Supporting Live Performing Arts with Enhanced Digital Technologies

News release

TORONTO, February 18, 2021

Performing artists and arts presenters play a vital role in our communities and economies. They need support to get through this difficult time during the pandemic when they are unable to perform in front of live audiences.

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, accompanied by Marci Ien, Member of Parliament (Toronto Centre), announced $644,372 in funding for the Canadian Opera Company’s digital infrastructure enhancements project today. This investment, through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund, will be used to install new digital technologies at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto.

The Four Seasons Centre for Performing Arts is the home of the Canadian Opera Company and the performance venue for the National Ballet of Canada. Both companies will benefit through access to digital technologies that can capture and stream rehearsals and performances.

The funding will also be used to digitally equip the satellite venues for the Canadian Opera Company and the National Ballet of Canada, the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre and the Walter Carsen Centre for the National Ballet of Canada. The new technologies will also support the needs of other arts and culture professionals that use these facilities.


“We recognize that art performers and presenters have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. To keep arts and culture thriving in our communities, they have explored creative new ways to operate and connect with audiences. Our government applauds them and is proud to invest in digital infrastructure that makes it possible for artists to continue to perform, while helping make arts and culture accessible for more Canadians.”

—The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“Our government understands that artists and presenters play a key role in our country’s dynamic culture and vibrancy. This funding ensures that modern, digital infrastructure will help support them further, and set the stage for future success.”

—Marci Ien, Member of Parliament (Toronto Centre)

“Today’s announcement underscores the importance of investing in Canada’s shared cultural future. The Canadian Opera Company’s home at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts is both a community hub and national stage. Digital upgrades to this space will provide more access than ever to Canadian opera, its creators, and Canadian Opera Company’s growing network of artistic collaborators. Canadian Heritage has been a true lifeline for the arts, and we are grateful for the government’s historic support.”

—Alexander Neef, General Director, Canadian Opera Company

"This forward-thinking investment from the Department of Canadian Heritage allows for high-quality digital capture of performances, making our art form accessible to more Canadians and giving us the ability to showcase our work to the world. The National Ballet of Canada is thrilled to be a partner on this timely initiative and thanks the Government of Canada for investing in our future.”

Barry Hughson, Executive Director, National Ballet of Canada

Quick facts

  • The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund supports the improvement of physical conditions for arts, heritage, culture and creative innovation, including creative hubs. The fund supports renovation and construction projects, the acquisition of specialized equipment as well as feasibility studies for cultural spaces. Since its creation in 2001, the fund has supported more than 1,000 projects, including spaces for performing arts, visual arts, media arts, museum collections, heritage displays and creative hubs.

  • The Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the largest in North America. The company works with professional opera artists from all over the world and presents six fully staged productions annually at its own opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for Performing Arts.

  • Founded in 1951, The National Ballet of Canada is a premier dance company that tours Canada, the United States and internationally. It is known for its diverse repertoire.

Associated links


For more information (media only), please contact:

Camille Gagné-Raynauld
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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