Calgary Creators: Create your way to $3,000!

March 2nd (10am-6pm) | March 3rd (10am-7pm)

Last Day to Register: Feb 28th 2024

Central Library, 800 3 St SE, Calgary, AB T2G 2E7

Like a marathon, across this 2 day event, creators shall band together to form teams of up to five humans and work together to create local interactive storytelling experiences for the townsfolk of Calgary. If you don’t win one of the prizes, you can still make revenue from what you create across the weekend!

Need More Info?

Ah, What’s a Create-a-thon?

It’s like a hackathon, or game jam, but for all you creative souls!

Like a marathon, across a 2 day event, creators shall band together to create local interactive storytelling experiences that are activated when the user is standing in the right location, using their smartphone. These experiences are like if Pokémon Go, stories, and transmedia had a baby.

NO, you don’t need to have ever made one before. No tech background is needed, we have the resources, workshops and activities to support you!

YES, we especially want writers, musicians, actors, and visual artists in this room – all of you are needed, more info on how below!

YES, including those of you in theatre. YES, including those of you in film. YES, including those of you from gaming.

Our aim? To gather together, meet some new friends, create some cool sh*t, provide some workshops, and have some fun with other creative people.

This year, we have a sponsor who is offering up $3k prize for the best creation of the weekend for those to those willing to tackle their challenge. If an average of 40 people show up in teams of five, that’s a 1 in 8 chance baby! And if you don’t win, you can still generate revenue from your creations post event. Win-win!

Are you up for the quest?

Oh, and did we mention this event is free to attend? And includes lunch? And snacks? Oh yes friends, it’s all true, more details below!

We’re turning Streets into adventures! Ready to transform yours?

Who Can Attend?

March 2nd-3rd for Story City’s Create-a-Thon.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a writer, musician, actor, artist, theatre kid, filmmaker, game developer, or anything in between – this two-day creation and collaboration event is for everyone, from first-timers to professionals! 

Here’s what you can expect in your team roles:

  • Writers/Storytellers/playwrights/game designers: You create the story and write the script, or prose, whether it be for real-life choose your adventures, outdoor escape rooms, a walking tour, or a little jaunt through the neighbourhood for your kids as you pretend to be pirates. Don’t worry we have tips, tricks and prompts to help you get excited and started.
  • Actors: Perform those scripts, narrate those prose, film those scenes. Because the stories you’ll make are most immersive if there is associated audio or film performance. Actors bring those to life.
  • Artists/Illustrators: Most of these experiences require you to imagine something in the real world – a monster, a character, a time portal – artists and illustrators are the best people to bring those to life. Plus we have extra activities for the wannabe muralists and light painters in the room.
  • Musician: The most immersive experiences have a musician at the helm, scoring audio and film, providing a sound track to the city as users walk through. We have a ton of professional development up our sleeves and some ways you can even leverage songs, EPs, albums or music videos you’ve already made.

This event is designed so you can learn something new – new ways to apply your skills, new ways to collaborate, and new ways to make money as a creator.

Sorry, What Are We Making Exactly? What is Story City?

Why go for a boring walk downtown when you could be running from a zombie apocalypse? Or how about cruising the Calgary streets while solving a mystery? Or perhaps pillaging the East Village looking for pirate supplies? It’s your adventure, so it’s up to you!

Story City supports creators to create stories that make you the hero of your own adventure, giving you the chance to step into a story in locations across the world. Whether you’re creating a real-life choose-your-adventures, outdoor escape rooms, an interactive theatre performance, or perhaps historic tales each experience only opens when you’re standing in the right place via the Story City App.

Story City takes a story experience from the traditional printed page, screen or stage and delivers it to smart phones and mobile devices. The experiences are created to appeal to both locals and tourists, combining things like fiction, historical fact, public art, or puzzles to illuminate the area in a new and exciting way.

The most interactive creator teams tend to have writers, artists, musicians, and actors in the mix.

Using the GPS functionality of Story City, and our super simple, no-technical-experience-needed creator tools, you can make sure your story and content that opens up in a specific location and lead users on an adventure through the city streets. This tech has been mainly used for self-guided walking tours but here at Story City we specialize in empowering creators to make content on our platform such as fictional stories, puzzle adventures, or other immersive entertainment experiences. Providing ways for creators to adapt the things they normally create, into immersive digital adventures that invite people to step into the experience.

These experiences activate public space, help locals and tourists have fun through the city streets, and revitalise the city as a storytelling and experiential playground just waiting to be discovered. As we like to say: Play with the city, play with your friends, play with yourself 😉

Okay, Give Me the Details

City: Calgary

Date: A 2 day event

  • Day 1 Sat March 2nd 2024, 10am-6pm (9am kick off for individuals wanting to find teams).
  • Day 2 Sun March 3rd 2024, 10am-7pm

Location: Calgary Central Public Library, 800 3 St SE, Calgary, AB T2G 2E7

Prize: $3,000 for best experience developed across the weekend (& even if you don’t win you can make revenue off what you create this weekend!)

Cost: Free

Food: Heck yeah! Free lunch and snacks baby!

What’s the Challenge?

It’s a learning/collaboration/networking experience with a whimsically-crazy deadline (2 days/16hrs). There are two tracks to our Create-a-thon:

  1. Become a Challenger – Join in by yourself or with your team (up to 6) and take on the sponsor’s quest! Respect the theme, be in the running for the $3k prize, or mini-challenge prizes of $100+ and have a ball of a time. Submissions will be judged on: adherence to locations and theme of challenge, creativity, team-cooperation, innovative mixing of story/activity and physical location.
  2. Come Casually  – Come in with as many people as you want and explore your creativity by making a story with your friends in less than 72 hours, with no location constraints. The only rule is to have fun!

Each create-a-thon challenge requires teams to incorporate in some way into their creation specific geographic areas as chapters or settings for their interactive experiences, and themes such as history, art, or local businesses. We’re trying not to give too much away – but the full challenge you’ll be creating to will be revealed at the in-person Saturday morning kick-off, and will involve making stories, adventures, and experiences that lead participants to, from and through a particular area of Calgary’s downtown.

One lucky team of creators will walk away with the $3,000 grand prize. Plus, other challenge mini prizes ($100+) will drop all weekend long, thanks to our wonderful local small-businesses.

And if you don’t win the grand prize, don’t despair! The Story City app you’ll be using to bring your stories to life in the city streets allows you make revenue from experiences as locals and tourists alike use them to explore Calgary as the hero of their own adventure.

An event where at the end you either win an epic cash prize or make money from your creation? Sign us up!

Produced in partnership with our pals at Common Ground Arts Society.

Full Agenda – March 2024

Mon, Feb 26th // 30 Min – Lets get Jazzed!

  • Virtual Kickoff
  • Register with the Platform
  • Get on Discord
  • AND meet for people to form teams!

Weds, Feb 28th // 45 Min – How to use the Story City creator tools 101

  • Yes, its Zoom! Invite info included in registration!
  • Learn about Story City’s non-technical creator tools – seriously you don’t need to be technical AT ALL to use them.
  • Brainstorm experiences that are possible
  • Q & A with our founder & CEO Emily Craven

Sat, March 2nd // 1.5 hours – Breakfast Kickoff! Let the games begin!

  • When: 9:30am-11am
  • Where: Central Library, 800 3 St SE, Calgary, AB T2G 2E7
  • Morning Kickoff: Check in, meet the judges, find your team learn the schedule! And of course, mini-challenges – WHAAATT?!
  • What to expect this weekend.
  • The full challenge is revealed.
  • Network and build those teams!

Sat, March 2nd // 7 hours – Create-a-thon Day 1

  • When: 11am-6pm
  • Where: Central Library, 800 3 St SE, Calgary, AB T2G 2E7
  • 11:00AM-1:30PM: Morning – Ideation / Location Selection / Breakout Workshops!
  • Lunch
  • 2:00PM -5PM Afternoon – Nail Down Story / Interaction/ Script & Drafts / Breakout Workshops!
  • 5:30PM-6PM Evening: Wrap up and plan for tomorrow!

Sun, March 3rd // 9 hours – Create-a-thon Day 2

  • When: 10am – 7pm
  • Where: Central Library, 800 3 St SE, Calgary, AB T2G 2E7
  • 10:00AM Morning – Doors open!
  • 11:00AM-2:00PM Morning Sessions – Finalizing Voiceover, music, art etc. / Breakout Workshops!
  • Lunch
  • 2:30PM – 4:00 PM: Afternoon – Tweak / polish stories
  • 4:00 PM all stories submitting to the $3000 challenge due
  • 4:00PM-6:30PM: Closing talk and networking!

Registration Form

Thank you for your interest, registration for this event is now closed! If you’d like to hear about future events across the world, sign up for our creator newsletter here.