Data Echo Culture: Peter Lyman’s Speech on How Major Cultural Organizations Collaborate

In May 2021, Nordicity’s Senior Partner, Peter Lyman, spoke at Synapse C’s Data Echo Culture Panel to discuss how the major arts institutions in Toronto are collaborating in this ever-increasing digital world. The hour-long session included panelists such as Luminato’s CEO Celia Smith; Consultant Heidi ReitmaierNational Ballet’s Director of Technology, Christopher Sonnemann; Tapestry Opera’s Executive Director, Jaime Martino; and The City of Toronto’s Cultural Partnerships funder manager, Sally Han. Some of the questions the panel discussed were about why the major organizations in the sector collaborated, how they went about it, results so far, and the ultimate benefit of these collaborations: increased insights from cooperativeness to guide local institutions to greater success.  

In his introduction, Peter spoke of several projects that Nordicity leads to be at the forefront of digital transformation in the city and country. These projects were funded by the Canada Council for the Arts’ Digital Strategy Fund (DSF) and involved multiple organizations of all sizes. The first project Nordicity led was The Toronto Arts of Tomorrow Initiative (TATI), working with the Harbourfront Corporation, a project meant to explore how digital technologies can enable transformation in major cultural organizations. The project was a success and birthed a series of other projects that Nordicity led in partnerships with several of the participating organizations in TATI. 

Peter described several ongoing initiatives that Nordicity is overseeing: 

  • Following TATI’s success, DigiArts Toronto, led by Luminato, pivoted after the COVID-19 pandemic and found ways to enhance discoverability through SEO practices across multiple arts organizations.  
  • TOLive is leading the Audience Analytics Collective, a shared ticketing data warehouse among 15-17 Toronto arts organizations to get insights about how the sector’s audiences are purchasing tickets in the city, and mutually benefit everyone by developing sector-wide actionable insights.  
  • The National Ballet’s Digital Reach project aims to create a common content distribution portal for a dozen Toronto arts organizations and promote them utilizing discoverability and engagement methods such as digital marketing and social media.  
  • Lastly, Luminato’s Digital Outdoors project is exploring means to leverage digital technology to support safe and seamless arts participation outdoors. 

These projects were fantastic ways for the major organizations to collaborate and share insights, but the purpose was greater. With the DSF grants, the projects are set to create ways in which various cultural organizations, inside Toronto and outside, could benefit from the learnings and push digital transformation forward. 

To view Peter’s remarks, see the video below or see the full clip here. 


Nordicity is a leading international consulting firm providing private and public-sector clients with solutions for Economic Analysis, Strategy and Business, and Policy and Regulation across four priority sectors: arts, culture and heritage; digital and creative media; and information and communication technologies (ICTs) and innovation. With offices in London (UK), Toronto, and Vancouver Nordicity is ideally placed to assist our clients to succeed in the rapidly evolving global markets.