April 9-12, 2008
Montréal, Québec, Canada

Demonstrations: Description

The Canadian Art Database Project:: From Information to Knowledge

Bill Kirby, Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art, Canada

This Project of the Centre Contemporary Canadian Art [CCCA] is a 10-year work in progress, with the overall objective of broadening public awareness of contemporary Canadian Art in Canada and abroad.

To accomplish this the CCCA is documenting the careers of some of Canada's leading professional artists, designers, and art writers as well as some important Canadian art institutions and organizations that have helped shape the Canadian art scene since the 1960s. From time to time, the CCCA is also taking on additional projects containing information that informs and lays the groundwork for the core project. A wide range of previously hard to access material [images, texts, media works, and related ephemera] from a variety of sources across Canada is being assembled into the fully searchable, bilingual, database.

The CCCA employs an ‘artist-empowered’ copyright model in which the copyright on all materials included in The Canadian Art Database project is retained by the individual creators and authors. Additional materials have all been cleared by the respective copyright holders.

The Canadian Art Database currently displays over 53,000 images, 600 video and audio clips, 1,500 full texts, and 2,000 other documents. It is attracting a large and varied international audience – receiving an average of 5,000 visits, 24,000 page views and 60,000 hits per day. There are more than 30,000 unique visits per month from visitors in more than 100 countries.

A unique feature of project is in its independent assembling of content from a wide range of sources into an integrated whole, making previously inaccessible material available to a wide Canadian and international audience. It is not simply an online database, but rather a repository of in-depth information with growing types of tools to allow visitors to explore the diverse materials, and develop their own connections and relationships. It has become an essential interactive teaching tool about Canadian art in secondary and post-secondary classrooms across Canada and abroad.

The Database creates knowledge about artists and their work by assembling images, video, text, archival and contemporary information from a variety of collections and linking artists and their work with historical information and with the work of their peers. It provides an extensive resource for exhibitions, teaching and learning, and scholarly research, and is designed to allow students to interact with the work in order to enhance their understanding of Canadian art and artists.

Demonstration: Demonstrations - 1 [Demonstrations]

Keywords: Canadian art, database, artists, images, writers, texts