Sakura Dome Experience

Dates & Times:

February 18 Saturday - 5:45pm, 6:45pm, 7:45pm

Get Tickets
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Be one of the first to experience the 360-degree projection dome experience. Which features a 15-minute Northern Lights (Wednesday, Friday, Sunday) or Sakura (Thursday, Saturday) projection experience with a host telling stories on Japanese winter customs, traditions and tales! Only three time slots available per day, with a maximum 12 people.

Tickets are $25 per person and are available now!

Note from the artist Katherine Hatton:

“Peace and Serenity – The Birth of Spring’s Cherry Blossoms”

When I was first approached by Kelsey and the Nikko Yuko team about producing an animation about cherry blossoms, my immediate thought was how I was going to replicate the idea of watercolour on a digital platform. Watercolour is a beautiful medium that is chaotic and vibrant. I consider myself to be a digital artist, and while I’ve dabbled in traditional watercolour in the past, applying the form and flow of watercolour to a heavily controlled, pixel-based platform was a massive obstacle. The other obstacle was the fact that this 2-dimensional piece was going to be projected onto a 360-degree dome. It was something I’d never really done before, so of course I was excited!

Using a variety of brushes, effects, and a bit of experimenting, I came up with a workflow in Photoshop that allowed me to replicate and adapt the style of Japanese Watercolour.  I wanted the artwork to feel reminiscent of how the paint works in real life, so I embraced the idea of “intricate chaos.”  I sketched out the idea of the composition, chose my palette, and pushed and pulled the colours around, adding details to the anther and stigma, and then softening the petals and stems. Things had to flow, and colours had to bleed.  Funnily enough, after it was all said and done, painting them was the easy part!

With the help of my lovely teammates, Chase, Lyle, and Tyler, we were able to come up with a template that I could utilize to make sure that the animation would appear to grow from the sides of the dome, and over the heads of the audience, without being cut off. From there, it was a matter of trial and error with the dome. Resizing, repositioning, more colour over here, less colour over there, adding more designs, adjusting others, and much more. I’m not based in Lethbridge, so I heavily relied on my team to test my animations for me, and then give me the results. I couldn’t have done it without them.

Like many interactive, projection-based experiences, I wanted to envelope my audience. I want them to feel serene – spring will always come and with it, it brings new life, new changes, and an opportunity to grow. Let me take you away from the cold and snow, and instead we will go far away to a land of blue skies and pink blossoms.

Needless to say, I am so proud of how it came out. I grew a lot as a designer, as this project really challenged me with its technical requirements and cultural symbolism. I am so honoured that I got to work on such a unique project. I can’t wait for the next one.

Katherine Hatton was born in Calgary, Alberta and attended the University of Lethbridge, receiving a B.F.A. in New Media in 2018. She continued her education at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, completing a practicum in Design and Animation in 2020.  Katherine works as a contracted media specialist for the Lethbridge College, with her work ranging from course design and web illustrations to animation and motion graphics.