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May 7, 2021

Call for Applicants: The Canadian Performing Arts Assembly

The Canadian Performing Arts Assembly is a specialized group of artists, arts workers and performing arts community members working to shape the future of digital tools for the performing arts sector. The project is led by Dr. Sarah Bay-Cheng, Margaret Lam, Mariel Marshall and Dr. Daniela Rosu.

The group is currently seeking 6 founding members to participate in our inaugural residency program (all remote) between May - June 2021, with additional sessions in September 2021. The activities during this period will directly contribute to the efforts of the Performing Arts Information Representation W3C Community Group (PAIR-CG) to begin creating technical standards for (and with) the performing arts sector.

Each founding member will bring their domain experience in the performing arts sector to the table as they work with mentors and coaches to understand the basics of how digital technologies are developed and designed. They will also have a role in shaping the future growth of this group.

Founding representatives will be paid a fee of $2000 for participating in the residency program.

During the program, representatives will gain insights on the sectoral needs around the digital shift of the arts sector, receive training on the development of user stories, and actively engage in the development of a prioritized set of user stories based on a number of focus areas.

These user stories will be used by the Performing Arts Information Representation W3C Community Group (PAIR-CG) as the foundation for the early development of a framework for publishing machine-readable performing arts-related data on the web and in software application development.

The position is open to all arts practitioners and workers. No background or experience in technology is required, but ability to engage in critical and creative thinking is a must. This program is suitable for any artist or arts workers interested in growing their digital literacy skills and contributing to the next generation of digital technologies for the sector. 

Deadline for Applicants: 11pm ET, May 7th, 2021


Sarah Bay-Cheng PHD: Symposium Director and Advisor Sarah Bay-Cheng is the Dean of the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design at York University in Toronto, Canada. Her research focuses on the intersections among theater, performance, and media including histories of cinema, social media, and digital technologies in performance.

Margaret Lam (MISt): Design Research Lead Margaret is the co-founder of DigitalASO at ArtsPond, a published information science researcher and seasoned print and digital designer. She consults and advises on numerous strategic digital initiatives including CAPACOA, ArtsPond and Creative Users Projects. She brings a nuanced understanding of how human-centered design practices can inform innovation and transformation within the arts.

Mariel Marshall: Project Lead & Coach Mariel is an interdisciplinary artist and tech entrepreneur based in Toronto, Canada. She is a core member of the Toronto/Brooklyn experimental performance collective bluemouth inc. and co-founder of the performing arts intelligence company StagePage. She is also an organizer of the Performing Arts Information Representation Community Group at the W3C, a group dedicated to community-sourcing the foundational infrastructure to power the next generation of AI tools and software for the arts.

Daniela Rosu PHD: Knowledge Representation Coach & Facilitator Daniela is a computer scientist with specialization in artificial intelligence. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at University of Toronto’s Centre for Social Services Engineering studying how social services and organizations can build better decision support systems. She will be sharing technical knowledge to ensure that the Assembly has a strong understanding of the implications of the work for both technologists and society.

More information


We are currently seeking representatives who have experience and or domain knowledge in the following focus areas in Canada:

  • The Disability Arts Community
  • The Indigenous Arts Community
  • Non-traditional Performance Formats (e.g., experiential, immersive, site-specific, VR etc.)
  • The Rural/Remote Arts Community Individuals from marginalized and/or equity-seeking groups are strongly encouraged to apply. As artists, designers and technologists ourselves, we strongly value and recognize the need to create opportunities for your voices to have a meaningful place at the technology table.