Photos by Swati Khanna.

On November 15 and 16, ELAN hosted the first Hack Arts Montreal, a two day workshop and hackathon. The hackathon addressed the challenge of findability for arts events data that is caused by a lack of standardization in digital metadata. Each of the organizations that participated in the hackathon is addressing pressing digital issues such as the ability of Canadian arts organizations to own their own data online and the findability of digital event information. We hope Hack Arts Montreal is the first collaboration of what will become an annual event that connects the arts community with the hacker and programming communities.

Hack Arts Montreal featured presentations by the digital arts initiatives ARTS2UCulture Creates, and Wired On Words, to explain the challenges facing the arts sector. ELAN’s ARTS2U project is creating a standardized data infrastructure for sharing arts events online. The ARTS2U prototype was born out of ELAN’s 2018 Digital Solutions research project that was funded by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED). The prototype is meant to offer the framework for an event feed, collaboratively built through open data structuring.

A design thinking exercise was delivered by Design Thinking Montreal which laid the groundwork for the hackathon participants and helped them formulate ideas to address these programming challenges. Design Thinking worked with two small groups of artists and programmers, using simple techniques to illustrate problems and express solutions. The two teams combined their techniques to then visualize connections on the topic of “How to increase ticket sales for an event and avoid line ups on the D-day of the event”.

The participants designed and coded solutions that address the specific problems of the lack of visibility for arts events and created ideas for new revenues for arts products. Two hacking teams produced Proof of Concept-level models that can be fully developed in the future by arts and technology developers.

ELAN thanks local universities, colleges, and businesses who helped us find programming talents. Thanks to Espaces Temps and Temp Libres for providing an excellent venue for the Hack Arts Montreal event. 


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Suites 706 & 708, 917 (Quebec Relations)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3B 1A7
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ELAN is an official minority language organization within a country that recognizes two languages as official. ELAN is located in Tiohtiak:ke, the original name for Montreal in Kanien’keha:ka, the language of the Mohawk—also known as Mooniyang, which is the Anishinaabeg name given to the city by the Algonquin. While we are based in this city, our projects have also taken place in many regions across Quebec.

We acknowledge the colonial origin of English and French in Canada, and recognize that both languages benefit from official status throughout the land. The province that we know as Quebec is an amalgamation of the traditional territories of the Innu and Inuit nations, Algonquian nations, as well as the Mohawk nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Kanien’keha:ka and Anishinaabeg are but two of the original languages of this province; Atikamekw, Cree, Inuktitut, and Innu-aimun are also among the many Indigenous languages spoken across Quebec as majority languages, all well before French and English.

ELAN acknowledges the important work being done by First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples to revive the traditional languages of these territories, and their advocacy for the official status of Indigenous languages.