Our Hybrid Future Symposium

Crimson Coast Dance Online Symposium

Conceived, curated and presented by Crimson Coast Dance
Designed and Produced by Laurel Green and Rebecca Ballarin

Thursday, September 9, 16 and 23, 2021

10:00am PST – 12:30pm PST


ADDED BONUS: DIGITAL FIELD TRIPS: Be sure to join our Digital Field Trips on Tuesday, September 14 and 21 from noon to 12:45 PST!

ASL Interpretation will be available for all symposium sessions and field trips!

As September approaches and reopening brings with it the chance for in-person live performances, artists from across the country are navigating the incredible impact of the pandemic on our sector. In this extraordinary time, artists have become innovative, digitally-engaged, and community-focused — trying new things that have changed their practice – the way they make work and think about their craft – forever. As the doors to the theatre re-open, what will we find inside?

Join Crimson Coast Dance for OUR HYBRID FUTURE: A Symposium that explores the impact and opportunity of digital technologies on the performing arts. Over three weeks in September, this Symposium will bring together artists, presenters, Nanaimo to Toronto, the U.K and Switzerland, to explore, experience and engage with new digital technologies being used in the performing arts.

The Symposium team, including hosts Olivia Davies (O.Dela Arts) and Holly Bright (Crimson Coast’s Artistic Director and event Curator), have created three days of inspiring interactions during which attendees will reflect on and share learnings, new creation models, and digital successes as we navigate ‘re-entry’ and ‘re-opening’ with imagination, accountability, and care. Presenters from Canada and abroad (including Gilles Jobin, Lee Erdman, Luke Garwood, Freya Olafson, Andrea Nann, Osman-Zeki-Trosztmer, and Karma Lacoff and Son) will share case studies and take us on virtual field trips; exploring the possibilities for blending live and digital performances and presentations to build a hybrid future for the arts.

“I had not imagined my having an interest in digital technologies and their applications in the arena of live performance. What I have discovered through our pandemic pivoting is an evolving layer of magic within an art form that already transports audiences. I am excited about what creatives are making and how they are sharing their discoveries with us through hybrid concepts.” Holly Bright

Who is it for: It is for Presenters, Curators, Dance Makers, Performing Artists, Technical Creatives and Community.

Crimson Coast Dance is a West Coast based, small scale, presenter with big ideas. We invite participants to attend from our local and BC based community as well as those from organizations of all sizes, regionally, nationally and internationally.


What will we do:

Masters of digital innovation in the performing arts share their latest projects and findings that integrate animation, projection and the four R’s; AR, VR, MR, XR. Build your digital vocabulary with technological cliff notes for informed backstage conversations, and listen as one eight year old shares his Google Cardboard experiments. The Symposium will feature the work of changemakers Gilles Jobin, Lee Erdman, Luke Garwood, Freya Olafsen, Andrea Nann, Osman-Zeki-Trosztmer, and Karma Lacoff and Son.


Learn more about the artists!

We will meet online as an active community, we will reflect on and share learnings, new creation models, and digital successes as we navigate ‘re-entry’ and ‘re-opening’ with imagination, accountability, and care. Explore what hybridity (blending live and digital performance and/or creations) means to our sector, through virtual field trips, case studies, group conversation, and workshops on audacious digital innovations, including performative or engaged AR, VR and MR software, animation, and even an eight-year-old’s experimentation with Google Cardboard. Your Symposium Hosts, Olivia C. Davies and Holly Bright, will lead recuperative practices for essential self-care and sustainability in a digital age.

Symposium Schedule

All times are PST.

  • September 23, 2021


    Audience Engagement, “Who is seeing the work, and how?” How can we continue to work with technology to provide access to audiences? 


    10:00am – 10:15am: Welcome Session

    10:15am – 11:00am: Alive Stream with Luke Garwood (he/him/his)

    15 min Recuperation Break

    11:15am – 11:45am: Family play with A/V Reality with Karma Lacoff Nieoczym (she/her/hers) and her 8 year old son, Corbin (he/him/his)

    11:45am – 12:30pm: Wrap-up




    SPECIAL EVENT: 4:00pm – 5:00pm: Closing Party 


    GATHER! Network, reflect and enjoy a fun filled Closing Home Brew Gathering in GATHER at 4pm to 5pm PST, September 23. The end becomes the beginning of a group of hybrid performance enthusiasts.  Add your name to the network.

The Take Away: Find the wonder in hybrid performance. Talk practice and process. Meet the makers. Reflect and share. Learn new technologies. Connect one-on-one. Ask big questions. Build something new.

Hit REFRESH and get set for the upcoming season.

Register early to assure your spot: Entire package $45 | Day rate $25

To ensure you receive session links in time for sessions, we request that you register 2 hours in advance of the session. We will endeavour to send session links to anyone registering within that 2 hour time period while we are unable to guarantee this. Our phone number is 250.716.3230. IT issues may be addressed to hybridfuture@crimsoncoastdance.org.

Crimson Coast Dance is an artist led, non-profit charity that professionally produces dance events in the Central Vancouver Island Region. This event is supported by BC Arts Council, City of Nanaimo, Heritage Canada and Canada Council for the Arts. We give our highest regard to the generous and patient people of the Snuneymuxw Nation on whose territory we do our work.

Meet the Artists

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2021   |   10:30am – 11:15am PST

Exploring the new digital territories for Contemporary Dance with Gilles Jobin

Contemporary dance offers an ideal field for the artistic exploration of new imaging technologies. In this lecture Gilles Jobin will present the creative process behind his recent virtual works. Based on his recent experience with immersive volumetric technologies he will share with the participants his vision about the new digital territories for dance.

About the Artist

Gilles Jobin (he/him/his)

Artistic Director / Choreographer / Dancer / Filmmaker / Producer
Lives and works in Geneva, Switzerland

Gilles Jobin is an award-winning contemporary dance choreographer fascinated with new image technologies. In 2017 he creates VR_I and with his Geneva based dance company he creates digital dance pieces such as Dance Trail (AR) and La Comédie virtuelle-live show (multi user VR), his work is regularly invited in international festivals such as Sundance Film Festival, Venice Film Festival. Since the pandemic his company is fully digital and focusing on the creation of remote real time performances and collaborations.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2021   |   11:30am – 12:15pm PST

Creating Immersive Dance in 360 and XR Media with Lee Erdmann

Here we are in 2021 in the magic space where technology, media and performance congregate. The pandemic has fueled the innovation of new methods of making and viewing performance into warp speed, and artists are seeking new methods and experimenting with it all. VR headset uptake has spiked and the immersive media market is booming across all sectors, set to be the fastest growing media platform by 2025 with 360 video at the top. Training, education, medicine and healing, manufacturing…all are seeing the value of remote access immersive experiences. Prosumer equipment is affordable and accessible, and social media has moved into the Metaverse as have conventions, festivals and even dance competitions.

The industry framework is here and ever improving in cost and accessibility for dance and performance creators to take advantage of it by increasing access to the arts, lifting up independent artists and giving performing arts a global audience at a fraction of the live ticket price. Let’s talk about why performing art needs immersive media and why XR needs the expertise of performing artists, the crossover between dramaturgy and cinematography, and how anyone can get started creating and innovating.

About the Artist

Lee Erdmann (she/her/hers)

Actor, Dancer, Choreographer and Filmmaker | MA, ACTRA, CCA, DTRC
Toronto, ON, Canada

Lee attained her MA (Distinction) from Staffordshire University’s Film and Media Studies program and is an academic mentor for Raindance’s post grad program. Possessing a solid background in theatre and film, Lee is focused on merging her love of both the visual and performance mediums by exploring and creating short format content with VR and 360 media. Lee advocates for the inclusion of diverse collaborators from the arts as crucial to the development of immersive and extended technology which straddles the divide between dramaturgy and cinematographic practise and approaches. She is also one half of Van Rooi Productions which produces cinematic content that seeks to tell visual stories that illuminate the concept of identity in our postcolonial culture. Lee is currently developing a narrative dance series in cinematic VR that centres around reconnecting with the earth as a pathway to healing, and landscape as a metaphor in the stages of feminist self-actualisation. You can see her performing live in VR as a lead in “The Severance Theory: Welcome to Respite” (Ferryman Collective/CoAct), a ground breaking immersive theatre production in VRChat during the 2021/22 film festival season (Tribeca, Venice Biennale, Raindance and more).

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2021   |   12pm – 12:45pm PST

Firehorse and Shadow with Andrea Nann

Firehorse and Shadow, an interactive web performance, combines elements of contemporary dance, shadow puppetry, interactive engagement, animation, film, and theatre to take the audience on a journey amongst the stars.

The piece explores family lineage with a focus on the dualistic yin and yang elements expressed within the bodies, lives and choices of three generations of women. Working against and alongside the hearsay of family stories and Chinese medicine cycles and charts of Zodiac Animal signs, two performers weave together passages of remembering and forgetting, inviting the audience into an intimate reanimation of familial memory. The performance is designed for computer users to experience an intimate, interactive and personalized performance journey.

About the Artist

Andrea Nann (she/her/hers)

Contemporary dance artist and founding artistic director of Dreamwalker Dance Company

Andrea Nann creates work for the stage, film and outdoor sites; investigating contemporary approaches to creation through collaboration with individuals from all artistic disciplines. Andrea devises, constructs and delivers movement based opportunities for diverse peoples to come together and share unique lived experiences. Through her work she enlivens Dreamwalker’s invitation to awaken and experience ones self and the people and places around each of us; increasing potential for human connection, communication and originality. She dances to reach across distance, to experience others in celebration of possibility, diversity, connection and belonging. She is curious about how the intangible can be observed and given physical form in time, choreographed action, and setting. Andrea believes that dance can shift attitudes and ways of being, tuning us into what makes each of us distinct, to what we share, and ultimately how we can live together in wonderment and peace.

A graduate of York University’s Department of Fine Arts, Andrea was a member of the Danny Grossman Dance Company for 15 years from 1988-2003 where she created, performed and taught major roles from te works of Mr. Grossman and guest choreographers. Over a 31-year career in contemporary and modern dance, she has contributed to the creation of new works by over 60 dance/theatre creators. She continues to appear as a guest artist with Peggy Baker Dance Projects, Tribal Crackling Wind and Volcano Theatre. Long-time creative collaborators include dance artist Sarah Chase, musician Gord Downie, and writer Michael Ondaatje. From 2004-2015 Andrea created/produced 9 editions of multi-arts program The Whole Shebang and from 2012-2016 she devised/produced a 4-year/4-city multi-arts collaborative project; The Ontario Shebang. In 2018 she created The Welcome Project, addressing inclusion and cultural literacy based on internal and external challenges faced by Newcomers to Canada, and extends this unique practice to include others who are new to dance and interpersonal art experiences.

Andrea Nann

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2021   |   10:30am – 11:15am PST

I Post Therefore I am with Freya Björg Olafson

Engagement with everyday digital media is central to Olafson’s praxis investigating contemporary culture and the body as inextricably linked with technology. Through exhibitions of video art, installations, and large-scale performance, Olafson pushes boundaries by subverting technology, and questions embodied interactions with media and the making of media art. In this session Olafson will share past projects that led to their current interest in VR, AR, and XR. Throughout their work across mediums/forms, hybridity has been central to Olafson’s work wherein she centers expanding binary understandings of concepts such as real/virtual, physical/digital and gender. Having experimented with online web camera performances since 2007 Olafson will reflect on both the possibilities of performance today as well as the future.

About the Artist

Freya Björg Olafson (she/her/hers – they/them/their)

Intermedia artist who works with video, audio, animation, motion capture, XR, painting, and performance.
Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Freya Björg Olafson is an intermedia artist who works with video, audio, animation, motion capture, XR, painting, and performance. Her praxis engages with identity and the body, as informed by technology and the Internet. Their work has been exhibited and performed internationally at the Bauhaus Archiv (Berlin), SECCA – SouthEastern Center for Contemporary Art (North Carolina), LUDWIG museum (Budapest), and The National Arts Center (Ottawa). In spring 2020 Olafson was one of the longlist ‘Sobey Art Award’ recipients and in July 2021 was selected for the Lumen Prize for Art & Technology longlist. Olafson holds an MFA in New Media from the Transart Institute / Donau Universität and joined the Department of Dance at York University as an Assistant Professor in July 2017. As of July 2021 she is an Assistant Professor in Digital Media at the University of Manitoba School of Art.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2021   |   11:30am – 12:15pm PST

Integrating Emerging Technology within Live Production Processes with Dr. Patrick Parra Pennefather

This talk will focus on providing specific tools, strategies and approaches to improve how emerging technologies are integrated within live production processes. Participants will better understand the things they need to consider when dreaming about implementing technology with live performance to create hybrid experiences. Subjects covered will include: using Agile as a management methodology; adapting human-centered design tools to better prepare audiences for hybrid experiences, prototyping solutions over longer periods of time, persistent user-testing, adapting the content to work with the affordances of the technology. Specific experiences or cases in theatre, dance and immersive installations will be drawn upon to affirm these insights and approaches. Examples: Small Stage, UBC Theatre, SIGGRAPH and others.

About the Artist

Dr. Patrick Parra Pennefather (he/him/his)

Assistant Professor at UBC Theatre and Film and shared with the Master of Digital Media Program (Co-owned by UBC, SFU, BCIT and ECUAD).
West Coast of Canada

The teachings, research and examples of service presented here are an extension of my work as a technologist, instructional designer, and virtual and real assistant professor at the University of British Columbia. My research creation is focused on the design and composition of sound for physical and mediated productions as well as the co-creation, applied/experimental research and supervision of immersive technology projects. I work with amazing people within several intersecting communities of practice including the live performing arts, the digital media industry (games, xR, VFX, animation) in addition to the fields of cybernetics and biomedical visualization.

I co-construct worlds that extend physical stages to virtual arenas with a focus on the user/audience/participant/inter-actor/learner/teacher/human experience. Integrated values include persistent engagement, disruptive play, humour, prototyping and human-centered design, integrating various interdisciplinary perspectives (dance, theatre, music, installation, virtual performance, teaching, hybrids, games) across disciplines (performing arts, business, interactive design, xR and law). The types of research I engage in fall under the category of research creation, market research, applied and experimental research as well as educational research.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2021   |   12:00pm – 12:45pm PST

Behind the Motus Domum Experience with OZP

Our presentation includes a description of the Motus Domum Experience, an immersive music/dance experience currently in research stages. Following the description of the work, we will break the work down into its constituent parts, both technical and artistic, providing an overview of our approach towards creating collective artistic experiences that celebrate music and motion.

The session will feature live and pre-recorded audiovisual demonstrations, used to illustrate the presentation. Based on the themes of “presence” and “expressivity”, we will invite the audience behind the scenes of our work-in-progress, Motus Domum, in order to share our understanding of immersive artistic experience design and composition, and how that relates to the work in question. The presentation support materials will address both conceptual and technical issues, highlighting formal elements of the work’s structure as well as procedural elements pertaining to the work’s technical organization.

Finally we will open up the floor for a questions and answers session open to audience members, where ideas can be further elaborated.

About the Artist

Osman Zeki (he/him/his)
Creative Technologist

Zack Settel (he/him/his)
Composer and Audio Experience Designer

Peter Trosztmer (he/him/his)
Choreographer and Dancer

OZP are a Montreal based trio of artists who work in collaboration.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2021   |   10:15am – 11:00am PST

Alive Stream with Luke Garwood

Live streaming isn’t new, but with the pandemic shuttering performance spaces and increased accessibility to the technology required, many artists and organizations have adopted it wholeheartedly. In this speaking engagement, dancer and technologist Luke Garwood talks through recent explorations of his own negative biases towards live streaming. Over the course of a residency at Dancemakers in Toronto, Garwood and his collaborators combined motion capture, live video manipulation, 3D animation, and dance/performance, to question how much more engaging live streaming could be when considered as a medium unto itself, rather than a translation/capture of a stage performance.

About the Artist

Luke Garwood (he/him/his)

Designer of hybrid media, Dancer, and Choreographer.
Toronto, ON, Canada

Luke Garwood designs hybrid media, dances, and choreographs. Luke is based in Toronto, Canada and has collaborated with companies/individuals such as: Toronto Dance Theatre, adelheid, Sore For Punching You, Human Body Expression, The Dietrich Group, Tiger Princess Dance Projects, Citadel + Compagnie, Valerie Calam, Sashar Zarif, and Christoph Winkler. Luke has received six Dora Mavor Moore nominations, including a win for best ensemble in Heidi Strauss’ what it’s like. Luke also attained a B.Des in Digital Futures from OCAD University, receiving the Dr. Eugene A. Poggetto, and Dorothy Hoover awards. As a maker in new media, Luke investigates digitally translating the body by combining performance with AR, VR, and motion capture. Luke has also given lectures on AR in the context of art, archives, and activism at OCAD University, York University, Transart Institute, The Orillia Center for the Arts, and Arts Etobicoke.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2021   |   11:15am – 11:45am PST

Family play with A/V Reality with Karma Lacoff Nieoczym and her 8 year old son, Corbin

After Canada Learning Code sent them Google Cardboard goggles, Karma and her eight year old son Corbin started testing out what was on offer in the Cardboard app. Corbin has so far declared he wants to be a video game developer and Karma is a performing arts programmer. With these two perspectives the mom and son started jamming one day on ideas of what they could develop in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). They are dreaming and they hope to inspire your ideas. Who knows where these ideas will go. The session will be a discussion between Karma and Corbin, likely new ideas will arise as Corbin’s imagination is free to explore his curiosity and not putting limits on what is possible within the session itself. Join us to be inspired and hear their insights into where AR and VR could lead us.

About the Artist

Karma has been involved in the arts all her life, as a musician and dancer. She programs music, dance and theatre in Kelowna, BC for Creative Okanagan and the Rotary Centre for the Arts. Her eight-year-old son Corbin is an avid video gamer, music appreciator, mover and fun kid.

Meet the Production Team

Holly Bright (she/her/hers)

Holly Bright is Founder and Artistic Director of Crimson Coast Dance. The society was founded in 1998 to put a structure around dance events Bright had been creating and producing since 1996 while maintaining her own performing career. She has presented over 250 events: creations, productions, creation residencies with professionals, community and students and an annual Mainstage Season, a school year long youth program and a 4 day dance festival. Holly has received The City of Nanaimo’s 2010 Honour In Culture Award for her contribution to the cultural life of the city. Her Body Talk Youth program was nominated by the Chamber of Commerce for the 2015 Business Achievement Awards in Cultural Vitality in the Arts, and she received Canada Council’s 2017 John Hobday Award for Excellence in Arts Management in support of development and enhancement of cultural competence with Indigenous peoples.


Rebecca Ballarin (she/her/hers)

Rebecca Ballarin is a producer, director and creative educator currently based in Toronto, Ontario. She is passionate about community-building and has extensive experience in event planning, outreach, and audience relations. She is currently the Artistic Producer of both Pearle Harbour (a company that presents the theatrical work of Toronto-based drag queen Pearle Harbour) and Tweed & Company Theatre, and leads extra-curricular programs with Explore It! Inc. Rebecca works as a freelance digital producer, designing and hosting virtual gatherings, and, during her recent Metcalf Internship with Pat the Dog Theatre Creation, was one half of the inaugural Digital Catalyst Team.

Laurel Green

Laurel Green (she/her/hers)

Laurel Green is a dramaturg and cultural producer whose practice is based in the creation of new performance work, with a focus on process. Her digital placemaking experience includes designing virtual environments in Gather for Femme Folks FestFestival of Live Digital Art (FOLDA) and SummerWorks, convening community for Together But Apart: Digital Conference on Touring Theatre in Northern Ontario, and Kingston Arts Council’s Essential Arts Thinking Group, and collaborating with Rebecca Ballarin as the inaguaral Digital Catalyst Team for Pat the Dog Theatre Creation. Recent projects: Remixed, an at-home App-based algorithm and DIY-installation change listening party (Trophy: undercurrents, In the Soil, Nocturne), POLLINATORS participatory gardening installation series (Yarrow Collective: SKAMpede) and asses.masses a video game performance about sharing the load of revolution (FIBA, Buenos Aires, The Theatre Centre).



Olivia C. Davies (she/her/hers)

Olivia C. Davies is a Contemporary Indigenous artist who creates and collaborates across multiple platforms including choreography, creative writing, film, improvisation, performance, and sound design. Davies’ body of work explores the emotional and political relationships between people and places, often investigating the body’s dynamic ability to transmit narrative. Creations and collaborations traverse boundaries by conveying concepts and impressions that open different ways to experience the world. Her work has been presented in BC, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec since 2011. She is the Artistic Director of O.Dela Arts, the Matriarchs Uprising Festival, and is a founding member of the Crow’s Nest Collective (Vancouver), MataDanze Collective (Toronto) and Circadia Indigena Arts Collective (Ottawa). She honours her mixed Anishinaabe, French Canadian, Finnish and Welsh heritage in her work.


Laurianna Cordiano – Dumas (she/her/hers)

Laurianna Cordiano-Dumas is a Katimavik volunteer at Crimson Coast Dance Society. She is a filmmaker and artist who is keen to learn more about how non-profit organizations and art can intersect. In her art, Laurianna aims to bring light to the idea of cultural identity, privilege and the complexity of art as a form of escapism.


Justin McFadden (he/him/his)

A 2021 Graduate of Vancouver Island University Theatre Department, Justin has loved his job at Crimson Coast Dance. He is grateful for all the wonderful dancers, technicians and thespians he has met along the way, and is excited to see this long-anticipated symposium come to life.

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