Government launches virtual experience to explore historic parliament building

There's an online version and VR version of the digital experience

The federal government has launched a VR (virtual reality) and online digital experience to explore the parliament building.

It is meant to provide Canadians who are at home during the COVID-19 pandemic a new way to “step inside the centre of federal democracy.”

The 15-minute experience highlights key public spaces, including the Senate, House of Commons, Library of Parliament and Peace Tower.

It is designed to offer “an innovative look inside Centre Block, which closed last year for long-term rehabilitation. This landmark building was the site of debates and decisions that shaped Canada for almost 100 years, a rich legacy that is showcased to the public in this new work.”

Each part of the experience is meant to offer a new perspective on parliament, including its history, art and role in the lives of Canadians.

“VR users can download an immersive 3D journey into the space, which blends photorealism with magical elements, including vivid sound, colour and light,” the government notes.

The VR version is accessible through Steam, and is also available in 360° video on Oculus, YouTube and Facebook for mobile-based headsets. Canadians who don’t have VR equipment can access the online experience, which gives you the feel of a pop-up book as you scroll through different chapters.

‘Parliament: The Virtual Experience’ is a co-production of by the Library of Parliament and the National Film Board of Canada’s Interactive Studio.

You can access the online version of the experience here, and the VR version here. 

Image credit: National Film Board of Canada