Project Description










Arts Futures Series
A series of arts-focused digital skills and strategy seminars 

Arts Futures is a summer seminar series co-hosted by Interactive Ontario and the Cultural Human Resources Council in Toronto and Ottawa (with a livestream of the Toronto sessions for those who can’t join in person!). It provides arts-focused digital skills and strategy training for artists, arts & culture organizations and interactive digital media producers. Wondering about arts applications for digital technologies such as virtual reality or blockchain? Arts Futures has you covered!

Our hope is that participants will connect with each other and perhaps spark the beginning of new collaborations under Canada Council for the Arts’ Digital Strategy Fund.

Sessions and Dates

Session 5: Closing Keynote – Jarryd Huntley – Art & Video Games – August 29, 2018 (Toronto), August 30, 2018 (Ottawa)
Please note the special time: 6pm – 8:30pm










Game development is an incredibly multidisciplinary field, bringing together creators with various backgrounds. Without formal training, it can be intimidating starting to learn skills in a new discipline. With experience teaching artists how to program in his book Game Programming for Artists, with teaching non-artists how to make art in his game Art Club Challenge(iOS), and with his background in education, Jarryd Huntley will share tips and suggestions when exploring a new field. He’ll also offer practical advice on how to get started working in the medium of games.

Speaker Bio:
Jarryd Huntley, a Civic Tech Fellow at Microsoft, plays important roles in Cleveland’s game development scene as both an academic by teaching game development at Lorain County Community College, and as an independent game developer. His studio, Polytundra LLC, just released their debut title Art Club Challenge, which was featured in the 2017 Smithsonian American Art Museum Arcade.

With talks at universities and conferences (including IndieCade and GDC), he brings a unique perspective by drawing on his experiences from software engineering and as a professional musician. In addition he recently finished co-authoring his first book, Game Programming for Artists, available now.


Toronto (August 29):
Toronto Media Arts Centre – 32 Lisgar Street
Toronto, Ontario

The main entrance is on the north side of the building, opening up onto Lisgar Park. The park is accessible from all sides via gently sloping ramp, but is mostly level with the sidewalk. The park is mostly flat, obstacle-free concrete. The main entrance to the building features three sets of doors. The one on the far left appears to be motorized, but the button has not yet been installed (as of March 2018). The other two double doors open fully and will be propped open during favorable weather. All of the doors open by pushing inward, not pulling. If you are arriving for an event, someone will be inside the entrance to assist you. If you encounter any issues, please call or text (416) 879-8942 and someone will be happy to meet you.

If you have any other requirements you feel comfortable sharing please contact joy[at] and we will do our best to accommodate them.

Ottawa (August 30)
3 Brewers Restaurant – 240 Sparks St
Final session with Jarryd Huntley only. Please note the special time of 6:00pm – 8:30pm.

Presenting Partner




  • We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.
  • Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.


Venue Partner (Ottawa)


Event Partner (Toronto)



Register Today!

Register for Toronto Closing Keynote
Register for Ottawa Closing Keynote

Tickets are $10 each for the final event

Sign up here to receive a reminder about the livestreams 15 minutes before they begin


Past Events

Session 1: Digital Transformation & Inclusive Design – July 4, 2018 (Toronto), July 5, 2018 (Ottawa)










Our first session will provide a foundation for incorporating digital strategies and inclusive design principles into your work.

Digital Transformation
Lee Dale of digital management consultancy Say Yeah! will discuss how digital transformation and customer-centric methodologies can impact arts and culture practices.

We live in a connected age, where patrons, audiences, and organizations are mobile by default and growing increasingly so as the next generation of screen-first youth become leading patrons of the arts. In this session, we’ll explore methodologies that are helping organizations of all shapes and sizes transform to better serve customers in this connected age. Walking through the core tenants of system strategy and digital excellence, we’ll look at digital best practices—research, strategy, interaction design, product and service, launch and promotion, and continuous improvement, with a particular focus on how thinking customer-first can help you connect with an audience.

Technology, Art and Access to Life
Tracy Tidgwell Dr. Carla Rice and Tracy Tidgwell of Re•VisionThe Centre for Art & Social Justice at the University of Guelph will consider the relationships between technology, art and access to life. Contemporary discussions about technology and inclusion often emphasize technology’s disruptive effects and interpret such disruptions in one of two ways—as destructive or as productive of material well-being and of new possibilities. When thought in relation to disability, those unfamiliar with disability culture assume that technology is the solution to disability—in other words, that technological “advances” will eventually eliminate disability. In this presentation, we draw on the Bodies in Translation project’s artistic collaborations to propose a new relationship between technology and disability, one in which technology is mobilized by, for and with people with disabilities to disrupt the ablest status quo and enact a more accessible world. In our view, when engaging with technology, artists with disabilities reimagine the value of technology for access and inclusion, moving away from a perspective that positions technology as providing the means to eliminate or hide disability toward one that presences and centres the insights of people with embodied difference. We describe how people with disabilities (as artists, educators, community members, technology experts) become co-designers in the development of technology and use such technology to bring disability to the fore: to invite the disruption that disability introduces into the social and cultural landscape. These projects explore ways of centralizing difference and disability and in doing so offer new ways of presenting alternative futures through disrupting the status quo. Technology, art, and access to life converge to generate dynamic and exciting possible futures, rewriting the ways in which technologies have been inscribed onto bodily difference.

Speaker Bios:

Lee Dale
Say Yeah!
Lee  has spent the past 15+ years working with organizations to help them realize the transformative capabilities of digital.

From customer experience to service delivery, Lee’s day-to-day at Say Yeah is spent coaching organizations—from public sector to industrial, sports to finance, and many more—on how to leverage technology and human-centred design processes in ways that grow revenue while reducing costs and inefficiencies. This is accomplished by guiding teams towards delivering exceptional, intuitive experiences across all consumer touchpoints and related services through the system strategy framework which identifies and aligns consumer needs and organizational capabilities.

Carla Rice
University of Guelph/ Re*Vision
Carla Rice is Professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of Guelph. She is the founder of the Re•Vision Centre for Art and Social Justice, a community-engaged research creation centre with a mandate to use arts-informed methods to foster inclusive communities, well-being, equity, and justice within Canada and beyond. Her current research program investigates the power of story to decolonize education, build Inuit cultural voice, speak back to ableism and weightism in health care, and cultivate disability and non-normative arts in Canada.

Tracy Tidgwell
University of Guelph/ Re*Vision
Tracy Tidgwell is a cultural producer, researcher and activist. She has been working in the folds of Toronto’s queer arts communities over the past many years in performance, video, analog photography, writing, and community organizing. Her interests include process, connection, creativity, and the body. She is the Research Project Manager at Re•Vision: The Center for Art and Social Justice at the University of Guelph and manages Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology and Access to Life, a 7-year project that creates collaborative partnerships between artists, arts organizations, activists, scholars, and educators and cultivates art produced by disabled, d/Deaf, fat, Mad, and E/elder people with the goal of expanding understandings of vitality and advancing social justice.

Session 2: Digital Music Technologies – July 18, 2018 (Ottawa), July 19, 2018 (Toronto)










This session will delve into how digital technologies such as blockchain and augmented reality can offer benefits for musicians and music companies.

Dr. Catherine Moore – Adjunct Professor: Music Technology & Digital Media

Permafrost Unbound: Perpetuity and Obsolescence in Digital Music Strategy
Music creators have new digital tools to work across media and incorporate ever more immersive experiences into their art. When technology behind these experiences becomes obsolete, however, the artwork disappears.
The rapid rise of digital platforms for user-generated videos and music streaming services recovered a very large number of recordings that had long been deleted from physical distribution. Although this made tens of millions of pieces of music available to listeners and gave those works a new life in a perpetual marketplace, listeners are overwhelmed with choice and thus return to hear or watch the same few things again and again. This further hastens the disappearance of music.
In this presentation business pressures to future-proof, to scale, and to adapt are examined using examples of music in Augmented Reality apps (such as EyeJack and Layar), and music in the home environment of  “smart speakers” steered by Artificial Intelligence.
Blockchain and Music (via livestream)

Carlotta De Ninni of Mycelia, a collective looking into new tech solutions to empower Music Makers founded by Imogen Heap, will join us via livestream from the UK to provide insights into how blockchain technology can help ensure music creators are empowered and fairly compensated. She will describe Mycelia’s first experiment with blockchain tech, the first song with a smart contract attached, to provide an understanding of what can be done with this tech – both the pros and cons to consider. If you’ve heard about blockchain and are wondering just how it works, you won’t want to miss this session.

Speaker Bios:

Dr. Catherine Moore
Adjunct Professor: Music Technology & Digital Media
Catherine Moore is Adjunct Professor of Music Technology & Digital Media in the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music where she teaches about music entrepreneurship and digital media distribution. In both courses, the emphasis is on rapid change in digital and cross-media business and her research areas include new ways to measure digital media content and the sustainability of cities through multi-national music initiatives. Professor Moore is regularly quoted in the media about the music industry.

Catherine Moore has been a music critic since 1990 for American Record Guide, and works as a consultant under the name “Doors To Music”. She taught at New York University from 1995 to 2016, and directed the Music Business Program there for many years. She is a graduate of Bishop’s University, the Conservatoire de Musique (Montréal), and the University of Liverpool (UK).

Carlotta De Ninni – Via Livestream
Head of Research and Operations, Mycelia
Carlotta De Ninni has a background in audio engineering. But after further studies in media management she has been involved in many projects about the implementation of blockchain technology into the music industry. She is currently working with Imogen Heap as the Head of Research and Operations for Mycelia, where she is specialised in music copyright and licensing, blockchain technology, smart contracts and AR/VR.

Session 3: Immersive Experiences – August 1, 2018 (Ottawa), August 2, 2018 (Toronto)










This session will offer a window into the use of technologies such as augmented and virtual reality for arts and culture.

Ian Kelso of Impossible Things will cover how augmented reality can transform the museum-going experience. He’ll discuss his company’s projects that blend physical and digital media, such as ReBlink, a massively successful project for the Art Gallery of Ontario that allowed patrons to interact with and remix class paintings.

Filmmaker Lisa Jackson will offer possibilities for storytelling using virtual reality, as she did on her project Biidaaban: First Light, which illuminates how the original languages of this land can provide a framework for understanding our place in a reconciled version of Canada’s largest urban environment. Find out about the process of creating narratives in virtual reality and the collaborations required to bring them to life.

Speaker Bios:

Lisa Jackson
Lisa Jackson’s films have aired on many networks in Canada, screened at Berlinale, SXSW, Margaret Mead, London BFI, and Hotdocs, and garnered a Genie award for her short film SAVAGE. She works in fiction and documentary and her projects often cross genres. Her CBC documentary Indictment: The Crimes of Shelly Chartier (co-directed with Shane Belcourt) won Best Documentary at imagineNATIVE in 2017, her VR piece Biidaaban: First Light premiered at Tribeca in 2018 and will launch in Toronto in September 2018, and the 360 video HIGHWAY OF TEARS that she directed for CBC’s The National toured the country and has been widely seen. Named one of 10 to Watch by Playback Magazine in 2012, she is an alumna of the TIFF Talent Lab, CFC Directors’ Lab and was a fellow at the MIT Virtually There VR conference in 2016. She is a director mentor for the NSI IndigiDocs program and sits on the advisory committee for the NFB’s Indigenous Action Plan.

Ian Kelso
Co-Founder of Impossible Things
For over two decades Ian has been unable to resist the compulsion to work with new technologies and platforms, ones that have reshaped the way we create, collaborate and communicate. Originally schooled in film, photography and live theatre, Ian became obsessed early on with new digital tools that had the power to reinvent the way we tell stories and learn. Over the years Ian has worked as a producer and an entrepreneur inside both startups and major media enterprises. An industry advocate, Ian also co-founded digital media associations at the regional and national levels in Canada.

In 2016 Ian co-founded Impossible Things with award-winning digital visionary Alex Mayhew. Their first project ReBlink “remixed” and brought to life ten classic paintings allowing museum visitors to engage, explore and interpret them in brand new ways. He is also co-organizer of AWE Night TO, an AR monthly event series based in Toronto.

Session 4: Digital Advertising – August 22, 2018 (Ottawa), August 23, 2018 (Toronto)










How Any Organization Can Win With Digital Marketing

With digital marketing, it’s easy to get distracted by shiny buzzwords and new channels. Don’t take the bait! In this session, discover how to prioritize digital marketing and leverage various platforms based on your organization’s needs and budget. Understand why marketers must focus on mobile, social storytelling, search, video and digital infrastructure. Using data from CI’s Digital Benchmark Study, Molly Garber will review why each area is important and provide relevant case studies from organizations of varying sizes. Learn how to get the biggest bang for your buck, set priorities for the year ahead and reach people in the moments that matter.

Speaker Bio:

Molly Garber is a Consultant at Capacity Interactive, working with leading arts institutions such as Jazz at Lincoln Center, Yale Repertory Theater, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, and The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Prior to joining the CI team, she worked as a marketing specialist for a national professional services firm. Molly graduated from Boston University, College of Fine Arts, with a BFA in Acting. Though she isn’t currently performing on stage, Molly is an active theater-goer, museum visitor, and ice-cream taste tester.