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More often than not, artsgoers of all ages are discovering new artists, shows and festivals through some sort of digital device. Whether they’re searching “events near me” on Google or asking Alexa to find a playlist that fits their mood, they increasingly look no further beyond what their device (and the algorithm behind it) recommends.

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A hand holds a smartphone horizontally, displaying Google search results for “Events near me today”. An arrow points to the results, with the invitation to “Boost your digital presence so audiences can easily find your organization (and your events)”.

Calling all performing arts organizations! You are cordially invited to participate in the newest edition of CAPACOA’s Digital Discoverability Program, as part of the Linked Digital Future Initiative (LDFI) and in support of the Artsdata project.

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Indigenous artists have historically been underrepresented or inaccurately represented in library catalogs and in knowledge sharing platforms such as Wikipedia. The latest report from the Linked Digital Future Initiative addresses this issue in relation to Wikidata, an open knowledge base that is part of the Wikimedia movement. 

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Currently, much of the information about Canadian performing arts sector entities (including performers, directors, designers, choreographers, organizations, venues and events) is not properly formatted to be found, read and processed by search engines and other discovery technologies. As a result, it is too often ignored or underutilized.

The Linked Digital Future Initiative (LDFI) was created to make performing arts-related information findable and to help build better connections in our sector – between arts workers and audiences – in the digital age. One of the ways this has been achieved is by converting already publicly available information into reusable and accessible data in open databases, such as Wikidata and the Artsdata knowledge graph.

Although LDFI is leading this work, it will take many leaders in Canada’s performing arts sector contributing information to turn this vision into reality.

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Four people form a semicircle on stage, smiling and holding a series of hoops in their outstretched hands.

Two years ago, the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance (IPAA) and the Canadian Association for the Performing Arts (CAPACOA) set out to undertake an unusual project. Noting the scarcity of information about Indigenous artists in open databases, the two associations saw a gap that had to be filled.

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CAPACOA is thrilled to announce that the LIVE Performing Arts Directory is now (in fact) live!

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On November 18th, 2021, CAPACOA’s Director of Research and Development Frédéric Julien and Cultural Strategist, Bridget MacIntosh presented “Your Digital Presence, Let’s Improve it” as part of CAPACOA’s Àndji Màdjitàwin / Reboot / Relance Virtual Conference.

As we designed this presentation, we asked ourselves: “if a performing arts organization could only afford to take one or two steps to enhance their digital presence, what should they do?” We considered the most recent research and development, as well as tried-and-tested methods. We considered the different stakeholders of the performing arts ecosystem and we came up with a short list of calls to action for each one. 

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2021 was another year of ups and downs for the performing arts sector. Mostly downs, in fact. But there was one particular cheerful moment for the growing community of performing arts wikimedians.

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Dancer looking at her reflection on the dance floor.

As part of the Linked Digital Future initiative, CAPACOA has been exploring how Indigenous knowledge can be adequately and respectfully represented over the Web of data. Most recently, we undertook one-on-one consultations with Indigenous artists to understand what work needs to be done to support respectful representation in Wikidata.

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CAPACOA and the Conseil québécois du théâtre initiate an international cooperation project to increase the presence of performing arts in Wikidata.la présence des arts de la scène dans Wikidata. 

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