• Staging the Future

    By COC Staff



    On October 2, 2019, the COC hosted more than 70 participants at a kick-off symposium that encouraged shared learnings on new technology, open discussion of big-picture ideas, and the development of “next practices” for the Canadian arts sector in the digital age.

    The day’s events were all part of the COC-led Digital Stage project, launched earlier this year in partnership with the National Ballet of Canada and the Screen Industries Research and Training Centre.


    A core component of the symposium was the presentation of a systematic Environmental Scan, conducted by KerrSmith Design, which gathered the latest research and analysis on the impact of digital technology within the performing arts, and then identified the ways in which the creation, delivery, and reception of stage work is shifting with the development of 21st-century technologies. You can read the environmental scan here.

    While the Digital Stage envisions long-term transformation of our industry and invites arts organization to dream big about our future, we’re also embracing the possibilities of new technologies in the here and now – just one example is the spectacular visual effects made possible with green screens for our upcoming production of Hansel & Gretel.


    This first symposium was well-attended, with 29 organizations represented at the gathering, including industry partners and arts peers from across the GTA. Those in attendance experienced spatial audio demonstrations, explored virtual reality applications, and watched a live motion capture transmitted from a remote location.


    In the coming weeks, partnering organizations will move into the workshop and experimentation phase of the Digital Stage project – and the COC is making plans to host a second symposium in early February 2020. At that time, we will be releasing the results from this next phase of research, as well as some early learnings from the iterative experiments and workshops conducted to date. To learn more visit coc.ca/DigitalStage.

    Photo credit: COC; Joe Chapman at the Digital Symposium, photo: Paul McNulty

    Posted in Digital Stage

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