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  • Canadian Live Music Association & Canadian Music Week

    2024 Live Music Industry Awards presented by

    Tuesday, June 4, 2024
    Awards Show. 5:00PM -7:00PM
    Frontenac Ballroom (across from Westin Harbour Castle Hotel)

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John Textor: Master of Surreality

john textor
Canadian Music Week welcomes keynote speaker John Textor, Executive Chairman of Pulse Evolution Corporation (PLFX), pioneer and leading developer of hyper-realistic digital humans for holographic live performances, virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence, as part of this year’s Digital Media Summit on Thursday, May 5. Widely credited as the pioneer of the new industry of Holographic Entertainment, he is responsible for the 2012 appearance of Virtual Tupac Shakur at the Coachella Valley Music Festival and the 2014 performance of Virtual Michael Jackson at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, the latter generating more than 35 million YouTube views and 98 billion Internet impressions worldwide. In 2015, PLFX’s new hologram music industry secured ‘pop culture status’ as Textor and his partner Frank Patterson were parodied in the ‘Hologram episodes’ of the globally successful animated sitcom, South Park.
Currently, Textor is active in the development of entertainment properties across a broad spectrum of venues and technology platforms. In addition to his leadership in the extended uses of photo-realistic, digital humans, he is also currently a Producer of Art Story, an original animated feature film currently being developed by Disney veteran filmmaker Aaron Blaise, as well as Producer and Executive Producer of Ender’s Game, a science fiction fantasy film released in November 2013.

Previously the Chairman and CEO of Digital Domain, the predecessor to Digital Domain (HKSE: 547), Textor led its acquisition and restructuring from May 2006, through a NYSE valuation of $450 million in Spring 2012, until his resignation in August 2012. Together the companies were responsible for the visual effects of more than 80 large scale feature films, 25 of which were completed during his leadership, including such films as Transformers, Flags of our Fathers, Tron:Legacy, Real Steel and Pirates of the Caribbean at World’s End. During that time, Digital Domain experienced a doubling of its revenues in just three years, was re-established as a market leader in visual effects, winning multiple Academy Awards, CLIO advertising awards and, importantly, being recognized as the first visual effects company to deliver a believable digital human actor in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. This achievement, known as the ‘Holy Grail of Animation’, earned the company a 2009 Academy Award for Achievement in Visual Effects.


Other highlights during Textor’s tenure at Digital Domain included the invention of the Holographic Virtual Performance Industry, with the break-through introduction of digital Tupac Shakur at Coachella, also the consummation of a joint venture for the digital resurrection of Elvis Presley, the creation of a first of its kind, dual-enrollment Bachelor’s program with Florida State University, completion of a $100 million joint venture agreement with the sovereign media authority of Abu Dhabi and the transformation of Digital Domain into a film production company with the co-production of Ender’s Game.

Founder of Wyndcrest Holdings, LLC, a Florida-based private holding company focused on technology-related opportunities in entertainment, telecommunications and the Internet, he has served as its (and its predecessor’s) President since 1997. Wyndcrest was best known for its role as an early lead investor in Art Technology Group (then Nasdaq “ARTG”), a principal pioneer of internet personalization technology, that achieved a liquid $10.5 billion valuation as one of the most successful IPOs of 1999.

He also served as the Chairman and CEO of BabyUniverse, Inc., a leading e-tailer of baby-related products, which Textor saved from insolvency with only a $300,000 investment in 2001, increasing revenues from $1 million to $40 million, and selling in October of 2007 for roughly $90 million. As the founding director and the largest shareholder of Virtual Bank, a Florida-based Internet banking startup, he was responsible for the achievement of developing it into a multi-billion dollar diversified financial services company. In addition, he was also a director of Multicast Media Technologies, Inc., a global provider of Internet-based broadcast media, which was sold successfully to KIT Digital of Czechoslovakia, and previously Chairman of the Board and principal owner of Sims Snowboards, the world’s 2nd leading snowboard brand, with led to him inventing the World Snowboarding Championship.

John Textor is a graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT.