This was performed live on May 20, 2020. You can watch a recording below. 

About the project

culturecapital is a live art project that takes the form of a collectible card game and living archive. The project is constructed from two sets of data: (1) hundreds of interviews with artists about their experiences making performance in Canada and (2) five years worth of municipal, provincial, and federal public funding data on performing arts companies. Using this information, the game strives to create a context in which players can question, understand, and celebrate how value is determined, shifted, and produced within theatre, dance, and live arts in Canada. No prior knowledge of art or games is required.

In April 2020, the project was awarded funding from the National Theatre School of Canada’s #ArtApart program to create an online performance. In the spirit of the game, it only seems right that the funding should be allocated through competition. Therefore, on Wednesday, May 20th, the game’s creators, Milton Lim and Patrick Blenkarn, have invited recent tournament champions, Beth Dart (Edmonton, AB) and Dave Mott (Vancouver, BC), to compete for $500 CAD of sweet art money.

How to Play: Adopting the role of stewards of the arts, players summon Companies, roll a die for government Grants, use those Grants to realize Projects, and then use those Projects to compete for Communities. Strategy cards are played to change the tide of the competition and whoever has the most Communities at the end, wins. Depending on how the cards are played, satire can be front and centre. But at other times, the cards dealt can offer a genuine window into the complexities of the relationship that artists have with public funding, being socially relevant, and navigating a rapidly changing landscape of ethics, politics, and economics within the arts.

For watch the livestream, go to:

This project received financial support from the National Theatre School of Canada via the Art Apart program, an emergency fund for emerging artists who are affected by physical distancing due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

About the artists

Patrick Blenkarn is an interdisciplinary artist and director based in Vancouver, BC. His recent works includes sustained investigations into the subjects of language, labour, and the art economy. His projects have recently been featured in film festivals, galleries, and performance festivals, including SummerWorks, rEvolver, RISER Project, Festival of Recorded Movement. He is also the lead archivist of videocan, an online video archive of Canadian performance.

Milton Lim is a Vancouver-based artist whose output spans performance, new media, dance, installation, and video art. His work is engaged with global politics, the cataloguing/archiving/indexing of public data, and resource allocation. These thematic interests are bolstered by a continued interest in game mechanics, typography architecture, and high-frequency content. He is Co-Artistic Director of Hong Kong Exile, an Artistic Associate with Theatre Conspiracy, the recipient of the 2016 Ray Michal Prize for Outstanding Body of Work, and the recent Artist-in-Residence with PuSh International Performing Arts Festival (2016 - 2018).