The Digital Stage 


The performing arts sector is standing on the cusp of monumental change.

As the arts and culture landscape swiftly evolves, leaps in technical innovation are opening exciting new doors of possibility - from being able to drastically alter the way a production might look, to exploring new ways of sharing art beyond a set venue, to the many ways an organization can tap into digital resources to enhance the guest experience.

Can't attend our Feb. 20 symposium in person? Tune in to our live stream below:



In spring 2019, the Canadian Opera Company announced an exciting new collaborative project meant to tackle and embrace these changes head-on: the Digital Stage. Generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, and in partnership with The National Ballet of Canada (NBoC) and Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT) at Sheridan College, the Digital Stage aims to set a path forward in developing “next practices” for our sector in the digital age.


The Canadian Opera Company is proud to lead these explorations but there is one element that is crucial to this project’s ultimate success: you. Comprehensive research in this area relies on an open, free exchange of information, through interviews, industry symposiums, and real-time digital testing.

Over 70 participants attended the kick-off symposium, held on October 2 at the COC’s administrative and rehearsal space in Toronto’s Esplanade neighbourhood. There, KerrSmith Design shared the results of a comprehensive environmental scan that gathered the latest research and analysis on the impact of digital technology currently being used within the performing arts.


View our Environmental Scan


The next symposium will be held on Thursday, February 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre in Toronto.

Attendees of the second symposium will take in a new presentation by KerrSmith; the research and design studio has been compiling a horizon scan of the arts and culture landscape for the past several months and will share findings about how new technology could drastically affect production and audience experience well into the future. February’s meeting will also review some of the results of the Digital Stage pilot phase, including a test of LiDAR scanning in theatrical spaces, as well as provide an overview of other technologies that remain to be tested over the course of this project. Facilitated roundtable discussions will make up the second half of the day, giving participants ample time to delve into the bigger picture questions about how technology can prove to be a source of new opportunities, instead of a disruptive force, in the industry.

If you are interested in participating in the Digital Stage, know of other organizations who would be interested, or want to share some positive results from the use of digital technology in the performing arts, please contact us via the form below.




We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.


Phone: 416-363-8231

Toll Free: 1-800-250-4653

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