From January 26 to February 6, 2021, the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre (PAC) hosted a virtual summit to engage the Niagara arts community in exploring the needs of a digital future. The summit featured a series of 15 sessions, including case studies, workshops and sharing opportunities. Participants included arts organizations, local artists and changemakers in the Niagara region and beyond. Over 250 people from across the Niagara region and Canada registered for one or several sessions.

A November, 2020 survey informed summit design. A total of 22 organizations and 58 individual artists from Niagara responded to the survey, providing insights into demographics, needs, skill levels and priorities as the sector responds to the digital landscape.

Summit participants’ feedback showed a strong appetite for ongoing dialogue with local artists and arts organizations about continued opportunities to collaborate; share in learning; and have access to technical/digital resources, a focus on access and equity in the digital space, and continued exploration of new forms of digital technologies.

Areas identified for follow up include:

  • Ongoing professional and networking activities
  • Strategic planning that incorporates digital realities
  • Exploration of:
    -funding opportunities to support digital and technical residencies and hands-on learning about new technologies
    -XR (augmented, virtual, and mixed reality technologies)
    -effective marketing, data analysis and metrics through existing technologies
    -how audiences can remain integral throughout digital creation, adaptation and presentation processes.

This work was supported by the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Strategies Fund, to convene the local arts community in a shared exploration around a changing digital landscape.

Published By: First Ontario Performing Arts Centre, St. Catharines, Ontario

Publication Date:  March, 2021

Click here to view: Exploring the Digital Needs of Niagara’s Arts Community: Reflections and a Look to the Future

 

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