Sheridan partners in accessible emerging technologies for the performing arts

July 5, 2021 – In partnership with the National Ballet of Canada, the Royal Opera House, and Canadian Opera Company, the Sheridan Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT) has recently launched Expanding the Canvas, an initiative applying new and innovative technologies within the performing arts sector, allowing artists the opportunity to work collaboratively regardless of location. 

Expanding the Canvas is the second phase of the long-term Digital Stage project, which is supported through funding from the Canada Council for the Arts. Expanding the Canvas provides artists accessibility to technology they wouldn’t otherwise have, allowing them to elevate/explore new areas of their artistic and creative vision. Project participants will test various digital advances such as projection mapping, virtual reality and wearable technology to make their creative visions a reality with a focus on how technology can be leveraged to explore their artform in new ways. 

“SIRT is thrilled to work with a wide-range of content creators from a variety of artistic backgrounds. We are committed to making virtual production and technology innovation accessible to all industries. Expanding the Canvas is an excellent example of how the arts can be made more accessible through the use of innovative technology,” says David Dexter, Director of SIRT.  

Assisting artists in utilizing emerging technologies will create endless possibilities for creators and artistic institutions. The intersection of technology and artistic expression is a new area of exploration for SIRT and allows the Centre to deepen its expertise and expand its reach. SIRT looks forward to the continued growth of accessible forms of technology for both artistic audiences and creators.  

Annette Mees, Head of Audience Labs at The Royal Opera House said, "We're delighted to be working with some remarkable collaborators and artists on this project. New technology not only allows us to make innovative and exciting opera and ballet, but also to explore new ways of working across different countries. It’s been a privilege to work with such a diverse range of voices exploring new forms of opera and ballet and to support these artists during a very challenging time." 

 “We are grateful to the Canada Council for the Arts for supporting this forward-thinking initiative. Expanding the Canvas allows for collaborative partnerships across a variety of disciplines where artists can explore the possibilities of digital technology. The learnings will help the performing arts sector take advantage of this technology as we look forward to a post-pandemic world.  The National Ballet of Canada is proud to be a partner in this exciting project.” Barry Hughson, Executive Director of The National Ballet of Canada 

 To learn more visit and follow us on YouTube and Twitter to meet the artists and view some backstage footage. 

 About Sheridan’s Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT)  

One of Sheridan’s six Research and Incubation Centres, the Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT), is an internationally recognized and nationally funded research centre focused on technical and creative research as well as the incubation of talent and content within the creative and cultural industries. Located in a 10,000 sq. ft. sound stage at Pinewood Toronto Studios, SIRT plays a key role as a research and development and innovation support hub for the cinema, television, and gaming sectors in one of North America’s leading production and post-production regions. For more information visit 

Media Contact:  

 Carolina Salcedo 

Manager, Communications and Public Relations  

 Cheryl Noseworthy 

Marketing Lead, SIRT 



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