culturecapital [ongoing]

 is a collectible card game and tournament-style performance that utilizes public funding figures, company budgets, and knowledge of cultural festivities/trends to critically engage with and celebrate the ways in which artistic value is created within our culture economy.

We’ve taken municipal, provincial, and federal public funding data on performing arts companies over the last four years, crunched the numbers, created thousands of cards, and set them loose within a competitive game that strives to accurately reflect our national performing arts ecology. Adopting the role of stewards, players summon companies, roll a die for government grants in order to realize projects of differing values, and then use these projects to compete for community points. Strategic planning cards are played to change the tide of the battle and whoever has the most communities at the end, wins.

Like any card game, culturecapital works as a low tech, lights-on social game. But we’ve also developed a dynamic media apparatus for performing matches within a spectacle-style showdown that uses a digital playtable, top-down projection, electronic sound, and live-streaming that together constitute a live performance that borrows from video games, theatre, and e-sports.

Through these performances, culturecapital fulfills itself both as a collectable card game (residually promoting basic knowledge about local art companies) and as an alternative context to reflect upon national performing arts economies: by participating in the game, arts workers and the general public alike are thrust into a conversation that challenges both the standard critical discourse on artistic values and the non-standard whispers of critique that define our ‘polite’ public discourse.

culturecapital will be illustrating region-specific flows of capital in different cities in Canada over the next 2+ years and creating a living and gamified archive of our contemporary contexts. Our goal is to create a national version of the game, fulfilled by way of online live-streaming with commentary, festival tournaments, and all-star gatherings. International versions will follow. This project is currently being developed in collaboration with Patrick Blenkarn.

Created with the support of the Boca del Lupo Artist Residency program and Impulse Theatre's PEEK-FEST Residency program.

Development + Presentations:

Created with the support of the Boca del Lupo Artist Residency program and Impulse Theatre's PEEK-FEST Residency program.

For ongoing information, please visit:

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien.