Mass Culture, Mobilisation culturelle.

Mass Culture is an arts support organization that strives to harness the power of research to learn and generate new insights, enabling the arts community to be strategic, focused and adaptive.

Powered by Arts Impact

Association for Opera in Canada (AOC) and Mass Culture are proud to announce a new web-based resource for supporting arts impact measurement and evaluation, Powered by Arts Impact. This resource is just one of the many outcomes of a multi-phase digital initiative funded by the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Strategy fund to digitize the opera civic impact framework, develop online tools for measuring opera’s impact, and share the results and learning broadly beyond the opera sector.

L’Association pour l’opéra au Canada (AOC) et Mobilisation culturelle sont fiers d’annoncer une nouvelle ressource web pour soutenir la mesure et l’évaluation de l’impact des arts, Powered by Arts Impact. Cette ressource n’est que l’un de nombreux résultats d’une initiative numérique à phases multiples financée par le Fonds Stratégie numérique du Conseil des arts du Canada pour numériser le cadre stratégique de l’impact civique de l’opéra, développer des outils en ligne pour mesurer l’impact de l’opéra, et partager les résultats et les apprentissages au-delà du secteur de l’opéra.

Phase 3: Datathon, Play-Go-Round and Learning Series

Play-Go-Round: What is a good civic practice?

Mass Culture in collaboration with the Association for Opera in Canada and Good Roots Consulting is hosted a Play-Go-Round event where three speakers – an academic, an artist, and an arts practitioner – delved deeply into what works, and what practices need to be undone by the arts sector in order to be “good” civic engagers.

As a lead-up to the main event, King Kxndi, Rebecca Hass, and Dr. Sarah Bay-Cheng each developed a Thought Piece focusing on what constitutes “good” civic practice and how we can better assess the arts’ civic impact.

Artist. Political Scientist. Activist.

Rebecca Hass is a citizen of the Metis Nation and of mixed European descent. As the Director of Engagement Programs and Partnerships for Pacific Opera she was the winner of the Creative Builder for 2021 for Greater Victoria, and the 2019 Arts and Culture award for Community work from Leadership Victoria, specifically for her work in addressing inclusion and diversity.  Programming highlights in her work include the development of a civic engagement artist’s residency, a virtual series spotlighting marginalized voices – “For all to hear”, as well as connecting the opera to socially relevant issues through the very successful podcast What’s Up with Opera.   Rebecca works with several committees addressing the need for systemic change for Indigenous peoples in art and music, including Canadian Actors Equity Indigenous Committee and Voices in Circle for the University of Victoria.   An alumna of the 2019 Opera America Leadership Intensive, Rebecca is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University with an Honors Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. Her over 30-year career includes a professional opera and concert career as a mezzo soprano and working as a radio broadcaster and documentary maker for CBC radio, as a recurring guest host for Saturday Afternoon at the Opera and In Concert. She is passionate about her work as a mentor to young artists in her work as a Creative Living Coach for the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble and several Canadian universities and elite training programs.  Rebecca lives in Victoria, British Columbia (L’ekwungen Territory) where she is an active member of the urban Indigenous community, notably as a director of the drum group ANSWER. Currently she is working on writing songs and stories as part of a multi-media theatrical piece called “Manaadjia” – an Anishinaabemowin word which means “to take care of our people in order to conserve them for a long time”.

Dr. Sarah Bay-Cheng is the Dean of the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design and Professor of Theatre & Performance Studies. Her research focuses on the intersections among theatre, performance, and media including histories of avant-garde theatre and film, social media, and digital technologies in performance. Her publications include 4 books, most recently, Performance and Media: Taxonomies for a Changing Field (2015) and Mapping Intermediality in Performance (2010), as well as articles, essays, and invited lectures. Prior to coming to York, she was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar in Media and Cultural Studies at Utrecht University in the Netherlands (2015) and the founding director of the Technē Institute for the Arts and Emerging Technologies at the University at Buffalo (2012-2015). Since 2016, she can be heard as a co-host for On TAP: A Theatre and Performance Studies podcast. Bay-Cheng has also worked as a director and dramaturg with particular interest in intermedial collaborations and a fondness for puppetry. More information:


From March 28 through March 30 2022, Mass Culture and the Association for Opera in Canada co-hosted a datathon to collect resources related to measuring arts’ impact.

Read the full press release here.

You can check out the resources collected below.

Additionally, Mass Culture sat down with a number of thought leaders to discuss the importance of measuring arts’ impact. Find these below!

Gladys Rowe, she/her, is a Swampy Cree scholar and a member of Fox Lake Cree Nation in Northern Manitoba, Canada. Gladys has expertise in Indigenist research, arts-based and participatory methodologies, and Indigenous innovation and evaluation.

Jessa Agilo is the Founder and CEO of ArtsPond.  The mandate of ArtsPond is to nurture healthy ecosystems of care that support equity-seeking groups in Canadian arts and culture.

Judith has had an extensive career as a dancer, choreographer, director, producer, teacher, writer, consultant, and lecturer in Canada as well as abroad.  She is the Founder and Artistic Producer of Judith Marcuse Projects and the Founder and Director of the International Centre of Art for Social Change.

This initiative is made possible through the support of the following

Mass Culture, Mobilisation culturelle.
Association for Opera in Canada.
Good Roots Consulting logo.
Canada Council for the Arts logo.

Phase 2: Conference

What would an Arts Impact Community look like? What would it need to gain buy-in and be shaped by its users, to be an equitable learning resource and system of support, to have a culture of open-ness, to be innovative, exploratory, and scalable? 

This conference was designed as a catalyst for Building an Arts Impact Community.

On June 23, 2021, Mass Culture and the Association for Opera in Canada hosted an event entitled Building an Arts Impact Community. The event included a visual database, designed for delegates to explore on their own time prior to the event as well during the event itself. 

The event began with an address from Senator Patricia Bovey, looking at art and its impact on society, followed by presentations and learnings from a number of amazing individuals.

Christina Loewen of Association for Opera in Canada shared their 5 year journey to the creation of an Opera Civic Impact Framework and Platform with an invitation for a grassroots exploration of what a broader Arts Impact Community and Approach might look like.

Dr. Gladys Rowe set the stage for decolonized community-building, as the event broke down into Action Tables led by Lynda Rey, Meghan Lindsay, Meredith Davis and Jonathan Lapalme.

Christina’s discussion combined with Dr. Gladys Rowe’s piece provided participants with the background, knowledge and inspiration to take part in Action Tables (breakout sessions) that covered the following topics:

  • Community Building
  • Discovering the Commonalities
  • The Learning Centre
  • Creating Space for Experimentation

Created for the event, this Miro continues to be accessible to anyone who’s interested in building an arts impact community. You can check it out here.

Building an Arts Impact Community. Speakers: Senator Patricia Bovey, Dr. Gladys Rowe, Christina Loewen. Action Tables Led By: Lynda Rey, Meredith Davis, Meghan Lindsay, Jonathan Lapalme. When: June 23, 1 – 4 PM Eastern. Register: An event brought to you by: Association for Opera in Canada, Mass Culture, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Trillium Foundation.

An event brought to you by

Mass Culture, Mobilisation culturelle.
Association for Opera in Canada.
Canada Council for the Arts logo.
Ontario Trillium Foundation logo

Phase 1: Study Date

Graphic Recording

Devon Kerslake,

An event brought to you by

Association for Opera in Canada.
Mass Culture, Mobilisation culturelle.
Art of Festivals.