Research > Digitizing Performing Arts

Digitizing Performing Arts

Digitizing the Performing Arts - cover page

“Semantic web markups are code and as such aren’t visible to web users, but they have a profound impact on what web users see (or not) when they search the web.”
Digitizing the Performing Arts
“It is the evolution of holographic approximations and fully moving holograms that holds the potential to transport much of the live performing arts experiences toward a kinetic digital experience akin to a live performance. … This technology may hold the most dramatic potential for transformation in the performing arts and especially the digitization of theatre, dance, opera and similar other performance experiences in the longer term.”
Digitizing the Performing Arts
“If in the digital age it is not content that is king, but connection, we need support to understand how to make those connections, how do we monetize those connections and build new business models that help us unlock new value and ensure the fair compensation of the artists/creators and the members in the creative chain.”
Dialogue on Digital Innovation in the Arts, October 2016

Live performing arts organizations have long prided themselves on providing an important way for individuals and communities to connect, be entertained and have important conversations. Yet audience expectations have been changing rapidly, and place-independent access to information and entertainment has become common place. The urgency to understand how digital innovation in the performing arts will affect Canada’s performing arts presenting eco-system lies at the heart of this landmark report by CAPACOA and Strategic Moves, Digitizing the Performing Arts: An Assessment of Opportunities, Issues and Challenges.

Digitizing the Performing Arts explores crucial aspects of the digital evolution:

  • Economic dynamic of live performing arts presentation today.
  • Technology trends from backbone technologies and standards like blockchain and semantic web to augmented and virtual reality and an evolution toward a holographic world.
  • The continuum of digital opportunities in the performing arts that includes examples of innovative Canadian digital experiments.
  • Lessons learned from other sectors changed by digital competitors or digital alternatives.

The question at the core of this work is who will be the digital intermediaries for the performing arts and whether performing arts presenters can carve out a space that transfers and expands their expertise to these new digital spaces in a way that supports and benefits the entire performing arts eco-system. In Digitizing the Performing Arts the authors outline paths forward for the performing arts presenting eco-system and emphasize the need for new collaborations, partnerships, digital knowledge and capabilities within the arts presenting field.

In short, this assessment provides a springboard for new conversations and digital capacity – and skill-building – in the presenting field.

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.

About the Digital Innovation Council for the Performing Arts

The Digital Innovation Council comprises people with experience in presenting organizations, performing arts companies and suppliers to the sector. It is co-chaired by Inga Petri, president of Strategic Moves and Frédéric Julien, Director of Research and Development of CAPACOA. As we move beyond the first phase of this work (assessment), we envision that the Digital Innovation Council become the go-to place for strategic exploration and foresight about performing arts presenters’ role in an emerging digital ecosystem for the performing arts.


The Canadian Arts Presenting Association/l’Association canadienne des organismes artistiques (CAPACOA) serves the performing arts touring and presenting community through its commitment to integrate the performing arts into the lives of all Canadians. CAPACOA fosters skills development, knowledge sharing, policy advancement, collaboration and innovation within the performing arts community and society at large.

About Strategic Moves

Strategic Moves, founded by Inga Petri in 2007, is an independent consultancy that operates at the intersection of research, strategy and marketing. It is nationally recognized for the landmark study on The Value of Presenting: A Study of Performing Arts Presentation in Canada (©2013) and for providing strategic insight, championing contemporary marketing practices, and delivering practical training in the arts sector. Strategic Moves has offices in Whitehorse, Yukon and Ottawa, Ontario.

This report has been made possible with financial support by the Government of Canada.