Calgary’s Arts Commons Announces Collaboration with Canon to Explore the Intersection of Arts & Technology Post COVID-19

CALGARY, AB and BRAMPTON, ON, Feb. 23, 2021 /CNW/ – The past year has highlighted the significance and importance of the arts in our communities and in our lives. More than ever, the need to connect to others, especially during periods of lockdown and extreme isolation, have revealed how essential creative expression is for our emotional and mental health and for our shared humanity.

Given these unique challenges, today, Arts Commons is eager to announce its new relationship with Canon, a leader in digital imaging solutions. The collaboration will explore the intersection of arts and technology in a COVID-19 world by leveraging Canon’s cinema equipment at Arts Commons, to create new, innovative ways for performance arts to be experienced and enjoyed – both virtually and in-real-life, as restrictions begin to ease.

Since March 2020, as arts organizations and cultural centres closed, artists have had to find new ways of creating and sharing their work. Although digital content consumption is at an all-time high, the ability of artists to fully re-create the feeling and experience of a live performance is limited. Both artists and art organizations have been forced to reconsider what it means to make, perform, and present art.

That’s why in January 2021, the design and installation of a new Canon multi-camera cinema production set-up began at Calgary’s Jack Singer Concert Hall, the 2000-seat concert hall within the Arts Commons complex and home to the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. The new equipment includes 10 cinema-quality cameras, six of which will be permanently mounted on robotic heads, with the remaining four remaining unattached for maximum flexibility. The framework also includes 10 varying length zoom lenses including two Canon CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 ultra-telephoto 4K lenses which, together with the high dynamic range of the 4K Canon EOS C300 Mark III cameras, will allow for live broadcasting and image quality for viewers at home like no other. And that’s just the beginning.

As announced recently, Arts Commons, in partnership with The City of Calgary and the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, has kicked off the design phase of the Arts Commons Transformation (ACT) project. The ACT expansion and modernization project will make Calgary home to the world’s first performing arts centre to be designed since COVID-19, requiring a reimagining of how buildings, arts venues, and cultural experiences are designed. Conceptual camera systems that were shown at the 2021 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) such as Activate My Line of Sight (AMLOS) Camera System and other upcoming technologies, could help Arts Commons push the boundaries of creative and storytelling power and create unique, powerful experiences for audiences in the near future.

“This collaboration further positions Calgary as a city that is at the forefront of innovation and creativity,” says Alex Sarian, President and CEO of Arts Commons. “The COVID-19 pandemic has made it obvious that the arts and tech sectors have only just begun to explore their relationship to one another. Between Canon’s mission to redefine how technology is used to capture life and Arts Commons’ vision for the future of Calgary’s creative sector, this relationship is poised to become an international model for what arts centres of the 21st Century can become.”

“Canon Canada has been a part of the Calgary community for many years and we are excited to be collaborating with Arts Commons on this project. We are passionate about helping creators and artists tell their story. We are excited to explore new ways for Canadians to be able to experience performance art like never before,” says Justin Lam, Senior Vice-President and General Manager of the Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon Canada.

“Calgarians are creators, storytellers, and innovators. As a community, we are solving some of the world’s greatest challenges through technology,” says Mary Moran, CEO of Calgary Economic Development. “The intersection of arts and technology, especially in a post-COVID world, is where we are going to find the rich experiences that our community is calling for, as well as support the economic diversification that we will rely on for our future. With our economic recovery already underway, this collaboration between Canon and Arts Commons is both exciting for our arts sector and a step in the right direction for our city.”

For more information on Arts Commons, please visit:

About Arts Commons
Built in 1985, Arts Commons is the third largest art centre in Canada and a key contributor to the social, economic, cultural, and intellectual life and well-being of Calgarians and visitors. As stewards of an artistic ecosystem, Arts Commons supports, elevates, and showcases the work of six resident companies who call Arts Commons home, including Alberta Theatre Projects, Arts Commons Presents, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Downstage, One Yellow Rabbit, and Theatre Calgary. Approximately 200 community groups also make use of the 560,000 square foot Arts Commons complex every year. In response to the growth of our city over the past 35 years, the Arts Commons Transformation (ACT) project will provide artists, arts organizations, and audiences a world-class home where arts can be created, shared, and supported in innovative ways.

About Canon Canada Inc.
Headquartered in Brampton, Ontario, Canon Canada Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A. Inc., is a leading provider of consumer and business-to-business digital imaging solutions. Innovation and cutting-edge technology have been essential ingredients in Canon’s success. Canon Canada Inc. is committed to the highest level of customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing 100 per cent Canadian-based service and support for all of the products it distributes. Canon Canada Inc. is dedicated to its Kyosei philosophy of social and environmental responsibility. For more information, please visit or


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