Culture, Cities and Digital Technologies

From 2018-2019, Lord Cultural Resources, Nordicity and OCAD University convened 18 nationally and provincially-mandated arts and culture organizations, 6 city economic development departments and a multitude of digital technology advisers to brainstorm and develop a series of strategic initiatives that would help these partners leverage big data and maximize digital solutions for the benefits of all involved. Using two pilot project case studies – the Toronto Arts of Tomorrow Initiative and the Canadian Arts Discoverability Initiative – this session will explore the successes and set backs of bringing multi-discipline (museums, visual arts, dance, festivals, etc.) and multi-sector partners together from across the country in collaboration. Attendees will hear about the convening and collaboration process used, key questions and issues raised, new insights gathered, and lessons learned. In sharing this knowledge, we hope to encourage other cultural organizations, cities and digital leaders to seek out new partners for collaborations and to develop their own unified digital initiatives to solve a range of common problems; from audience analytics and discoverability, to content distribution and monetization.


Unknown Speaker 00:00
All right, so I think we're gonna get started because it's a It's four o'clock. Um, so welcome to everyone, and welcome to our fellow Torontonians. I hope Yeah. So thank you for joining us this afternoon. I hope everyone is enjoying the conference thus far. My name is Sarah Hill, and I am a senior consultant with Lord cultural resources. And I'm pleased to be presenting today with my colleague, mila de chef Tweddle, from Nordic city, I really hard to say that by the way, I've practiced we've worked together a little bit. So we'll introduce ourselves. And then we'll get started on our session today, around culture of cities and digital technology, obviously, with that lens of collaboration, and us being a great example of collaboration. So Lord, cultural resources, we're a planning firm for cultural institutions. We work globally. We've got six offices, thus far. We're headquartered in Toronto, but we also have in New York office, and an office here in California, in Long Beach just outside of Los Angeles. And we work predominantly with cultural institutions, so museums, art galleries, gardens, archives, libraries, historic sites, you name it, we have probably done it in the 40, almost 40 years that we've been in business. And we offer a range of services from exhibition and interpretive planning to facility planning, as well as strategy and business development. And we've also seen, obviously, as digital is quite cross cutting the need to embed that into our practices and services as well. And so these are just some recent digital initiatives that we've been working on. And we've also been working quite collaboratively with our partners at Nordic city on a number of our digital projects and all that Mila Introduce yourself.

Unknown Speaker 02:08
Yeah. So Nora, dusty is consulting firm, we specialize in strategy, policy and economic analysis for the creative and cultural industries. And also we work in well, my colleagues in our Ottawa office, work in the telecom sector. But yeah, similarly firm has been around for two years, we have four offices, three in Canada, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Toronto, and one in London in the UK.

Unknown Speaker 02:37
So, for today's session, we're looking at three different case studies that we've been working on together, Nordic city and Lord or sometimes what we've now fondly termed Lourdes city or something along those lines. So these three projects are funded through the Digital Strategy Fund, which is a grant fund from the Canada Council for the Arts. So we'll just kind of give you an overview of what that is. And we'll go through each of the different case studies just kind of what it is, who's been involved and try and kind of pull out some of the highlights around collaboration and some of the challenges around collaboration. And we've got a couple of videos as well, some words from our partners, if you will. So I'll turn it over to Mila to kick things off

Unknown Speaker 03:25
next month. So first things first, let's give you guys a little bit of context. As Sarah mentioned, we just wanted to give you an overview of the digital strategy, what the dual strategy we find is we're pretty lucky in Canada, sorry, I feel like no one can hear me, relatively speaking, just because we do have a pretty good public funding ecosystem, although we love to complain about it. And there's always room for improvement, but still. So we have this federal Arts Council called the Canada Council for the Arts for those of you who do not know. And they launched something called the Digital Strategy Fund back in 2017. And I'm just going to take a second to tell you guys a little bit about what that is all about, since it is definitely the financial driver behind some of the initiatives that we're going to talk to you about today. Oh, and also, I forgot to shout out to the city of Toronto, who also supported two of the initiatives we're going to talk about. So what is the digital strategy plan? Basically, in 2016, the Canada Council commissioned a study called the arts in a digital world, which was completed by an odyssey. And based on kind of the findings from that research, they developed and launched this new Digital Strategy Fund. And it's essentially an 88 and a half million dollar investment over five years. For those who don't speak in Canadian dollars. That's 67 million US dollars at the current exchange rate wants to change maybe sometimes, and they just finished their third intake of applications this past September in the first year. They supported about 114 projects. And in year two, they supported a total of 42 projects. We haven't done an in depth analysis of what you know, the size of those projects are necessarily but the assumption is that they're probably larger scale projects in year two. But basically, the goal of the Digital Strategy Fund is to stimulate the digital transformation of the art sector in Canada. And there are over arching guiding principles and values for the funder artists support projects that embody collaboration, partnership, and networking, open mindedness and a willingness to share knowledge, results, ideas and lessons learned. And there's an emphasis on experimentation, risk taking and iterative development. And basically, they're just trying to support or enable a kind of system level transformation of the arts and culture sector. And so they don't necessarily want organizations going off and doing kind of one off projects here. And they're individually. They're really just trying to support a collaborative approach and a transformative approach that gets at the heart of how the sector is operating. So the cities, the fund is structured into three streams, the digital literacy stream is all about building digital capacity and knowledge and supporting projects that focus on research and experimentation. The public access stream is about developing, supporting projects that develop and explore new models of engagement, and new approaches to sharing and discovering. And the transforming organizational models stream focuses on developing exploring new digital ways of working, exploration and implementation of new approaches for managing digital workflows and processes. So that they can, you know, these organizations can thrive in a digital world. And basically, why it's important is it's providing a really critical investment of resources into the sector, that was identified as a coordinate to allow the sector to kind of make that digital transformation and make that a priority and in what they do. And when you're, you know, when you're focusing on keeping the lights on and doing your special projects and doing the day to day, it's hard to find the resources to embark on, like really transformative research and development at the scale, certainly at the scale that the Canada Council is hoping to support. So that's, that's why it's been such a kind of critical thing in the sector. And it's also important important, because the collaborative approach helps build strength at the sector level, it's forcing the sector to kind of collectively take pause and think strategically about how to arm themselves to navigate the challenges and opportunities that are presented by the digital worlds, both present and future, actually, it's it's quite future facing. And that's a really critical piece. Because it's helping shift the culture and mindset of the sector to be more agile, experimental and kind of just be poised to continue to evolve and transform with the digital environment.

Unknown Speaker 08:02
And the fund is also helping arts organizations adapt to the digital environment in three ways. So building knowledge, skills and capacity, transforming workflows, and pushing them to think strategically about digital opportunities. And finally, what's interesting is the fund is also having this kind of albeit intended, but spillover impact, which is that it's actually also helping to improve access and engagement and participation in the arts, which is also one of their kind of core objectives. So

Unknown Speaker 08:30
So we consider ourselves pretty lucky in that regard. But we should say that the those that are eligible for the fund our candidate council members, and so it's a lot to do with the arts, performing arts, visual arts, and not for profit organizations operating in that field. And but that also includes our art galleries. And so some of our museums kind of that have art collections kind of fit into that category as well. So not all museums in Canada are eligible for the fund. But there are a certain number of museums that are so the first case study we have for you is our Toronto arts of tomorrow Initiative, or sometimes we fondly call tatty. We have some strange acronyms going on, it becomes kind of confusing sometimes. This was the first project that was funded through the Digital Strategy Fund. And it was initiated by a Nordic city with support from Lord. And we, as a team really helped to shape that funding application but also to bring on board those not for profit organizations within the realm to participate in the project as well. And the main thrust was really looking at how we might help Toronto's really established arts organizations operate more effectively in a digital world. And so this was a kickoff project. This was really what's gotten everything started. There had been discussions previously amongst The groups although if you operate in Toronto, sometimes they're more competitive than they are collaborative. And so this was a really a way of bringing people together around common issues and to start thinking about more of a collaborative work ethic. So here are the partners that were involved. As I mentioned, we have a solid consulting team in nor does the Lord and OCAD U, which is the Ontario College of Art and Design based in Toronto, and our funders, of course, with support from the City of Toronto through the economic development and Culture Department. And for these types of applications to the candidate Council, we have to have a lead applicant that is one of the members and a not for profit organization. So the Harbourfront Centre took that lead in this case, they're a multidisciplinary arts venue on the waterfront in Toronto. And then we had 11 other participating organizations. And they range from things like national organizations like the National Ballet of Canada, and the Canadian Opera Company, as well as other provincial organizations like the Art Gallery of Ontario, the agio, and more Toronto centric organizations, so the Toronto Symphony Orchestra or the Toronto International Film Festival, so you got a range of different partners here. And we won't talk too much about the project process, overall, Lord inauthenticity were the ones really the project managers for this kind of facilitating brokering, working on all of the nitty gritty admin and project management stuff. And just kind of to frame out our collaborative process, we had partnership agreements, which were really important in calling out who was responsible for what and what the expectations were for being involved, obviously, regular calls and meetings and various email communications at this point. And then I'll talk a little bit in a little bit about the Strategic Foresight workshop. But that's where we really came together to for the big main collaborative event. And so we started, this process was really fantastic for us as consultants as well, because it gave us an opportunity to also participate in the experimentation and the learning process. And so the environmental scan was really important, it helped us kind of get a good grounding in what was going on in arts and culture and how that intersected with the digital world, and vice versa. But it was also really important to bring to our partners to make sure everyone was working from a common base of knowledge, and so that everyone could participate in the discussion, and it could be inclusionary that way, but it was also providing inspiration for the workshop. And so our strategic foresights workshop was led by our OCAD U partners at their facility. And I can't emphasize this enough that we are so proud that we had participation from over 30 people on a single day from all of our partners, like that's kind of a miraculous undertaking in and of itself to get arts leaders from across Toronto, in a room for that long. And so we were all exploring what these kind of scenarios about what would Toronto's arts and culture look like in 2025. And then we were working together to brainstorm, brainstorm strategies for each of the scenarios, and kind of looking for commonalities amongst the partners so that we could build consensus and then go forward with a few key projects that we wanted to work on, and apply to the next round of Digital Strategy funding. And so in terms of achievements, of course, the grant award was fantastic. And that financial support from the City of Toronto really helped legitimize things, as well as the commitment from the leaders and decision makers across those big arts organizations. But what really came out of it was five Viable Product projects that everyone agreed to in the room. And three of those went forward for Digital Strategy Fund applications in the second round. And they are all three, one additional funding support. And so we were looking at things like a joint arts marketing initiative that would leverage digital technologies to do that, some sort of arts analytics collective, kind of like the audience agency in the UK that we heard about this morning. One around content distribution and innovation really kind of exploring what content is, and how its managed and stored. There was kind of a spin off project that way, and then the knowledge factory, a way of sharing the knowledge. So challenges, obviously, finding time was pretty difficult, especially for us trying to coordinate all of these leaders and the leadership was in flux in Toronto at that point, we saw a number of changes at the CEO level for these organizations. But I think mostly it was the kind of multiplicity of digital plans that each organization had, of course, they were all at different levels of digital maturity coming into this process, and they all had things in in the works, so when we were trying to brainstorm joint activities, we also had to keep those in the back of our mind at the same time. And then again, competition, like I said, can sometimes get in the way of collaboration. But I think actually things went very well. And so we don't want you just to take our word for it, we have a couple of words from our partners since this is a little bit of a longer video, but I think it should be okay.

Unknown Speaker 15:30
Relationship to cultural organizations is frequently defined almost exclusively by offering a grant. But frankly, the grant is probably just a single part of it. And we need to think more deliberately about other aspects of our relationship. That's our convening power, how we help people navigate the regulatory environment. The city touches everything thought that the city could act as perhaps it honest broker reorganizations together, demonstrate the city's good faith, putting money on the table, and try to have organizations collaborate while demonstrating the significance of the opportunity that they faced with the digital strategy funded the Canada Council. It was an overwhelmingly positive experience, I think, in large measure to the quality of the intervenors, nor density, Lord OCAD, who came together to add rigor to the process. I too frequently people are brought together in this type of situation with rather ill defined goals, and a really diluted sense of leadership. So those common problems were solved upfront. And that helped a lot. So that was a strong positive, we began to get a sense of the emerging leadership within organizations around digital change. So we frequently cite the National Ballet of Canada, at the leadership there how their CIO occupies a seat at the strategic leadership table National Ballet operates with a very much a digital first mindset. And we found that it exceeded our hopes that that leadership emerged at the table, or their organizations perhaps who hadn't had the resources, or the ability to contend with digital as much as some of the more advanced organizations were able to learn from and look at what their own needs were and how they might be addressed to a more fulsome approach to digital strategy. So that was an, you know, an anticipated but significant benefit by the end. Us as the city convening, not having been clear enough about exactly why we're asking people to come, we thought that we were by talking to the Digital Strategy Fund, but one always forgets the baggage that that one brings to any meeting. So we realized quite quickly that people instead of sending sometimes their digital strategy, folks, were sending their government relation folk, because they thought they were being called to a meeting by the city. To talk about some of the things a city usually talks about scarcity of funding or the need for a new evaluation framework. And perhaps we might have done better to clarify that it was none of those things.

Unknown Speaker 18:25
I was very happy to see organizations collaborate more easily and across scale. We had always had a table that convenient Toronto's largest cultural organizations, euphemistically titled The Group of Eight. But I and they had done a good work in setting the cultural policy agenda locally for some time. I think this processes began to create connections between organizations at different scale, there will always be specific conversations that are going to need to pertain to those largest cultural institutions. But here I think they realize a sense of commonality with some of the smaller ones who are wrestling with similar issues. So I think that's been great.

Unknown Speaker 19:14
particular thing that was excited about the Toronto arts of tomorrow initiative was the digital potential it seemed to me to offer its it seemed to be very timely. We were at a stage when arts organizations throughout Toronto, a lot of them were doing very good, very strong digital things, either creating and distributing content, or using analytical tools, but they're all doing slightly different things. They were doing them in ignorance of one another to some degree. And the proposition behind this project is to bring a lot of those things together to form connections between different arts organizations of all scales, big and small performing arts, visual arts, right across the spectrum, with the aim that we'll get to a place where all those skills level up. That great moment when Henry Kissinger once said, about dealing with Europe, if I if I want to, if I want to talk to Europe, who do I telephone. And there's a little bit like that, you know, if if the arts community in Toronto wants to talk to a Google or wants to talk to an alphabet, who wants to talk to some major national or international player to achieve some benefit for the sector as a whole, we can't do that as 20 or 30 separate arts organizations, we have to do that in some coordinated way. What hasn't quite worked yet. And I would emphasize the yet because we'll get there is we've got great energy in the separate projects. But what we haven't quite figured out yet is the way to keep them well connected with one another and keep some sort of central coordination, but not in a way that inhibits the development of the separate projects. And that's, that's today's work in progress. The most profound result is creating a single joined up sense of a family of people working in the cultural industries in this really astonishing city, or absolutely committed to the growth and the health and the expansion and the deepening and the the excitement of living in this city. And that's, that will, in the end be the most precious outcome of this journey.

Unknown Speaker 21:29
So thanks to Patrick Tobin at the City of Toronto and Anthony Sargent iluminado. And now, Mila will speak about our second case study.

Unknown Speaker 21:38
Yes, the Canadian arts discoverability initiative, also affectionately known as caddy, again, with the acronyms we're not, that's not our greatest strength. But rhyming, rhyming rhyming, it's Yeah. So this project or initiative brought together six multidisciplinary arts organizations from performing arts across performing arts and art galleries, or it includes performing arts organizations and art galleries from across Canada. And it's basically to explore new approaches for boosting discoverability of Canadian art worldwide in partnership with local municipalities. And then the crux of it is kind of leveraging big data that municipalities are collecting, or could be collecting on behalf of the sector. The kind of objectives of the initiative were to build an understanding of the core principles and approaches of digital discoverability. To build literacy and comfort with data analytics, and help transition these organizations towards kind of more of a data driven decision making. Speaking of which, the third objective is, or the primary goal really was to help these organizations transform institutional thinking so that they're embedding digital discoverability at the heart of their planning, decision making and creation of products or programs. And ultimately, we're also working towards identifying a series of pilot projects that could go on to be developed and implemented. And that's kind of the experimental side of things. And hopefully that Phase two will be successfully funded. We're waiting with bated breath. So as I mentioned, we brought together I'm not gonna go through all these in detail, but we brought together the six partners, Beaverbrook Art Gallery out in New Brunswick, for those of you familiar with Canadian geography,

Unknown Speaker 23:33
the Maritimes, and the Maritimes,

Unknown Speaker 23:34
East Coast east coast. The museum goes off the money out or Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Red Sky performance, which is an indigenous performing arts institution based out of Toronto, the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Greater Vancouver professional theatre Alliance, west coast. So spanning quite a geography there. And we also have a number of municipal partners that have been involved in this process. So tourism, Montreal, tourism, Winnipeg city of Fredericton, New Brunswick, the City of Toronto and Vancouver Economic Development Corporation. And then we have us the consulting team who are kind of facilitating this whole process, as Sarah so eloquently explained with regards to taty. So I won't repeat it. So the again, we love process. So we're, we, we are explaining the process, but I won't actually take you through all of this. As with the other project, we started with an environmental scan to provide a little bit of an overview of discoverability and the different moving pieces that are part of that process or journey, data content platform phygital, which I think was on the previous slide, and what the different approaches are to discoverability. And then we conducted you know, the kind of key touch points I think throughout this process is really what we should focus on here, as we, you know, we conducted these capacity and needs interviews with each of the participating organizations, we just wanted to kind of understand what problems they're trying to solve, or I actually prefer to frame it as like, what opportunities are they trying to seize? You know, it's certainly, you could frame discoverability as a problem. But we found that framing this as an opportunity kind of helped get people to the, to that kind of aspirational mindset that we were looking for, rather than staying stuck in the pragmatic, of trying to solve an immediate problem or urgent problem. And then, we facilitated some site visits that brought together the arts organizations and their local municipal partners to discuss where there might be kind of synergies with the priorities and opportunities that we'd identified with each of the participating institutions. And that was just a chance really to, for the municipality to kind of talk about what they're doing and what kinds of data they're collecting, and what strategies they're using to either boost cultural export, or boost tourism, depending who we're talking to. And yeah, and those, the participants kind of got a better understanding of what the city was doing and what data they might be collecting that could be used for, for by them to meet their their objectives. And then we had a project identification workshop, where we brought everyone together virtually, by video conference to present and discuss the emerging kind of project ideas that came out of those those site visits, it was really kind of to vet and validate what was emerging is like the key key ideas. And then the next step is going to be where the match is going to happen, which I'll talk about a little bit more detail in a second is we'll be going to do a full day co creation summit later this month, with with OCAD, that's going to be facilitated by them. And from there, we'll kind of be able to refine the project designs. And hopefully, as I mentioned in phase two, if we can secure the funding, we'll be able to develop the detailed project plans and go on to kind of develop and implement these pilots. The process did change slightly, because we had some changes in grant deadlines. So that forced us actually that that video conference step, the virtual project identification workshop was an added step that we had to put in there so that we can at least have something to put in to apply for the funding to support just because the leg time and the funding cycle. So yeah, that was kind of an added step. So I mentioned the cocreation Summit coming up later this month. It's really where like I said, the magic is going to happen, it's going to take these project concepts from like that conceptual idea, space, and it's going to concretize them a bit more, it's going to take them from that blue sky aspirational space into the real world, we're going to see which ones kind of hold water and have the most potential when you really kind of test them. And we anticipate that most likely, at the end of that process, we're gonna go from kind of six, six projects to probably down to three or four or less or more, who knows, but that's probably where we're gonna land.

Unknown Speaker 28:05
And we're going to basically, that session is going to be used to establish the core assumptions surrounding the project. So we'll discuss what the requirements are to make these projects happen. I'm using the Moscow method, so must have should have could have, we'll never have, we're going to examine and debate the value proposition of each project. So that's for the organization's as well as the partners and the end user. And it'll be a chance for us to identify and examine the precursors, you know, are we duplicating something that already exists? Does it make more sense to piggyback onto something that's already happening? What would the project be adding to the landscape? Or is it filling a gap or truly kind of meeting a need? And so to do that, we're basically going to be using a scorecard to evaluate if each of these project concepts and that's going to look at three criteria. So desirability, which is the impact of the end users, audiences, organizations, municipality, the feasibility, so that's access to resources and capabilities, tech, so technical feasibility, and financial feasibility, and then viability, which is like candies be scaled and sustained. Do they fit strategically, you know, within the context in which they're being implemented. A little bit more quickly. Yeah, sure. Achievements. So similarly, we got a big chunk of funding to develop this project. And we also count the six preliminary project concepts as major achievements especially because we're so early in the process, so I'm not going to list through all of them, but we've got some really interesting stuff on the table. One of them is going to be exploring how to use municipal public Wi Fi hotspots to both collect data about visitor visitors and their profiles and their movement patterns. rusticity and then also to send targeted content and messaging based on those patterns. And then another great one is the idea of, we're going to be creating an implementing a joint digital marketing campaign that will bring together indigenous works from across disciplines and institutions in the country to help position indigenous art as a pillar of the Canadian art canon and promote it internationally. And then some other great outcomes are, you know, that we we've sort of really catalyzed these stronger relationships with municipal partners. Many these organizations already had relationships with their municipal partners, but they're kind of, as Pat Tobin actually alluded to, they tend to be limited to kind of a funding relationship, or it's sort of more of an acquaintance. And it wasn't really at the level of like that depth of partnerships. So so this process has helped them build a collaborative partnership, and then lunges, yes, and then the challenges were building, building and maintain buy in on something that's very conceptual, a lot of these folks were really pragmatic, and they were kind of, they were really struggling to sort of get on board with something that felt very out of reach, and not not clearly defined, collaborating across five time zones, and, you know, 4000 kilometers or, you know, almost to 3000 miles. Turns out, the collaborating across a vast country is really hard. So we use some digital collaboration. But bringing folks together is really going to be the what what kind of brings everything together. collaboration across disciplines and size and capacity, it's hard to find the common ground, it's also hard to find the solutions that are kind of context agnostic, and that allow them to be scaled and implemented in different contexts. And then Sarah mentioned also varying varying degrees of digital maturity, which is, you know, I think something that's coming up with all these, oh, these initiatives. And then the other one was prioritizing institutional agenda over kind of sector collaborative needs. It was a struggle to get people kind of beyond their most immediate needs to think about the sector as a whole.

Unknown Speaker 32:15
So and we've got just a couple of comments from the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, and the Winnipeg.

Unknown Speaker 32:25
Certainly, the gallery as a whole works very closely with its municipal partners. But having the opportunity to meet with different divisions than than we normally work with, it was certainly an interesting feature of caddy for us. And just getting a sense of what initiatives they are working on at the municipal level, what data they are able to collect at the municipal level, and getting that toehold into, into another side of the world that we're not used to working with was certainly an advantage for us. One of the lows is the fact that it was it seems to be a very conceptual project. And the conceptual element while being very good. The project also requires some specific deliverables. And we didn't see we didn't see the technological interface with the grand vision. And we hope as the project evolves, that idea and form or execution can become better integrated, so that we've seen how you actually do this. Well, in the first instance, it was it was pretty frightening might be the right word, that it seemed to be more more capacity than we actually had to manage such a complicated and vast project over territory and expertise. But working with our private sector partners, and our public sector partners, it was more there was a more it was more fluid than I expected. I think it's certainly helped us maintain digital at that as a key consideration in the organization's life. We haven't seen yet too many changes reflected in in workflows. But it's certainly something that is more and more present in our conversations. So it has helped buoy the question of digital and keep it at the forefront of all of our minds as we move forward. So I wouldn't say it's it's helping us prime the organization for the next digital step.

Unknown Speaker 34:52
The way I got involved because the timing was ideal. With the opening of the new at Art Center, we thought it'd be a great opportunity to explore discoverability of our and even art collection, as well as the discoverability of our wider collection, we're mandated to increase access to all of our collections here at the WAG. And this just sounded like a great opportunity to share insight with other institutions across Canada, and collaborate a little more.

Unknown Speaker 35:20
It definitely helped us align our focus on discoverability, with our municipal partner here, tourism, Winnipeg. So the meeting that we had in person when you guys came out, well, we already have a really great working relationship with tourism, it allowed us to see what they do in terms of discoverability and some of the software they use. And we learned, learning about their processes kind of helped us to see where we would potentially better fit in to their systems to increase our own discoverability as a gallery.

Unknown Speaker 35:54
In terms of the Inuit Art Center, we're kind of constantly looking to make that bridge between South and North and Canada and in Manitoba. And in the process of meeting with you guys, we were actually set up with the Penguin UK Association, which is a northern organization, and we've connected since you two, you guys set us up. And we're hoping to collaborate with them in the near future. So I see I mean, that's a very obvious tangible outcome. But I do see once we meet in person with the other organizations, more collaboration coming.

Unknown Speaker 36:31
Right, so thanks to Tom and Jeremy and to Amy as well. And so our last case study is a shorter one. Because this is a work in progress. This is our digital reach project, which was a tatty baby, but National Ballet of Canada, rightly rebranded it as digital reach, and baesman had a so this was one of the spin off projects from the tadi project, the Toronto arts of tomorrow initiative that we talked about at the beginning. And this one revolved around content, and it was looking at exploring what content is exactly, and how these types of these cultural organizations of varying sizes can take advantage of screen technologies and content and kind of mash them together to reach new audiences. And again, you know, looking at collaborative solutions to take forward and what we really found from again, this is exploratory, but what we found from the research and when we're talking about content for arts and cultural organizations, we kind of split it into content big and content small. And so when we talk about content big, that was kind of like the feature, the main feature, the performance, the concert, the exhibition, and then when we were talking about content small, that was all of the other associated content that goes along with it, the behind the scenes, videos, the interviews, the blog posts, and all the like. And again, so we've got a number of different partners. This time, we brought in a tech partner, the Sheridan College through their screen industries, research and training center, and I'll show you a little bit more about them. In the future. Of course, National Ballet of Canada is spearheading this one in collaboration with the Canadian Opera Company, because there's two parallel projects going on digital reach and digital stage. And again, we've got a number of different organizations of varying size.

Unknown Speaker 38:21
This is our first multi phase project. And so we're in phase one for 2019. And we'll be going into phase two, next year and phase three and 2021. And this initial stage has really been exploratory, like I said, doing research and for us on our both of our organizations parts to kind of better understand what all this means and how it impacts the arts, and then going through some informal workshops and learning with our partners. And then again, looking to collaboratively develop some pilot projects, which we can prototype and work through, and formalized and sharing. And then we're expanding, experimenting with more virtual collaboration tools. So a project management tool, like Asana has been working very well for bringing all documents together and people in one place. And of course, we all live in the same city. But sometimes it's tough to get to one another for meetings. So we've been using zoom, you've seen our application in our video elements today, but it's been working out pretty well. And so we've been crossing over with the digital stage project. Again, the Digital Strategy Fund is all about sharing as well. That's one of the key kind of drivers as well as collaboration. So they hosted a symposium recently which we and our all of our digital reach partners attended. And this their project is looking more at a deeper dive into technology and how to use it throughout the the production of arts performances, whether that's theater or music or whatnot. So from full stages of planning from pre planning and visualization through to you know how Do we incorporate that onstage and develop other content from that. And so what I am really looking forward to is the site visits to the cert center. It's located at Pinewood Studios in Toronto, and it was originally designed to help the screen industries, prototype and experiment with technology, so that they didn't have to invest heavily in these technologies, they could just come to the center and kind of play with it to see if it worked out. And if there was proof of concept for what they were thinking, and then they could go away and release an RFP and have it go into further development. And now they've realized, Oh, hey, maybe the arts organizations would like to get on board with this. And so we've got a couple of different workshops coming up, we'll we'll explore the equipment that they have there. So virtual reality, motion capture, AR and projection mapping. And like I said, The this is our first multi phase project. And so it's quite big, three years and a much bigger grant. I think one of the biggest things over the course of the projects that we've been working on is that our project partners or arts and cultural partners are developing more confidence or the throughout the process. And so they're taking on more of a leadership role with project management and things like that. And we've been able to connect with other tech partners and other people further downstream to help us kind of put things together. And challenges of course, it's finding scalable solutions for all of our partners, because there are big and small, and content as its concept is quite broad in nature. And then that prototyping thing, the fun, the Digital Strategy Fund doesn't allow for paying for equipment and subscriptions and things like that. So it's kind of difficult to get proof of concept in some of these cases, and then maintaining momentum. And so I just got this last video, and then I think we've got time for a wrap up and some questions.

Unknown Speaker 41:59
For us at tapestry, we believe really deeply in partnership and in collaboration. I think with any project, no matter what it is, there is an inherent value in people coming together and sharing perspectives and working with other people who have different entry points into the conversation. With a project like this, we are together attempting to address the challenge that faces the entire sector, and not just our sector. Performing Arts as a whole right there crosses the boundaries of individual art forms within their geography. And I think the only way to address a challenge like that is for us to work together. We are on the smaller end of the spectrum of companies who are involved here. And so it's really worthwhile for us to partner with larger organizations. And we both bring something really different and really valuable to the table. When it's a circumstance like that we are highly experimental, we are an unusually experimental company to asking why this is being done this way, or what other possibilities are out there that can be really useful in addressing big challenges. So we thought we would have something to contribute to the conversation from that side. And because there are so many big companies involved in this, we knew that we would have things to learn from companies working in different art forms with different models. And with such a huge range of budget sizes. So the stability, and the industry knowledge and staff support and things like that coming from the larger organizations and the habit of questioning and the agility coming from us. That can be a really potent mix. Like many arts organizations of our size, like we have pretty limited digital engagement just because it's so expensive to do. And the resources to support branching into digital engagement and content in that way don't really exist, at least at least for us in Toronto. And so the possibility of oh, if the project becomes a sort of collaboratively owned group, Bank of Digital Strategy experts, or if it becomes a shared equipment library or database of people who will do digital work at a reduced cost for arts organizations, or a pool of expertise that comes from all of our organizations already that is magnified by our proximity to one another. I think the possibilities here, because we're working together are much broader and much more impactful than anything we can do separately and we're all trying to do it separately and not getting as far as we will together. I hope that we will get to a point where we are all able to use the digital content that we create to Agra In our very analog art form of performing arts that rather than, as a sector, seeing the digital arena as something that is taking time and attention away from the kind of art that we create, that we can start to integrate it more meaningfully, that it can become an ally to us instead of a competitor, because it's not going away, obviously. And we must, we must be able to work within the world as it is now, you know, we must be able to adapt.

Unknown Speaker 45:33
So thanks to Jamie from tapestry orchestra for that. Um, so what we have a few key takeaways and final thoughts for you. But I think we've got about 12 minutes left, but I mean, you can see them. So I want to just make sure that there was time to allow for questions and things like that. So we'd love to hear any of your questions or thoughts,

Unknown Speaker 45:59
or come find us later. If you want. Yes, we're around.

Unknown Speaker 46:04
Anyone go for

Unknown Speaker 46:09
the different kinds of partnerships that you had? Can you tell us a little bit more about the partnership relationship with Open University? So

Unknown Speaker 46:16
we are working with, like an art education? institution that in today's products?

Unknown Speaker 46:23
Yeah, I mean, it's interesting. They're, they're technically the OCAD partner is part of the consulting team. So we're actually working. We're working with OCAD U CO, which is kind of their like, design thinking shop, arm of the university. So it's not quite the academic part of the university. But yeah, that's they, they basically are providing some of the kind of expertise around facilitating the Strategic Foresight session or the co creation sessions and things like that for

Unknown Speaker 46:55
the year and the Strategic Foresight section that was specifically from their strategic foresight program, which is slightly different than the design thinking process that we're using for caddy. The foresight one is definitely trying to think future scenarios and what might happen and then try to develop strategies to kind of meet that, whereas the the other the catty one is more, we've got ideas already in place. And so it's using the design thinking process to like a proof of concept to develop those in more detail. So what they're really providing is that kind of that process, and that sort of facilitation of those workshop elements.

Unknown Speaker 47:43
When you have sort of a big time chart, and there was one part was content distribution. Yes. And I was wondering if that was sort of more platforms thinking like, where are we actually going to distribute this content? Or if it was sort of planning around who like, who is going to develop this contract that happens that early on?

Unknown Speaker 48:06
Yeah, so that's the kind of project as part of taty that became the digital reach project. And so again, rebranded. Again, it was in the first instance, from our perspective, in terms of grounding the project, was trying to figure out what we meant by content. And that's kind of where we came up with this to the big and small idea. And then it was also trying to investigate a number of different avenues. Because there's, there's kind of like, it was a very iterative process and chicken and egg sort of thing going on where you've got content and about platforms, and you've got your audiences. And so we're trying to understand what other arts organizations out there were developing in terms of content and how they were using it both in terms of engaging and like, you know, in terms of visitor engagement. It wasn't just a really just informing them, or they just you, were they using it to try and get them involved in a conversation. And then also on that the other side, where I think arts and culture haven't really quite got onto that gotten farther along in that that sort of processes. How could they monetize some of the content, because there's so much content that's required right now. And there's so much effort that needs to be put into planning. So thinking about what is the fact that you're going to develop content or need content, even before you get started? So you're, you're filming those behind the scenes things? You're documenting how the exhibition gets put together, or installed. So you have those content pieces. And so they're trying to figure out, yeah, what is content? And what are other arts and cultural organizations creating in terms of content, but then on the platform side of things, it was like, how are the different platforms people using these days to communicate, actually informing the different types of content that's being created? So if you look at something like, like in Instagram stories. So one of the examples we were using for our research was New York City libraries, they've actually used that stories feature to create Insta Stories. And so they're using copy copyright free materials like Alice in Wonderland, to actually allow you to read Alice in Wonderland through Instagram stories. And there, there's different artists involved. And there's animations. And so that platform has informed the type of content that they've created. And then the other thing that we were trying to get to grips with too was, you know, how do people consume content? What are they interested in? How do they find content, because it's, there's the discoverability side of things that link into it. And it's really quite kind of like a journey that people take with regards to content and discoverability being kind of the first step and consuming content being the last step. But we found other, the conversation was often around around discoverability, in particular, is around film and broadcast media. And so we're trying to kind of translate those concepts into what does that mean for arts and culture and performing arts and things like that. And so we found different things about you know, the type of content people want to create, and other things just situational. Like, where you are. influences what you're watching, which is obvious. If you're on the subway, you're probably not watching something, you're probably watching something that's hopefully PG, maybe PG 13. Versus Well, yeah, there's some people on the TTC. But uh, yeah, so like, where you are influences what type of content you're watching or consuming? How much time you have is influencing what type of content you're looking at? Is it a long read? Is it a short video clip? The device that you're using influences? What type of content you're using? You know, is it if it's not mobile friendly? You probably can't watch it on your mobile. You know, are you watching it on your laptop or something like that? Are you watching it on some completely other devices that I don't know, provides content. And there was another one that I can't quite remember now. Around, now it's gone. So I mean, it's been a phenomenal process, to just kind of think about what that means and how that applies to our sector. So I kind of went on a tangent there. I just got really excited about this particular finding.

Unknown Speaker 52:35
Was there any other questions? Okay, well, I think for us, I don't know about you, Neela. But, I mean, it's been a really exciting process to be involved in these sorts of things, we try to be really flexible, because we know that things are changing all the time. And these projects are really exploratory. I think one of the things we would say that we've learned, and we've kind of tried to feedback to candidate counsel, and we would feedback to anyone considering these kinds of exploratory projects is to make sure that there's there are funds built in for that prototyping and that testing kind of phase, where you're trying to figure out proof of concept so that you can maybe bring on board a demo, or you can sign up for a particular subscription service and see if that works for you. Or anything else, just involve a broad set of people start those conversations. And, you know, for us, some of the success was just making sure that the city and the tourism people and the museum people or the theater people were all in the same room together. And that was a really kind of valuable experience. Did you have any final thought and then

Unknown Speaker 53:42
just the the, as Sarah kind of alluded to, it was like, very exploratory these projects. So it was just the even for us, in kind of helping to manage the process and kind of bring people through the process, we had to always kind of remember that we, ourselves had to be kind of agile, and, and flexible. Because, you know, these were new projects, none of us had been through anything like this. And so you just had to kind of go with the flow. And whatever happens happens. And if it changed or shifted directions or anything like that, you just have to kind of be open to that. And that's, it's it's actually really hard for anyone and it was particularly hard. I think in this sector, people kind of felt like they couldn't grasp what was happening sometimes. And you had to kind of coach them through the like, It's okay. We're just gonna go in this direction now. And we'll see what happens, you know, so, and that's just it's just like, it's a change in mindset, a change in culture. I think it's just part of that that transformation that's happening. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 54:43
Uncertainty. Yeah. Great. Well, thanks very much. That's us. Go have a drink for you. Yeah. You have any questions? You're more than welcome to come up and ask if you want to hear more about it so we can send you our presentation. But yeah, go have a drink. Enjoy it.

Unknown Speaker 55:00
Thanks very much