Linked Digital Future Initiative (Performing Arts, Canada)

To help the arts sector embrace digital transformation, the Canadian Arts Presenting Association is leading a flagship initiative called the Linked Digital Future Initiative. BFH supported them during the first phase of the project.


  • Lead school Business School
  • Institute Institute for Public Sector Transformation
  • Research unit Public Sector Innovation
  • Funding organisation Others
  • Duration 01.02.2019 - 31.08.2019
  • Project management Beat Estermann
  • Head of project Beat Estermann
  • Partner Canadian Arts Presenting Associatio
    Zazuko GmbH
    Culture Creates
  • Keywords performing arts; theatre; dance; music; linked data; ontology; stakeholder analysis; authority files; controlled vocabularies


The digital transformation puts important challenges on the arts sector, as live performances compete with a myriad of other offers, such as movies, online games, social media, etc. Compared to many other industries, it is currently at a disadvantage, as its offerings are heterogeneous, scattered across the territory, and suffering from insufficient findability in a digital world. This does not only concern the shows themselves, but also related previews, reviews, or social media interaction.

Course of action

To initialize the implementation of the technical solutions in development for the Linked Digital Future Initiative and to provide guidance on the project’s deployment, existing elements and potential stakeholders of a linked open data ecosystem for the performing arts were identified. An initial data model and formal ontology were developed based on existing data models and a roadmap for the remainder of the project was laid out.


There have been various initiatives to create an international linked open data ecosystem for the performing arts. Comparative analysis of the usage scenarios of different stakeholder groups has shown that the requirements for data overlap considerably; the core elements of the data model are consistent across sectors. This means that substantial synergies are to be expected not only with regard to data maintenance, but also in view of the development of other parts of the data infrastructure.

Looking ahead

To make existing initiatives converge across the sector, BFH, CAPACOA, and further partners are currently developing a worldwide network of organizations committed to the creation of a Linked Open Data Ecosystem for the Performing Arts.