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Toronto, ON - May 15, 2017-  SpiderWebShow, Canada's first digitally-engaged, nationally-driven performing arts company, invites the public to celebrate the launch of a revolutionary new technology CdnStudio at a special launch event on Monday, May 15 from 1Ppm - 2pm at the Theatre Centre. At the event, attendees can learn more about this unprecedented tool for performance creation and are invited to try out the groundbreaking new technology on their own laptops.

CdnStudio is an online 'room' that uses Internet technology to bring collaborators from across Canada together. This digital tool takes separate video streams and blends them together in real time, allowing users to see and hear each other in the same digital space. The technology is specifically designed to be used with non-proprietary technology so that it may be accessible to all artists with minimal set-up. With a few key props such as a laptop with webcam, a green screen, and a high-speed Internet connection, Canadian artists may rehearse in real-time and in a shared virtual space from anywhere in the country.

A video of the beta test of CdnStudio at Queen's University may be viewed on Vimeo.

"CdnStudio challenges some of the core tenets of what theatre is," said SpiderWebShow Artistic Director Michael Wheeler. "Do the physical bodies of audience and performer need to occupy the same physical space? Usually, but not with CdnStudio, where theatre performance can occur live but the shared space is a digital one."

"CIRA's Community Investment Program funds innovative projects that contribute to the Canadian Internet," says David Fowler, vice president of marketing and communications at the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA). "CdnStudio brings together Canadians who were previously separated by distance through new technology and CIRA is proud to have supported it."

The first demonstration of this technology was presented at the LMDA Conference at Portland State University in July 2016. Its first public users, consisting of a select group of early supporters, were granted access on May 1 of this year. The Studio will be officially released to the general public the same day as the launch. SpiderWebShow hopes to continue to collaborate with the Canadian performance community to refine and grow its capacity.

The project is supported by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) Community Investment Program, and was developed in residency at Queen's University in the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, where a public performance using CdnStudio titled The Revolutions will take place in September 2017. The CdnStudio Team includes: Joel Adria, Technologist; Sarah Garton Stanley, Creative Catalyst; Michael Wheeler, Artistic Director; and Em Piro, Digital Stage Manager.

A high-res image can be downloaded.

About SpiderWebShow is the first and only nationally-driven performing arts website of its kind in Canada. It is a practice-based network where cultural change is captured and examined. SpiderWebShow began as a dramaturgical inquiry. The question that led the charge was straight up and complex: What defines Canadian Theatre now? Over the past four years, we have developed a variety of different types of media to engage with this question: a weekly magazine, podcasts and audio "thought residencies", video interviews and now a virtual rehearsal studio. We tell complicated and contradictory stories about our enormously small country. Our work is rooted in cultural diversity, and our programming now asks a broader range of questions about political responsibility, identity, and difference.

About CIRA

Through the Community Investment Program, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) funds projects that demonstrate the capacity to build a better online Canada. The CIRA team manages Canada's country code top-level domain on behalf of all Canadians. A member-based organization, CIRA represents the interests of Canada's Internet community internationally. To date, the Community Investment Program has supported 78 innovative projects across Canada with grants totaling $3.2 million.

Media Contacts

Tanya O'Callaghan

Senior Manager, Communications