Digital Directions

The Canada Council’s Digital Strategy Fund

Plank wants to make your digital dreams a reality

We’re a digital design studio in Montreal, and we’ve been following the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Strategy Fund since its rollout. We’ve been working with arts and culture organizations for almost 20 years, and we understand the challenges facing the sector. You have no shortage of creative ideas for what to do with digital technology, but struggle to access funds to follow through.

We want to make your application as strong as it can be

We’ve familiarized ourselves with the strategic aims of the fund, its three components, and the eligibility criteria. We know that only artists and arts organizations can apply, but we want you to count on us as keen collaborators and partners. This type of partnership also happens to be strongly encouraged by the Canada Council in their funding guidelines. 

We want to help you dream big. We can support your funding application with our experience, expertise, and advice.


Read on to get to know us better

Featured Project: InterACT.show

A Translation App for Live Performance

This pilot project came out of a call that we made to the arts and culture sector, looking for a challenge for our team’s pro bono Hack Day.

Hand holds up smartphone with Live Translation App Start Screen

Repercussion Theatre answered the call with the following problem they wanted to solve:

“We tour Shakespeare in the Park in English, but want to make our shows as accessible as possible to people who don’t speak English. I’d love some sort of mechanism whereby an audience member could follow along with the French text… We’d love some help!”

In response, we developed a usable prototype for a web-based app allowing audience members to follow the French text of Julius Caesar while a member of the Repercussion team pushed live indications of the current scene being performed. Following the Hack Day, the Plank team polished it up for a test run over the 2016 summer season. Buoyed by encouraging usage statistics, we pushed it a little bit further in 2017, tweaking the design and adding scene synopses in addition to the full text.

We see a lot of potential for this app, not only to accommodate other languages, but to allow for audience interaction, both before, during, and after the performance. We want to make this something that all Canadian performance groups can make use of. Tell us how you would use this app!

Read more about InterACT.show


Our work with arts and culture

Filmmakers

We’ve worked with a number of filmmakers (including, yes, Michael Moore) to find creative ways to broaden their audiences, and deepen engagement in their films.

Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore holds the American flag

We created a fitness app for Last Woman Standing, a documentary that tells the tale of friendship turned rivalry between two world champion boxers vying for an Olympic dream.

We collaborated with the investigative filmmakers behind Sugar Coated as well as nutritionists from the University of Toronto on a sugar-tracking app.

And, most recently, we created a multi-faceted online complement to the film Celtic Soul with Jay Baruchel that encouraged social media interaction to unlock special footage from the road trip film.

Learn more about our film industry work

Festivals and Events

For nearly a decade, we’ve worked with evenko, Canada’s top entertainment promoter. Our work has helped them promote thousands of shows, and get tickets into fans’ hands quickly and securely. This year, we took on their three major music festivals – Osheaga, Heavy Montreal, and Île Soniq – improving uptime and integrating several 3rd party technologies to create a simple, personalized, and interactive experience for festival goers.

Summer festival stage

We’ve worked with Culture Days since 2009, creating an easy-to-use platform for both audiences and event hosts. The site is completely responsive in all browsers and platforms, and connected to social platforms to send automatic alerts driven by user preferences.

We’re excited to be partnering with foldA — a brand new festival of live digital art. The festival showcases performance works in various stages of development that make use of digital technology. A conversation series examines the process of creating new work in a digital age.

Learn more about our work with festivals

Museums and Heritage

Plank collaborated with the Juno Beach Centre Association to create a virtual accompaniment to their travelling exhibit on the role of Canadians in the two World Wars. A major focus of the work was to develop a resource for students and educators, with rich lesson plans for all grade levels, and the opportunity for students to explore timelines, personal narratives, and historical articles and photographs.

A screenshot from the From Vimy to Juno website

Soon we will be launching phase two, funded by the Virtual Museum of Canada, to create a deeper and more interactive treatment of the Canadian wartime experience. Visitors will be able to immerse themselves in the lives of Canadians who served in the First and Second World Wars through firsthand testimonials, archival photographs, personal memorabilia and historical articles, and learn about their motivations for enlisting, their service, their pre-war and post-war lives.

We’ll be announcing our next VMC project in the coming weeks, a project that looks at Canadian music heritage. Right now, we’re working with The Canadian Encyclopedia to improve how they make authoritative information about Canadian history accessible to students and citizens of all ages.

Learn more about our work with museums and heritage foundations