Digital Reach

Digital Reach

A New Initiative to Use Technology to Reach New Audiences

Digital Reach is an exciting, multi-organization project to examine how the arts and culture sector can use screen technologies to reach new and existing audiences. A joint project between The National Ballet of Canada, Canadian Opera Company and Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT) at Sheridan College, Digital Reach will help organizations use these technologies to create content and distribute it digitally to local, as well as global, audiences.

Digital Reach is cultural organizations working together to use technology to connect with more people” said Barry Hughson, Executive Director of the National Ballet. “It expands upon the work we are doing with Canadian Opera Company and SIRT and the Digital Stage project. Through Digital Stage we are exploring the possibilities of new technology and with Digital Reach we are learning how to effectively implement and distribute it. These exciting new initiatives will help the National Ballet, and our peers, forge pathways towards a digital future, ensuring that we are effectively leveraging new technology to reach new audiences and to promote our art forms while creating sustainable practices that will change the way we do business.

Environmental Scan

Digital Reach aims to explore ways that arts organizations can use their content to connect with existing and new audiences. This document summarizes the research conducted by Nordicity and Lord Cultural Resources for Phase One of the project. This research aims to provide Digital Reach partners with an overview of:

  • Network broadcasters and production companies with experience in bringing live performance and exhibitions to the screen
  • Emerging OTT platforms for streaming arts content
  • Arts organizations that have used their content for audience engagement in interesting and successful ways
  • Digital usage trends and audience engagement with the arts online

View Environmental Scan (PDF)

Digital Reach Workshop View Gallery

Led by the National Ballet and generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Strategy Fund and the City of Toronto, Digital Reach is a collaborative project with three consulting partners: Nordicity, Lord Cultural Resources and OCAD University. There are 12 partner Toronto arts organizations: The National Ballet of Canada, Canadian Opera Company, Dance Umbrella of Ontario, Esprit Orchestra, Gardiner Museum, Luminato, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Royal Ontario Museum, Tapestry Opera, TOLive, Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts and Toronto Caribbean Carnival.

Digital Reach will demonstrate how arts institutions can best deploy and develop content that can be integrated into audience engagement in a digital world. The project will equip partner organizations with knowledge around potential uses of technology, the technical and infrastructure requirements of capturing and storing content and the platforms to distribute the content. Digital Reach will connect partners with industry players such as distribution companies, content filming/capturing and allow them to test technologies through workshops with SIRT, motivating them to strategically consider their organizations’ content needs.

This multi-stage project will take place over the next three seasons.

Canada Council for the Arts


City of Toronto