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The Rise of the Canadian Hispanic-Latin American Virtual Museum

The Canadian Hispanic-Latin American Virtual Museum (CHLAVM) emerged from the pressing need to showcase and celebrate the contributions of the Hispanic-Latin American community in Canada, a narrative notably absent in the nation's cultural institutions. In response to this gap, Elvira Sánchez de Malicki proposed the idea of a dedicated virtual museum to the Canadian Hispanic Congress (CHC). While the CHC, established in 1983 to represent and advocate for this community, supports the concept, its advocacy goals differ from the museum's cultural and educational objectives.

This led to the strategic decision to establish the CHLAVM as an independent non-profit organization on August 20, 2021. This move allows the museum to pursue charitable status, opening doors for further development and community engagement. The museum gained significant momentum in 2023 with a grant from the Digital Access to Heritage—Museums Assistance Program, enabling cutting-edge technology for an immersive virtual experience.

The development of the museum has greatly benefited from the expertise of Keram Malicki-Sánchez, a renowned figure in the virtual reality industry and the founder of the VRTO Spatial Media World Conference and the FIVARS Festival of International Virtual & Augmented Reality Stories. Alongside his exceptional team at Constant Change Media Group, Inc., which includes artists, developers, experienced designers, and experts in user experience, playtesting, and accessibility, Malicki-Sánchez has played a pivotal role. Their collective efforts have been instrumental in crafting an immersive and engaging platform that vividly encapsulates the history and culture of the Hispanic-Latin American community in Canada.

Today, the Canadian Hispanic-Latin American Virtual Museum is at the threshold of defining a new era in digital cultural representation. It is set to showcase an expansive range of contributions from the Hispanic-Latin American community, spanning arts, culture, science, sports, and academia. Beyond its role as a dynamic exhibition space, CHLAVM is actively partnering with academic institutions, fostering a hub for innovation and learning in virtual reality and advanced content creation. This venture captures the rich heritage of Hispanic-Latin Americans. It positions the museum as a forefront contributor to Canada's evolving and vibrant cultural narrative, continually shaping and redefining the landscape of digital engagement and cultural education.