Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Alliances Fund/Wikidata and the Linked Open Data Ecosystem for the Performing Arts

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statusNot funded
Wikidata and the Linked Open Data Ecosystem for the Performing Arts
By December 2022, load more than 10,000 Wikidata items about Canadian performing arts persons, organizations and venues - including 6,000 new items; in order to then:
  • Meet structural needs for populating work and production items; and to,
  • Serve data consumption use cases that will provide tangible examples illustrating the benefits of publishing open data in Wikidata.
start date2022-01-01T00:00:00Z
end date2022-12-31T00:00:00Z
budget (local currency)34800 CAD
budget (USD)28135 USD
funding regionNA
decision fiscal year2021-22
funding program roundRound 1
applicant(s)• Fjjulien

Vero Marino

organization (if applicable)• Canadian Arts Presenting Association
Midpoint Learning Report 
Final Learning Report

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Applicant information[edit]

A. Organization type

B. Organization name

Canadian Arts Presenting Association

E. Do you have an account on a Wikimedia project?


E1. Please provide the main Wikimedia Username (required) and Usernames of people related to this proposal.


Vero Marino Beat_Estermann

G. Have you received grants from the Wikimedia Foundation before?

Applied previously and did receive a grant

H. Have you received grants from any non-wiki organization before?

H1. Which organization(s) did you receive grants from?
Government of Canada

Canada Council for the Arts

H2. Please state the size of these grants from the following options.
H3. What type of organization (s) did you receive grants from?
H4. What percentage of your program budget do other funders contribute to?

1. Do you have a fiscal sponsor?


1a. Fiscal organization name.


2. Are you legally registered?


3. What type of organization are you?

4. What is your organization or group's mission and how does it align with the Wikimedia movement?

As the national leader of Canada’s touring and presenting communities, CAPACOA cultivates a vibrant, healthy and equitable performing arts ecosystem, from artists to audiences.

5. If you would like, please share any websites or social media accounts that your group or organization has. (optional)

Main organization website:

Project website associated with this proposal: Social media accounts are listed at:

Grant proposal[edit]

6. Please state the title of your proposal.

Wikidata and the Linked Open Data Ecosystem for the Performing Arts

9. Where will this proposal be implemented?


10. Indicate if it is a local, international, or regional proposal and if it involves several countries?


10a. If you have answered international, please write the country names and any other information that is useful for understanding your proposal.


The LODEPA community is chaired by Beat Estermann, from the Bern University of Applied Sciences, Institute for Public Sector Transformation.

Members of the LODEPA community and participants in the WikiProject Performing arts also include the following countries: Belgium Austria United Kingdom Bulgaria Brazil New Zealand

10b. Are there any specific sub-regions or areas where your proposal will be implemented?


11. What is the challenge or problem you are addressing and why is this important?

In 2020-2021, the Canadian Association for the Performing Arts (CAPACOA) and the Quebec Council of Theatre led a project grant to model and to populate performing arts data in Wikidata. This project has garnered a lot of attention and has created an appetite for Wikidata within the performing arts community. After months of workshops and individual outreach, several associations are now displaying an interest to load their member directories and catalogs to Wikidata, but they lack the human resources and technical expertise to do so. Other associations are hesitant, asking “what’s in it for us?”.

Our experience and research indicate that the benefits of open data are not well understood by arts organizations (Wylie et al, 2021). In order to convey these benefits, it is best to draw upon tangible use cases (Estermann and Julien, 2019; Wylie et al., 2021). However, in order to serve data consumption use cases, we first need to populate a critical mass of data, which is still lacking in Wikidata. As a matter of fact, we don’t even have enough person and organization items to meet structural needs for loading/populating works and productions items.

As a first step, we must continue to load and populate persons, organizations and venue items, which can then be stated as creators, contributors, producers and places in work and production items. In parallel, we have to prototype data-consuming applications that will demonstrate the benefits of Wikidata through tangible use cases. Finally, we need to hold regular meetings with the performing arts community to address modelling challenges that continue to arise as we upload datasets and work on use cases.

12. What is the main objective of your proposal? Please state why you think partnering with Wikimedia Movement helps to achieve this objective?

By December 2022, load more than 10,000 Wikidata items about Canadian performing arts persons, organizations and venues - including 6,000 new items; in order to then:
  • Meet structural needs for populating work and production items; and to,
  • Serve data consumption use cases that will provide tangible examples illustrating the benefits of publishing open data in Wikidata.

13. Describe your main strategies to achieve this objective?

1. Batch uploads

We will provide technical assistance to Canadian associations (see the list in question 18) who wish to upload their datasets to Wikidata. This technical assistance will involve: helping associations define a communication and consent strategy, mapping their data model to Wikidata, reconciliation of named entities, and the actual batch upload. Our target is to reach 75% completeness for person items and organization items compared to total populations estimated with benchmark data from Statistics Canada.

2. Datathon and other editing activities

Since we have found no exhaustive and reliable dataset for Canadian performing arts buildings and venues, we will organize a one-week datathon. This datathon will include online activities to provide guidance for both experienced and new Wikimedians on best practices for populating building information.

In conjunction with batch uploads, we will also support associations in organizing activities with their members to enhance the uploaded items.

3. Data consumption prototypes

CAPACOA and the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance will work with Culture Creates to prototype codes for querying and displaying Wikidata data into their member directories. At this stage, we anticipate consuming data about venues and external identifiers, but we may also integrate other data points where they are perceived as adding value by the two associations and by their members. The objective is to develop compelling proofs of concept for integrating Wikidata data into platforms used by performing arts stakeholders (including directories and events listings). We will aim for replicability and scalability – working with and publishing open source software – in order to achieve mainstream adoption in subsequent phases of the initiative.

4. WikiProject Performing arts Meetups (in conjunction with the international LODEPA Working Group dedicated to Wikidata/Wikipedia)

We will hold quarterly online meetings with the international performing arts community to: exchange lessons learned about engaging performing arts organizations and associations; discuss progress vis-a-vis use cases; address challenges in Wikidata, Wikipedia or Wikimedia Commons; achieve consensus on implementing the harmonized performing arts ontology (currently in development) in Wikidata.

14. Are you running any in-person events or activities?


15. Please state if your proposal aims to work to bridge any of the identified content knowledge gaps?

Important Topics (topics considered to be of impact or important in the specific context), Cultural background, ethnicity, religion, racial

16. Please state if your proposal includes any of these areas or thematic focus.

Culture, heritage or GLAM , Open Technology, Diversity

17. Will your work focus on involving participants from any underrepresented communities? Select all categories that apply.

Ethnic/racial/religious or cultural background, Linguistic / Language, Socioeconomic status

18. Please tell us more about your target participants.

This project will target performing artists and organizations, via their associations. So far, the following associations, unions and service organizations have been contacted and have displayed a firm interest in participating in at least one of the project’s components.

Québec (and Francophone organizations) Conseil québécois du théâtre Regroupement québécois de la danse Association RIDEAU Union des artistes Fédération culturelle canadienne-française Les arts et la ville

Rest of Canada Canadian Association for the Performing Arts Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance Canadian Dance Assembly Professional Association of Canadian Theatres Canadian Actors Equity Association Japanese Canadian Artist Directory Canadian Asian Artists Digital Council (led by Festival Accès Asie) ArtsBuild Ontario Creative City Network of Canada

International International Society for the Performing Arts Bern University of Applied Sciences - and all other institutions affiliated with the LODEPA community

The international LODEPA community has been meeting regularly since 2019 and plans have been made to seek multi-year European funding to support its activities.

We also have every reason to believe that the Canadian performing arts community will continue to engage with Wikidata and other sister projects beyond the duration of this project:

  • Wikidata is increasingly recognized by the performing arts community as an essential knowledge base for the sector. Many handbooks and digital literacy programs are recommending its use.
  • Proofs of concepts for data consumption will solidify interest in and engagement with Wikidata.
  • The Government of Quebec and the Canada Council for the Arts have been and will continue to financially support the digital transformation of the arts sector.

19. Do you have plans to work with other Wikimedia communities, groups or affiliates in your country, or in other countries, to implement this proposal?


19a. If yes, please tell us about these connections online and offline and how you have let Wikimedia communities know about this proposal.

Notifications to the performing arts and Wikimedia communities:

We notified the international LODEPA community over its Slack workspace and listserv. We notified participants in the WikiProject Performing arts. We made a presentation at WikidataCon about the LODEPA community, about our first project grant, and about this proposal. We intend to disseminate information about this proposal more broadly once it is available over the meta Wiki (the PDF form and the Fluxx platform don’t lend themselves well to online collaboration and dissemination).

Other partnerships: We are in touch with Wikimedia Canada and we intend to involve this affiliate in the performing arts venue editathon.

We are also collaborating with Indigenous artists and librarians to learn how Indigenous information can be accurately and respectfully represented in Wikidata. These activities are complementary to this proposal. We are not seeking support from the Wikimedia Foundation for these activities.

19b. If no, please tell us the reasons why it has not been possible to make these connections.


20. Will you be working with other external non-Wikimedian partners to implement this proposal?


20a. If yes, please describe these partnerships.

We have confirmed project funding from the Government of Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts. These two funders will provide financial resources for Canadian focused activities.

LaCogency and Culture Creates are two Canadian businesses involved with this proposal. Both have been providing paid and in-kind services.

We are also collaborating with Indigenous artists and librarians to learn how Indigenous information can be accurately and respectfully represented in Wikidata (see this WikidataCon session: These consultative and engagement activities began in 2019 and they are still actively ongoing. These activities directly support the objectives of this proposal, but we are not seeking support from the Wikimedia Foundation for these activities. We believe it would be inappropriate for a settler-led organization to seek funding or to commit to specific and measurable outcomes on their behalf.

20a. If yes, indicate sharing of resources from these partners (in kind support, grants, donations, payments).


21. Please tell us how your organization is structured.

22. Do you have the team that is needed to implement this proposal?

Name and organization: Frédéric Julien, CAPACOA

Username: Fjjulien Responsibilities: Management and coordination of all project activities, including financial administration and reporting.

Name and organization: Raffaela Siniscalchi, Conseil québécois du théâtre Username: RaffaelaSini Responsibilities: Community outreach (Quebec)

Name and organization: Bridget MacIntosh, consultant Username: Bridgetannmac Responsibilities: Community Outreach (rest of Canada)

Name and organization: Brit Johnston, CAPACOA and Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance Username: none Responsibilities: Indigenous liaison, project lead for prototyping activities with the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance

Name and organization: Véronique Marino, LaCogency Username: Vero Marino Responsibilities: Project manager for datathon and batch uploads. Coordination of WikiProject/LODEPA meetings.

Name and organization: Simon Villeneuve, LaCogency Username: Simon Villeneuve Responsibilities: Technical support with batch uploads.

Name and organization: Gregory Saumier-Finch, Culture Creates Username: Saumier Responsibilities: Development of data consumption prototypes. Automated upload of datasets.

Name and organization: Beat Estermann, Bern University of Applied Sciences Username: Beat_Estermann Responsibilities: Coordination of the LODEPA network

23. Please state if your organization or group has a Strategic Plan that can help us further understand your proposal. You can also upload it here.  

Upload Strategic Plan

Learning, Sharing, and Evaluation[edit]

24. What do you hope to learn from this proposal?

After several years of action research, of reaching out to the performing arts community and of providing digital literacy activities, we have a pretty clear roadmap for scaling and achieving sustainability with regards to Wikidata and other sister projects. This fund proposal is therefore not so much about learning, than it is about taking action upon what we learned so far (and to continue to learn as we move forward).

This being said, we still need to test our assumptions regarding focusing on tangible use cases to convey the benefits of populating data in Wikidata. We look forward to developing prototypes, running user acceptance tests, and finding out whether Wikidata-powered applications are truly perceived as benefits by the performing arts community.

Moreover, even though this isn’t an activity for which we are seeking funds from the Wikimedia Foundation, we intend to continue to meaningfully engage and consult with Indigenous artists. We still have much to learn about how information about Indigenous artists and their practices can be adequately represented in Wikidata. We also still need to find out whether or not Indigenous artists are interested in becoming Wikidata contributors, and if not, why. We have been actively sharing our learnings in this area, on the Linked Digital Future website and at conferences. We intend to continue doing so.

Core Metrics[edit]

25. Enter a description of the metric and a number in the target field. If the metric does not apply to you, enter N/A for not applicable.

Core Metrics Summary
Core metrics Description Target
Number of participants Our activities are meant primarily to engage participants as editors, which are reported below.

Besides our anticipated 220 editors, we anticipate having 15 unique participants at quarterly LODEPA meetups.

Number of editors 140 unique editors in datathon

80 unique editors in other editing activities

We will track new and returning editors during these activities.

Number of organizers 8 core team members

11 association/union workers involved in components 1 and 2

Number of new content contributions per Wikimedia project
Wikimedia Project Description Target
Wikidata More than 14,000 items loaded to Wikidata (we don’t know yet what proportion will be new vs existing items)

3500 edits to 140 venue items over the course of the datathon (140 editors x 25 edits on average)


25a. If for some reason your proposal will not measure these core metrics please provide an explanation. (optional)


26. What other information will you be collecting to learn about the impact of your work? (optional)


27. What tools would you use to measure each metric selected?

We will use the outreach dashboard to track participant contributions during the datathon and during data enrichment activities.

We will also use polling tools to measure participants’ satisfaction during the datathon.

28. How do you hope to share these results so that others can learn from them?

Make a short presentation of the experience, Create a training workshop to show others what we learned, Share results on social media, Share results with our communities, Develop learning material for other users, Share it on Meta-Wiki

Financial Proposal[edit]

29. What is the amount you are requesting from WMF? Please provide this amount in your local currency.

34800 CAD

30. What is this amount in US Currency (to the best of your knowledge)?

28135 USD

31. & 32. Please provide a budget for the amount of funding requested.

See our budget in Google Sheet:

33. What do you do to make sure there is a good management of funds?

All project activities will be financially administered and recorded within the Linked Digital Future accounts at CAPACOA. Those accounts are subject to annual audit. A stand-alone financial report for the Linked Digital Future Initiative is appended as a distinct schedule in the organization’s financial statements.

34. How will you contribute towards creating a supportive environment for participants using the UCOC and Friendly Space Policy?

Wikidata can be an intimidating platform for new users. CAPACOA and partner organizations provide a lot of guidance and support for new Wikimedians to engage with Wikidata. For example, even though we are no longer supported by the WMF for these activities we continue to provide introductory workshops during which new Wikimedians can be coached by more experienced ones in breakout rooms.

CAPACOA has a Safer Spaces and Respectful Workplaces policy which is consistent with the UCOC and Friendly Space Policy.

Finally, we are committed to consulting meaningfully with Indigenous artists to define with them how information about them and their practices can be accurately and respectfully represented in Wikidata. This process began in 2019 and is still ongoing. Lessons learned from this process were shared at WikidataCon 2021:

35. Please use this optional space to upload any documents that you feel are important for further understanding your proposal.

Other public document(s):

Final message[edit]

By submitting your proposal/funding request you agree that you are in agreement with the Application Privacy Statement, WMF Friendly Space Policy and the Universal Code of Conduct.

36. We/I have read the Application Privacy Statement, WMF Friendly Space Policy and Universal Code of Conduct.