The 19th annual ideacity conference featured everything from tech talks to robots, cannabis to cryptocurrency, rousing musical performances and even a 3D printed humanoid. In case you missed any of it, scroll down to check out photos, videos and quotes from our ideacity 2018 highlight reel.

Photo by Gina Bucci


One of the overwhelming audience favourites at ideacity 2018 brought the crowd to their feet with, well, his feet. Joey Hollingsworth, the 81-year-old London, Ontario-born tap dancer, who’s performed everywhere from The Ed Sullivan Show to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood to audiences with heads of state, took the stage at Koerner Hall to perform “Mr. Bojangles.”

Hollingsworth’s been tap dancing since age five and despite the decades that have passed, and his recent honour of being the inaugural recipient of the Ontario Black History Society Lifetime Achievement Award, he hasn’t missed a beat. Hollingsworth showed off his moves once again exclusively for during an interview after his performance. Plus, we also learned that he does a pretty darn good Ed Sullivan impression! Check it out in the video below.


As always, technology proved a major topic of discussion at ideacity.

“We’re going from a world of a few-haves and a lot of have-nots to a world of haves and a world of super-haves, where we don’t fight over survival, where we can take a vacation from survival, where we can hope to create our wildest dreams,” tech entrepreneur and bestselling author Peter Diamandis, declared onstage. “It’s not about creating a world of luxury. It’s about creating a world of possibility for every man, woman and child.”

Journalist and editor Diane Francis, however, noted that society must be willing to consider the ethical use of technology before jumping behind the next new innovation.

“Theoretically any kind of tech can save the world. I’m concerned we’re going to get there … there must be a moral and ethical framework around technologies,” she said during her time on stage. “This is what Oppenheimer did after [they] dropped the first atomic bombs. Ethical frameworks are going to be the only way forward.”

Canada’s most experienced war correspondent, Matthew Fisher, offered a more sobering outlook about the perils of technology without morality.

“Surveillance drones as small as bumblebees can peer into rooms, see who’s meeting, and take photos using AI & facial recognition,” he said, recalling his experiences covering conflicts around the world. “These machines have no sentimentality, no conscience. Pure mathematics decides who lives or dies.”

And so began the great tech debate, which included multiple experts, varying outlooks and lots of social media responses.


“The fourth industrial age is upon us and it’s driven by AI,” Anthony Lacavera, founder of Globalive Capital, said during his ideacity talk. “[It] promises to change every facet of our lives in the next 10-20 years.”

It’s already changed ideacity, where robots abounded everywhere you turned, from adorable children’s companions to lifelike humanoids. For example, Dr. John Ostrem, the CEO of AvatarMind, brought along his creation, the iPal, which serves as an educational tool in schools and could one day help aid caregivers in nursing homes and assisted care facilities.

“I know everything John knows and more,” iPal boasted when it took the stage at ideacity. We caught up with the robot, and its human, Dr. Ostrem, after their presentation.

Aside from the multiple iPals popping up around Koerner Hall, Bina48, called “the world’s first advanced humanoid robot based on the ‘mindfile’ information of a real person,” returned to ideacity, and even did some interviews. Her answers, however, were more complex than one might expect. When asked what her favourite music is she replied, “All human music is just shadows of human physics.”

Meanwhile, Hong Kong native Ricky Ma arrived to exhibit “Mark 1” – a remarkably lifelike 3-D printed humanoid robot that he built in a year and a half.

Photo by Mike Crisolago

And speaking of 3-D printing, ideacity attendees were able to be scanned for three-dimensional prints of themselves at the conference.

Photo by Mike Crisolago


The folks at Our Home & Miniature Land amazed attendees with their miniature displays of Toronto streets and even the Parliament Building …

Photo by Mike Crisolago
Photo by Mike Crisolago
Photo by Mike Crisolago

… while social media was abuzz about everything from satire to cannabis to cryptocurrency …

… to the great artists who showed up to perform for the crowd!

We also sat down with Amy Sky for a one-on-one talk following her ideacity performance, which you can check out in the video below. And click here for more on ideacity 2018, videos of the talks and performances and how you can attend next year!