Digital Media at the Crossroads

An Annual Conference on the Future of Content in Digital Media

About Us

The DM@X conference was organized by representatives of five academic organizations:

  • Faculty of Music, University of Toronto;
  • MBA Program in Arts, Media and Entertainment Management, Schulich School of Business, York University;
  • School of Creative Industries, Faculty of Communication & Design, Ryerson University;
  • OCAD University; and
  • Centre for Innovation Law and Policy, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto.

Each of these institutions is concerned with the impact of digital media on content. They also recognize that many other organizations share their interest. Accordingly, 33 other academic or not-for-profit institutions concerned with digital media have been invited to support the conference. The list of these sponsors can be found here.


The DM@X Executive Director

The Executive Director of DM@X is Carolyne Sumner.

Carolyne Sumner

Carolyne Sumner is a fourth year PhD Candidate in Musicology at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Music, and is studying under the supervision of Dr. Robin Elliott. Carolyne's current doctoral research investigates the significance of musical networks in Canada during the postcentennial period, and looks at the role played by cultural policymakers and gatekeepers in the outcomes of these networks. Since the beginning of her academic career, Carolyne has presented her research at several graduate and professional conferences, and her work has been published in both Les Cahiers de la Société québécoise de recherche en musique (SQRM) and Intersections, and she is also the recipient of a 2019 Socan paper prize on writings in Canadian music. Over the course of her studies, Carolyne's research has been generously supported by various provincial and federal academic awards and grants, including the Ontario Graduate Student award and most recently, a SSHRC Doctoral fellowship award.


The DM@X Steering Committee

DM@X Conference steering committee consists of committed academics and professionals with an interest in the future of digital media. All have contributed their time and energy to make DM@X a success. The committee consists of the following persons:


Natalie Alvarez

Natalie Alvarez is Associate Dean, Scholarly Research and Creative (SRC) activities in the Faculty of Communication & Design (FCAD) at Ryerson University and Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies in FCAD’s School of Performance. As Associate Dean, she leads FCAD’s strategic research plan, fosters local and international partnerships, and advances transdisciplinary research agendas with a focus on creative innovation. As a theatre and performance studies researcher, Dr. Alvarez is the author, editor, and co-editor of four award-winning books that focus on immersive simulations in the public sphere, art-activism, and intercultural performance, most recently, Sustainable Tools for Precarious Times: Performance Actions in the Americas and Immersions in Cultural Difference: Tourism, War, Performance. Since 2017, Dr. Alvarez has secured over $6.6 million in funding for transdisciplinary projects that bring together artists, activists, community stakeholders, researchers, not-for-profit organizations, industry, and government. Among these projects, Dr. Alvarez assembled a national team to develop a scenario-based de-escalation curriculum to improve police response to individuals in mental health crisis, which is now moving into VR with Toronto-based XR firm Lumeto. Prior to her full-time faculty position, Dr. Alvarez worked in TV and film as a freelance screenwriter and storyeditor.


Doug Barrett

Doug Barrett is a veteran of over 30 years in the Canadian media and entertainment industries. He is Adjunct Professor at Schulich School of Business where he teaches on Business and Strategic Solutions for Digital Media. From 2006 to mid-2013, he was the President and CEO of PS Production Services Ltd., a leading supplier of professional motion picture production equipment. For 20 years prior, Barrett ran one of Canada's most successful entertainment law practices at McMillan LLP, and was repeatedly listed by ‘LEXPERT' as one of Canada's 500 Leading Lawyers. He has served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Television Fund, and was a key founder of the Alliance Atlantis Banff Television Executive Program. Barrett's extensive list of board service includes the Banff Television Festival, the Feature Film Project of the Canadian Film Centre, and the Canadian Film and Television Production Association. He holds an MSc from the Newhouse School in Syracuse and an LLB/JD from Dalhousie.


Dr. Sarah Bay-Cheng

Dr. Sarah Bay-Cheng is Dean of the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design and Professor of Theatre & Performance Studies at York University in Toronto, Canada. She is an award-winning theatre and performance scholar researching the connections among theatre, performance, and media including social media and computer technologies in performance. Her books include Performance and Media: Taxonomies for a Changing Field(2015), Mapping Intermediality in Performance (2010), and Mama Dada: Gertrude Stein's Avant-Garde Drama (2004), and more than 100 articles, essays and lectures. Bay-Cheng frequently presents internationally and in 2015 was a Fulbright Visiting Senior Scholar in Media and Cultural Studies at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. More information: https://sarahbaycheng.net.


Grant Buchanan

Grant Buchanan is a top-ranked communications lawyer, a counsel at McCarthy Tétrault LLP and head of the firm's Communication Group. His practice covers a wide range of telecom, broadcast and copyright matters. His experience includes acting as counsel to many broadcasters, telecommunications companies and others. These include/have included BCE/Bell Canada, BBC, Bloomberg, Corus Entertainment, Loral, NTT, theScore, Ontario Ministry of Culture, Ontario Media Development Corporation, Directors Guild of Canada, Astral Media Radio, Ryerson Radio Inc., Stingray, and SiriusXM Canada; Canadian Broadcasters Rights Agency Inc., Pelmorex, Nextwave Broadband, Tata, VisionTV, World Wrestling Federation and many more. He is listed at the top of all of the relevant legal ranking services, and was named “Communications Lawyer of the Year” (Toronto) by Best Lawyers in Canada in 2020. He is the President of the International Institute of Communications, Canadian Chapter, and is the National Coordinator of the McCarthy Tétrault & Martin Family Initiative Mentorship Program for Indigenous Students. He is also a Distinguished Visiting Counsel at Ryerson University in the Lincoln Alexander Faculty of Law as well as in the Faculty of Communication and Design.


Charles Davis

Charles Davis, Associate Dean, SRC, is responsible for the development and implementation of a strategy that enhances and nurtures SRC activities within the Faculty of Communication & Design. In this capacity, he supports and promotes research initiatives, partnerships, collaborative projects, and interdisciplinary SRC activities. He is also responsible for expanding research training opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students.

In addition to his role as Associate Dean, Dr. Davis is a professor in the RTA School of Media and holds the ES Rogers Sr Research Chair in Media Management and Entrepreneurship at Ryerson University.


Lisa de Wilde

Lisa de Wilde is a visionary and transformational leader. As CEO of TVO she transformed the educational broadcaster from an analog operation to an innovative, fully digital leader. While also building up a current affairs powerhouse at TVO, Lisa’s sharp focus on education technology created groundbreaking new tools and programs to position TVO as an award-winning global leader in EdTech.

Lisa is an Adjunct Professor in the Schulich School of Business MBA Program in Arts, Media and Entertainment Management and currently serves as a Board member of TELUS, Toronto Global, the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and École de danse contemporaine de Montréal. She is also a former board member and Chair of the Board of Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

She is a lawyer by training who began her career at the CRTC, was a partner at a major law firm and served as President and CEO of Astral Television Networks. She has residences in Oakville and Montreal. Lisa is a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, has received honourary degrees from Ryerson University and Brandon University, holds a Bachelor of Arts and of Laws degrees from McGill University and is a member of the Order of Canada.


Charles Falxon

Charles Falzon is Dean of the Faculty of Communication and Design at Ryerson University. Charles Falzon has had a distinguished career in media and creative industries with an accomplished track record in production, brand development and commerce. An industry veteran in Canada, Charles has managed media enterprises in the UK, US, Japan, Latin America and Malta. His breadth of executive experience includes distribution, marketing, publishing, as well as live events, production studios, theme parks and brand development. Falzon was global president of such properties as Thomas The Tank Engine, Guinness World Records and Art Attack. He was the founding chair of the Canadian Film and Television Production Association (now CMPA) and a Governor of the Banff Film Festival. Charles's creative work has been recognized with numerous awards including two Canadian Screen Awards for best children's series and an International Emmy nomination.


Peter Grant

Peter S. Grant is a retired Senior Counsel at McCarthy Tétrault LLP, one of Canada's largest law firms. For many years he was the head of its Communications Group. Mr. Grant pioneered the field of communications law in Canada, and for over 50 years his practice was substantially devoted to this field, including broadcasting and cable television licensing, satellite services, copyright negotiations, cultural industries, and telecommunications regulation. Mr. Grant is the author or co-author of numerous articles, books and publications, including Blockbusters and Trade Wars: Popular Culture in a Globalized World (Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2004), Canadian Broadcasting Regulatory Handbook, now in its 14th edition, and Communications Law and the Courts in Canada, now in its third edition. Mr. Grant was one of six experts on the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel, which published its report, Canada's Communications Future: Time to Act, in January 2020.


Lisa Henderson

Lisa Henderson is Dean of the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at Western University. From 1994-2019 she was Professor of Communication at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she also served as Chair from 2009-13. From 2005-09, she was director of CISA, the Five College Center for Crossroads in the Study of the Americas. She is a radio producer by early training, co-founder of the International Communication Association's LGBTQ Studies Interest Group, and 2011 recipient of the Roy F. Aarons Award for outstanding contribution to GLBT education and research from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Her book Love and Money: Queers, Class, and Cultural Production (NYU, 2013) was a 2014 finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. New work considers artist/scholar collaboration and multi-modal research practice--how scholars use images, sound, music, code, and performance to create knowledge on campus and off.


Paul Hoffert

Dr. Paul Hoffert is Adjunct Professor, Intellectual Property & Digital Media, of the Faculties of Law, Information, and Music at the University of Toronto, Chair of the Bell Fund, Chair of the Screen Composers Guild of Canada, and President of the Glenn Gould Foundation. He is a former Faculty Fellow at Harvard Law School and the Berkman Centre for Internet and Society, Professor of Music, Film, and Digital Media at York University, President of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, and Chair of the Ontario Arts Council. He is the author of best-selling books about the Information Age and a textbook about composing music for videogames and websites. He received the Pixel award in 2001 as Canada's New Media Visionary, and was inducted into the Canadian Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 for the success of his band, Lighthouse. Mr. Hoffert was awarded the Order of Canada in 2004 for his contributions to Media and Music.


Jesse Langdon

Jesse Langdon is the Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of The Globe and Mail. In this role, she oversees all aspects of The Globe's legal affairs. Jesse is a member of the Interactive Advertising Bureau's Regulatory Committee. Prior to joining The Globe, Jesse spent half a decade at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Before CBC, she practiced corporate law at a Bay street law firm. Jesse obtained her LLB from the University of Western Ontario and holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Dalhousie University.


Don McLean

Don McLean is Dean of the Faculty of Music of the University of Toronto, a post he has held since 2011. He was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal through the Canada Council in 2012 for his "exploration of the changing context of music in the academy and society, and innovations in infrastructure development and interdisciplinary teaching and research." From 2001 to 2010, he was Dean of the Schulich School of Music of McGill University and Chair of the Board of its award-winning Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology. On leaving McGill for UofT, Maclean's magazine columnist Paul Wells (Inkless Wells 2010) described McLean as "perhaps one of the most successful faculty heads in any discipline in any university in the past decade." He speaks internationally on the changing context of music in the academy and in society.


Trina McQueen O.C.

Trina McQueen is the Bell Media Professor in Media Management at the Schulich School of Business, York University. In her media career, she has been Head of CBC TV News, Founding President of Discovery Channel, and President and COO of CTV Inc. Currently, she is vice-chair of TVO and of Historica Canada; and a board member of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, and the Literary Review of Canada. In education, she has been a governor of the University of Waterloo, and board member of Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. She has been named to the Canadian News Hall of Fame, the Canadian Broadcasters Hall of Fame; and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. This year, she was appointed an honorary member of the Directors' Guild of Canada.


Catherine Moore

Catherine Moore is Adjunct Professor of Music Technology & Digital Media in the University of Toronto's Faculty of Music where she teaches about music entrepreneurship and digital media distribution. In both courses, the emphasis is on rapid change in digital and cross-media business and her research areas include new ways to measure digital media content and the sustainability of cities through multi-national music initiatives. Professor Moore is regularly quoted in the media about the music industry.

Catherine Moore has been a music critic since 1990 for American Record Guide, and works as a consultant under the name "Doors To Music". She taught at New York University from 1995 to 2016, and directed the Music Business Program for many years. She is a graduate of Bishop's University, the Conservatoire de Musique (Montréal), and the University of Liverpool (UK).


David Nostbakken

David Nostbakken is the principal behind a number of Canadian and international media related ventures including Vision TV, WETV International, Canadian Green Channel, Ecology Global Network, China Green Channel International. He is President and CEO of the communication consulting company Nostbakken and Nostbakken Inc. He served as Director at International Development Research Centre supporting R&D in policy and application of information and communication technologies for development in developing countries. Nostbakken teaches communication and social entrepreneurship at Carleton University, Ottawa, and at the McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto where he is a McLuhan Centenary Fellow.


Kenneth Rogers

Kenneth Rogers is Associate Dean of Research at the School of the Arts, Media, Performance, and Design at York University. He is the author of The Attention Complex: Media, Archeology Method (Palgrave Macmillan 2014). He has also published on a range of topics, such as alternative media, contemporary media art, crowdsourcing, environmental media, and biopolitics. He is the former president of the board of directors for the Los Angeles-based media arts organization Freewaves. His current book project, Petromedia: Oil Culture and Media Culture, is an exploration of the historical interdependence of new media technology and finite energy resources through the emerging critical optic of environmental media studies.


Jeremy Shtern

Jeremy Shtern is associate professor and a founding faculty member in the School of Creative Industries at Ryerson University. Dr. Shtern’s research and teaching focuses on transformations in the structure and governance of communication industries and creative work as they reorganize around globalization and digital technologies. Dr. Shtern founded and directs the Global Communication Governance Research Lab at Ryerson and is also the founding editor of Canadian Journal of Communication’s Policy Portal, a project that provides a venue for publishing peer-reviewed, quickly published writing on Canadian communication policy issues. Jeremy teaches undergraduate courses in the Ryerson School of Creative Industries and regularly teaches and supervises in the York/Ryerson Joint Graduate Program in Communication and Culture.


Simon Stern

Simon Stern is Co-Director of the Centre for Innovation Law & Policy at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, associate professor of law, and director of the combined degree program in Law and English. He teaches and researches in the areas of civil procedure, law and literature, legal history, and criminal law. In addition to his appointment on the Faculty of Law, he is also a member of the graduate faculty in the Department of English, an Associate Member of the Centre for Comparative Literature, a faculty affiliate of the program in Book History and Print Culture, and a member of the Advisory Board for the International Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property. Professor Stern received his B.A. from Yale, his Ph.D., English from UC Berkeley, and his J.D. from Yale. He clerked at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, practiced litigation in Washington, D.C., and then served as a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School.


Richard Stursberg

Richard Stursberg is the President of PEN Canada. He is a communications executive who has been around the media business for a long time. He was President of the Canadian Cable Television Association, Cancom, Telefilm Canada and head of English services at the CBC. He currently runs a boutique consulting practice whose clients have included: Telus, Rogers Media, the Canadian Film Centre, Torstar Media and Allegro Capital. His controversial book, The Tower of Babble, was named one of the best books of 2012 by the Globe and Mail.


Adam Tindale

Adam Tindale is an electronic drummer and digital instrument designer. He is an Associate Professor of Human-Computer Interaction in the Digital Futures Initiative at OCAD University. Adam performs on his E-Drumset: a new electronic instrument that utilizes physical modeling and machine learning with an intuitive physical interface. He completed a Bachelor of Music at Queen's University, a Masters of Music Technology at McGill University, and an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Music, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at the University of Victoria..


Joyce Zemans

Joyce Zemans is Senior Scholar and University Professor Emerita at York University where she acts as the Director of the MBA Program in Arts and Media Administration at York's Schulich School of Business. Zemans is a former director of the Canada Council for the Arts and former dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at York. Her research focuses on cultural policy, twentieth-century Canadian art and curatorial practice.