Stage Door News

Toronto: COC to host 2nd Digital Stage Symposium on Performing Arts and New Technologies

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The Canadian Opera Company invites Canadian performing arts organizations to participate in the second Digital Stage symposium on technological advances and challenges for the sector, happening on February 20, 2020 at the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre in Toronto.

Last fall, the COC launched the Digital Stage, in partnership with The National Ballet of Canada and Sheridan College and its Screen Industries Research and Training Centre. Generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the collaborative long-term project was created to explore technological possibilities for the performing arts sector, with a focus on harnessing available data, piloting new technology in realistic settings, and creating a barrier-free environment for odihitpen dialogue about the future.

The ambitious project includes hosting three collaborative symposiums, aimed at bringing together a wide cross-section of industry colleagues and fostering discussion about the application of digital advancements.

Over 70 participants attended the kick-off meeting, 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.

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.

To register now for the February symposium, please contact

For more information about the Digital Stage and to read the full environmental scan by KerrSmith Design, please visit DigitalStage. Track the project on Facebook and Twitter by following #DigitalStage.