The thrill of release! Yes, we published today our latest national report – already billed as landmark 😉 – titled Digitizing the Performing Arts: An Assessment of Opportunities, Issues and Challenges. It is also available in French: La numérisation des arts du spectacle : Évaluation des possibilités, des enjeux et des défis.
I hope that this assessment provides a springboard for new conversations and digital capacity in the presenting field.
The question at the core of this work is who will be the digital intermediaries for the performing arts; and whether the presenting field can carve out a digital space that supports and benefits the entire performing arts eco-system. Doing so, I think, would require both a transfer and an expansion of the arts presenting expertise we see on the theatre platform to new digital platforms.
Presenters historically have been the dominant platform where performing arts and audiences connect. The theatre, stage or the festival site literally act as a platform. With that, this report seeks to begin to answer – or at least inform – big questions:
- Can live arts presenters re-invent distribution of performing arts at digital scale?
- How will Canadian artistic talent be nurtured and supported to grow viable careers and earn fair compensation in the digital realm?
- How can we, and should we, as a free, vibrant society assure a broad diversity of voices that reflect all of Canada is heard in digital spaces as well as live performance spaces?
- What is the future of live Canadian theatre, dance, music and other performing arts as digital technologies and capacities of data networks continue to advance?
This report by CAPACOA and Strategic Moves is the culmination of several years of conversations that emanated from our study on The Value of Presenting: A Study of Performing Arts Presentation in Canada. We are grateful for an initial round of financial support from Canadian Heritage to undertake this assessment.
On a personal note, I so appreciate and enjoy working with my colleague-client, Frédéric Julien, Director of Research and Development at CAPACOA. He is a tireless advocate in the arts; and equal parts smart, rigorous in his thinking and affable. Thank you, Frédéric, for your work and your collaboration!