystem

Launched by CFC Media Lab and OMERS Ventures in collaboration with Nordicity , Pulse on VR: A Living Ecosystem represents an ongoing snapshot of the Canadian Virtual Reality (VR) ecosystem as it evolves.

Beginning June 27, we will start presenting data that has been gathered from our survey of the Canadian VR ecosystem. The study – a living and ongoing research project – examines the workflows, tools, challenges and opportunities that VR creators and technologists face. Our goal is to present this data on a quarterly basis here and track how it takes shape over time.

Motivated by a desire to better understand how VR experiences are being created and distributed (the workflow) and which technologies are most prevalent among companies, Pulse on VR also sheds light on VR’s market potential. It notes the challenges and opportunities that companies are identifying as they seize the potential of this transformative medium and shape the future of the VR ecosystem.

Pulse on VR presents information from jurisdictions across Canada – specifically Ontario, Québec, Manitoba, Alberta, and British Columbia – with additional insights gathered from California. This work is intended to benefit companies, funders, investors and content creators working in VR that are seeking to understand where they fit into the ecosystem and how VR workflows apply to their projects.


Sign up for Media Lab newsletter HERE to learn more and get updates on Pulse on VR.

Overview of the Initial Study

Co-authored by CFC Media Lab and OMERS Ventures, in collaboration with Nordicity, initially this study was titled, Pulse on VR: A Workflow and Ecosystem Study. It has been designed to focus on the VR ecosystem in Canada and consists of VR startup survey research, as well as case study interviews. Its objectives are to:

  • Map out the key players in VR content creation and technology development from key regions across Canada, with additional insights gathered from California
  • Develop projections of VR opportunities
  • Increase the overall understanding the VR ecosystem

Pulse on VR is generously supported by the Canada Media Fund (CMF-FMC), Telefilm, Creative BC, On-Screen Manitoba (OSM), New Media Manitoba (NMM), the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), SODEC and Super Ventures. 

Approach and Methodology

The research investigates VR content creators, as well as companies that make software and/or hardware that enable VR content, from specific jurisdictions across Canada – notably Ontario, Québec, Manitoba, Alberta, and British Columbia – with additional insights gathered from California. The research will also incorporate experiences such as active VR (e.g., VR games), passive VR (e.g., linear documentary experiences) and hybrid VR experiences (combining both active and passive VR).

The study will address specific topics such as:

  • Who is making VR experiences and creating the tools and/or hardware that enable these experiences?
  • What companies currently have the potential to shape the VR ecosystem?
  • What challenges exist in creating VR experiences in Canada?
  • What future opportunities exist for VR?





Community Partners

Virtual Reality Pulse

CFC Media Lab is the presenting sponsor of “Virtual Reality Pulse,” a customized newsletter on the immersive media industries – AR, VR and XR. You can sign up for a daily newsletter here. Subscribers receive a customized feed of articles, blog posts and trending sources, curated through a combination of individual priorities and trends from more than 20,000 insiders across Canada. is produced by Aggregage in association with CFC.

Pandemic Effect Study


Pandemic Effect Study: Exploring Covid-19’s Impact on Ontario’s Women-led Digital Media Businesses is a study being conducted by CFC Media Lab in partnership with OCAD University’s Super Ordinary Laboratory and Nordicity consultancy. The aim of the study is to share insights from the perspective of Ontario’s women entrepreneurs in digital media as they navigate the unprecedented disruption wrought by COVID-19.Through surveys and participatory design workshops, the Pandemic Effect Study will identify the core changes experienced by female entrepreneurs and the most effective strategies and supports implemented in response. Insights gained through this project will provide guidance and support women digital media entrepreneurs as they face an increasingly uncertain future. Research will build on the feminist business principles already embedded in CFC Media Lab’s Fifth Wave Initiative.


There is a well-documented chasm when it comes to research and analysis on the needs, performance and activities of women-led businesses, both in Canada and globally. What is less well understood, beyond the numbers, is how these women-owned businesses are disproportionately affected by economic uncertainties and disruptions on a daily basis. Gathering data to report on the unique challenges experienced by female digital media entrepreneurs during the unprecedented COVID-19 global pandemic, is necessary to address the lack of gender-based reporting and data gathering in this segment. Without this work, both the successes and failures of women entrepreneurs go unreported, and the problems they face go further unnoticed. The Pandemic Effect Study’s overall objective is to identify, design and share crisis coping strategies from this crucial cohort. The final report will gain women entrepreneurs recognition as a special interest group that will provide a generation of entrepreneurs and policy-makers with new data covering key gender gaps within this ecosystem, ultimately shifting a mindset—one that helps set new policies and regulations with inclusivity and gender parity in mind.

Approach and Methodology

The Pandemic Effect Study will provide a meaningful and realistic record of how women-led digital media businesses responded to COVID-19 by executing the following project phases

Phase 1 – Project-Initiation and Key Questions

  • working group to share research and literature scans on critical topics of relevance and identify key questions

Phase 2 - Survey Design, Launch and preliminary analysis

  • Project team will design and distribute an online survey to women-led digital media entrepreneurs in Ontario focusing on key questions identified in Phase 1
  • The survey will be hosted on a secure Canadian-based platform and will meet or exceed accessibility AODA requirements.
  • The Project Team will promote the survey widely and aim for representation across Ontario.

Phase 3 – Future Scenarios and Strategies

  • With preliminary survey results in place, the working group will expand and refine some of the identified coping strategies, and explore them in more detail during a future scenarios virtual workshop.
  • Results from the workshop will be synthesized in a report for participants to review and comment on.
  • The project team will supply this report and guide the participants through it, prompting further refinement and reflection

Phase 4 – Report and Share Findings

  • With the known and potential strategies in place, the project team will incorporate the conclusions from this study into the final report.
  • The results of the Pandemic Effect Study will be crafted into an easily digestible, visually compelling report
  • The report will be disseminated across Ontario and beyond via the project team’s network of multidisciplinary artists, creators, producers and innovators


Workshop participants will receive a package of COVID-related Trends and Drivers that identify changes that are happening in our working environments and may have a significant impact on your business. These will be curated for participants from our ongoing research on the pandemic effects. We’ll be using them in our workshop and showing you how you and members of your company may to use these to identify the particular implications these might have on your business and to ideate on strategies and tactics to address them for future resiliency.

  • Complete the survey here to participate in the Pandemic Effect Study. 



Community Supporters