QUÉBEC CITY, Feb. 19, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ - Yesterday marked the official announcement of the creation of SYNAPSE C, Canada's first organization dedicated to data for the arts and culture. The launch of SYNAPSE C (formerly the Hub for Data in Culture) took place during the RIDEAU event at the Québec City Convention Centre, attended by representatives of the different levels of government and numerous partners from the cultural and research sectors.
SYNAPSE C is the result of a coordinated effort by the cultural, business and data science communities to equip the cultural sector with a unique shared intelligence and business development tool. Specifically, SYNAPSE C will help cultural organizations make better use of the rich data they generate, leading to better strategic decisions.
The non-profit organization benefits from three-year financial support provided by the Strategic Initiatives component of the Canada Cultural Investment Fund at the Department of Canadian Heritage. ($1.15 million) Québec's Ministère de l'Économie et de l'Innovation du Québec ($600,000), and Ministère de la Culture et des Communications ($450,000). It has already been designated a Centre of digital excellence by the government of Québec.
AN INITIATIVE TO HELP THE CULTURAL SECTOR THRIVE
SYNAPSE C represents the culmination of a major initiative led by the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership in collaboration with several partners, including Aimia and HEC Montréal. The initiative is aimed helping cultural organizations better understand audience behaviour through data analytics.
The cultural sector now generates data at an impressive rate, in areas from ticket sales to social media engagement and website visits. However, most cultural organizations lack the expertise, skills and resources to collate, manipulate and transform disparate data into information that can help them thrive in a rapidly changing environment.
In the digital age, it has become essential to pool the resources of the cultural, academic and data-analytics sectors to make the best possible use of these "latent" data, creating new opportunities for the cultural sector.
TRANSFORMING DATA INTO USEFUL INFORMATION
By pooling their data, cultural organizations will gain access to a local, up-to-date picture of their audience's cultural habits, along with other valuable strategic information and indicators. This will allow them to more effectively manage audience relations and develop optimal, more accurately targeted, more relevant and more innovative business practices.
The shared use of cultural- and creative-industry data will inform new business models, improve audience development and inspire crossover services and events. It will be possible to produce the information organizations need to understand their audiences and identify market opportunities.
SYNAPSE C will work closely with the participating organizations, focusing on four main areas:
- Pooling and use of data
- Knowledge transfer
- Partner search
Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism
"I am pleased that the Government of Canada's investment is making it possible to create SYNAPSE C, an initiative to enhance data on arts and culture in Quebec and Canada. Projects like this one make a real difference in furthering the digital transformation of the Canadian arts sector, help advance research and boost the cultural vitality of all Canadians."
Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation
"I am strongly convinced of the importance of innovation in every sphere of Québec's economy. It is crucial to stimulate investment in new technology and innovation, which in turn improves our productivity and competitiveness. To sustain and increase the vitality and visibility of Québec's cultural sector, we must adopt business practices specific to the digital world. In that sense, SYNAPSE C is an essential initiative for cultural enterprises seeking to reinvent themselves. It will attract new players and help existing ones adapt to the many digital developments affecting them."
Nathalie Roy, Minister of Culture and Communications and Minister Responsible for the French Language
"Metadata have tremendous potential to help cultural organizations gain deeper insight into their audiences. This will allow organizations to continuously improve their response to market conditions and develop original programming showcasing Québécois talent. Our government is very pleased to support innovative initiatives like SYNAPSE C. I extend my sincere thanks and warm congratulations to all the partners who have made this project a reality. SYNAPSE C will support the dynamism of our cultural industries by guiding them through the digital transformation."
Éric Caire, Minister for Government Digital Transformation and Deputy Government House Leader
"With SYNAPSE C, the cultural sector is focusing on its relationships with its audiences, and will be better positioned to fine-tune its practices for better audience experiences. At a time when Québec's public service is taking concrete steps toward its own digital transformation, I can only applaud this important new direction the industry has chosen to take."
Jacques Primeau, chair of the board of directors, Quartier des Spectacles Partnership
"The Partnership is very proud to have spearheaded this data-intelligence initiative, and equally proud to see its positive reception, which goes far beyond the Quartier des Spectacles and our initial ambitions. We wanted to encourage and help our members to realize the potential of pooled data and accelerate their digital transformation. Now the initiative has a life of its own, and benefit the entire cultural sector. It is a major achievement."
Éric Lefebvre, chair and interim director, Synapse C
"The creation of SYNAPSE C meets an urgent need for new knowledge and processes for using data generated by the cultural sector. We have a dynamic cultural industry, digital technology, top data-marketing professionals and artificial intelligence specialists. Our common goal is to create a true leverage effect for the arts and culture in our country."
SYNAPSE C – PARTNERS
SYNAPSE C has an extensive network of partners in the arts and culture: Banque des Titres de la Langue Française (BTLF), the Canadian Arts Presenting Association (CAPACOA), Cinéac, the Conseil québécois de la musique, Orchestras Canada, the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership and the Réseau indépendant des diffuseurs d'événements artistiques unis (RIDEAU).
SYNAPSE C also has several research and development partners: the Data Philanthropy Hub, the Québec Research Funds, HEC Montréal, the Institute for Data Valorization (IVADO), MITACS and UQAM.
The organization is also supported by its content and expertise partners: the Audience Agency (a British non-profit supported by Arts Council England), JalonMTL (smart transportation institute, Montreal), Nord Ouvert and Quotient social.
SYNAPSE C aims to develop and pool Canadian expertise in data manipulation for the arts and culture, and to become an international leader in the use of such data in the cultural sector. Using the combined strengths of analytics specialists and cultural organizations, SYNAPSE C is developing shared expertise in the use of cultural- and creative-industry data from Québec and across Canada. The organization contributes to the advancement of research while working to help the cultural sector thrive. Until 2022, the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, the initial leader of the data-pooling project, will be responsible for SYNAPSE C's implementation phase.
The new organization's name is a reference to the cellular structure that allows neurons to pass signals to one another. SYNAPSE C (C for Culture) facilitates connections and the transmission of information among different organizations, supporting the advancement of culture.
Milestones leading to the inception of SYNAPSE C
November 2016 – March 2017
In collaboration with Aimia and IVADO, box-office transaction data are pooled from more than 20 organizations and cultural enterprises, all members of the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership. More than 120 private-sector analysts and data-analytics students from HEC Montréal and IVADO explore the potential of the dataset with professionals representing Partnership members. More than 100 recommendations are presented, covering cross-promotions, audience profiling, transportation logistics and program management.
Launch of IVADO's Data Philanthropy Hub, with more than 100 participants. Three master classes are held in data visualization, the description of results in lay terms and their eventual presentation, followed by the presentation of results from data analytics consultation projects completed by 15 HEC Montréal students.
Creation of a non-profit organization, the Hub for Data in Culture (Pôle sur les données massives en culture), and the first meeting of the interim advisory committee, with representatives of CAPACOA, HEC Montréal, Nord-Ouvert, Orchestres Canada, the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership and RIDEAU.
The data-pooling project for cultural and creative industries is named a core action in the Stratégie numérique du Québec. This leads to the creation of the Hub, which is recognized as one of nine Centres d'excellence numérique (centres of digital excellence) by the Ministère de l'Économie, de la Science et de l'Innovation.
Sector-based data pooling projects are now in progress, operated by the Conseil québécois de la musique, Culture Mauricie and Culture Centre-du-Québec.
The members of the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership launch the second phase of their data-pooling project.
SOURCE Synapse C
For further information: Mélanie Mingotaud, Communications Mingotwo, 514-582-5272, Melanie@mingo2.ca