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Announcing the Opera Civic Impact Framework

Announcing the Opera Civic Impact Framework

For Immediate Release January 6, 2020 At the start of their milestone 20th Anniversary, Opera.ca announced the Opera Civic Impact Framework, a result of their 5-year strategic plan called "Charting Our Civic Impact".


Developed in conjunction with Good Roots Consulting and several key opera company members, the Opera Civic Impact Framework reflects the current civic practices of opera companies across Canada and the areas they are collectively impacting. It is designed to capture impact data in an iterative way, supporting the opera sector's commitment to creating strong and positive civic impact in communities across Canada.

Opera companies across Canada are engaged in a host of civic impact activities that go beyond the important offering of staging high-quality, full-length opera productions. We identified five major civic impact theme areas under which these various civic impact activities can be aligned: Artistic Experience, Education, Accessibility, Community and Truth & Reconciliation.

“What makes the Opera Civic Impact Framework so unique is that it was developed from the ground-up. Five years ago, when members set this plan in motion, we did not impose a framework upon the opera companies. Instead we invested in helping the sector develop a good civic practice through a North American Learning Group.” explained Christina Loewen, Executive Director of Opera.ca. Four Canadian opera companies were selected (Pacific Opera Victoria, Manitoba Opera, Tapestry Opera and Opera de Montreal) to join 12 US opera companies, all of whom represented companies doing the most interesting and innovative civic impact work in their communities for a two -year Community of Practice hosted by OPERA America where they shared, learned and honed their skills. These seminal meeting resulted in a new resource for the entire opera sector called the Guide to Opera Civic Practice available on the OPERA America website.

“With civic practice activities growing at opera companies across Canada, we enlisted Good Roots Consulting to work with us and to reverse-engineer an impact framework based on the good work already being done.” stated Executive Director Christina Loewen. The result is an innovative new tool that will allow opera companies, educational organizations and other opera stakeholders to capture, combine and share information about the difference their work is making in their communities and for the country as a whole and to strengthen their impact over time.

"The opera sector across Canada is engaged in incredibly thoughtful work to use the power of opera to improve lives, build community and address the important social issues of our time. It has been such a pleasure to collaborate with Opera.ca and its members to develop this important civic impact framework" stated Meredith Davis, Principal, Good Roots Consulting.

 The Five Domains of Opera Impact

The five Domains of Opera Impact are: Artistic Experience, Education, Accessibility, Community and Truth & Reconciliation. The Truth & Reconciliation domain represents a departure from the opera-led format of the rest of the framework to an indigenous -led guidance. This domain and guidance was developed in association with Marion Newman and an indigenous Advisory Council consisting of herself, Carey Newman, Ellen Newman, Gordon Gerrard and Dylan Robinson.

Looking to the future

Opera.ca has a multi-year plan to digitize the framework to act as a collection tool for deploying surveys and questionnaires directly from the platform using ipads, sms and email, as well as a dashboard for live push-button reporting on any program or initiative.

In subsequent years, we plan to scale the framework in collaboration with Mass Culture to create a broader Arts Impact Framework, and using machine learning or A.I., develop the technology to connect arts and non-arts frameworks, allowing the arts to align their impact with their local community partners. 

“Through technology, arts organizations will not only be able to describe their impact through an artistic lens, but also connect their impact to that of any relevant community or funder framework, such as the Canadian Index of Wellbeing or Vital Signs. We even hope to connect the work we do locally with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This is the vision of our future plans.” shared Loewen.

 For more information:

Christina Loewen, Executive Director, Opera.ca

c_loewen@opera.ca

(416) 591-7222

 About Opera.ca

Opera.ca is the national association for opera in Canada. Working with members across the country, it seeks to create and sustain an environment that makes opera central to Canadian life. to advance the interests of Canada’s opera community and create greater opportunity for opera audiences and professionals alike.

About Good Roots Consulting

Good Roots Consulting is a strategy and evaluation firm dedicated to supporting non-profits, governments and other social purpose organizations to strengthen their impact with minimal organizational resources. For more information visit: www.goodroots.ca