Digital Media at the Crossroads

An Annual Conference on the Future of Content in Digital Media

What's in the Future for Canadian Creators?

Tenth Annual Conference

Location: Walter Hall, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto

January 19-20, 2024


DAY ONE: Friday, January 19, 2024

1:20 p.m.


2:00 p.m.

Welcome and Introduction: Carolyne Sumner, Executive Director, DM@X

2:10 p.m.

The Digital Media Universe in Canada: Measuring the Revenues, the Audiences, and the Future Prospects

The DM@X conference has commissioned a special report from Nordicity to review revenues, employment and future trends in certain sectors of the digital media universe in Canada. In this presentation, Nordicity will outline the projected future for Canadian production in the audiovisual and music sectors.

Nordicity Presentation for DM@X 2024 pdf icon


Peter Lyman, Senior Partner, Nordicity Group Limited

Nicole Matiation, Senior Lead, Nordicity Group Limited

Brian Christensen, Analyst, Nordicity Group Limited

3:15 p.m.

Refreshment Break

3:30 p.m.

How Should Canadian Content be Defined?

Subsection 10(1.1) of the Broadcasting Act, as amended by the Online Streaming Act, sets out new standards for defining Canadian content. The CRTC is now reviewing its Canadian content regulations. Should the existing rules be tightened or loosened? Should Canadian programs “look Canadian”? Should Canadian producers be required to hold the rights to exploit the program?

New Features for Canadian Content What You Said pdf icon


Trina McQueen, Schulich School of Business, York University


Doug Barrett, Adjunct Professor, MBA Program in Arts, Media and Entertainment Management, Schulich School of Business, York University

Valerie Creighton, CEO, Canada Media Fund

Richard Stursberg, Author, The Tangled Garden

4:00 p.m.

How Should Online Streamers Support Canadian Content?

Under paragraphs 3(1)(f) and 3(1)(f.1) of the Broadcasting Act, as amended by the Online Streaming Act, broadcasters, including online undertakings, must support Canadian content. The CRTC will be considering what those requirements should be at the time of the DM@X conference. This panel provides an update on these issues.


Trina McQueen, Schulich School of Business, York University


Monique Lafontaine, Communications Lawyer

Howard Law,

Michael MacMillan, CEO, Blue Ant Media

5:00 p.m.

Networking Reception

At the conclusion of the first day of the DM@X conference, a networking reception will be held on the main level of the Faculty of Music.

DAY TWO: Saturday, January 20, 2024

8:20 a.m.


9:00 a.m.

Online Harm: What Needs to be Done to Address This?

The Canadian government is expected to introduce legislation to address online harm. What level of responsibility should platforms have? How would such legislation affect freedom of expression?


Peter S. Grant, Chair, DM@X Steering Committee


Marla Boltman, Executive Director, Friends of Canadian Media

Jon Penney, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University

9:30 a.m.

Canadian News Media and the Platforms

This session wIll review the issues around the Online News Act which would require designated platforms that link to Canadian news to compensate Canadian news media. Where do matters stand?


Jesse Langdon, General Counsel, Globe and Mail


Paul Deegan, President and CEO, News Media Canada

Kevin Desjardins, President, Canadian Association of Broadcasters

10:00 a.m.

Interactive Advertising at the Crossroads

These speakers will address current issues relating to Canadian interactive marketing and advertising. How have these issues impacted all media?


Julie Ford, Executive Director, Digital Advertising Alliance of Canada (DAAC)

Peter Kosmala, York University

10:30 a.m.

Refreshment Break

10:45 a.m.

New Developments in Digital Journalism

Digital blogs and platforms, like Tik Tok, Substack, The Logic and The Hub, have made journalism more diverse and interactive. What are the implications of the rise of digital blogs?


Peter S. Grant, Chair, DM@X Steering Committee


Amanda Roth, The Logic

Shruti Shekar, Editor in Chief, Android Central

11:15 a.m.

Social Media Regulation Under the Online Streaming Act

The CRTC is not permitted to regulate non-professional social media creators under section 4.1 of the Broadcasting Act as amended by the Online Streaming Act. However, it can require the platforms to contribute to Cancon funds and to enhance discoverability of Cancon. What is likely to happen? Canadian creators face problems in gaining access to or revenue from social media sites. Will the discoverability provisions of the Online Streaming Act make a difference?


Erin Finlay, Partner, Stohn Hay Cafazzo Dembroski Heim Finlay LLP


Scott Benzie, Executive Director, Digital First Canada

Andrew Cash, President and CEO, Canadian Independent Music Association

Jérôme Payette, Director General, Association des professionnels de l'édition musicale (APEM)

12:15 p.m.

Networking Break and Buffet Luncheon (provided)

Registrants will be assigned randomly to tables in a number of breakout rooms. Facilitators at each table will animate the discussion and will seek views on a variety of policy questions.

1:30 p.m.

Luncheon Address: Where the CRTC Stands with its Full Agenda

The CRTC is in the middle of proceedings to implement the Online Streaming Act. The Ontario Commissioner of the CRTC will provide an update on where things stand.

Bram Abramson's Luncheon Speech


Bram Abramson, CRTC Commissioner, Ontario

2:00 p.m.

Artificial Intelligence and Cultural Expression

Creators are increasingly concerned about the possible misuse of AI, and looking for government action to address this. These speakers will summarize the current state of play.


Hugh Stephens, Editor, HughStephensBlog; Author, In Defence of Copyright


Neal McDougall, Writers Guild of Canada

Miranda Mulholland, Creative Culture Advisor at Music Canada

Stephen Stohn, Producer, Degrassi Series

2:45 p.m.

How should Broadcasters support Indigenous, Black and other racialized Creators

Under paragraphs 3(1)((d)(iii.1 and 11) of the Broadcasting Act, as amended by the Online Streaming Act, “the Canadian broadcasting system should… provide opportunities to indigenous persons to produce programming…” and '…provide opportunities to Black or other racialized persons in Canada by taking into account their specific needs and interests, namely, by supporting the production and broadcasting of original programs by and for Black and other racialized communities…” What can the CRTC do to achieve this objective?


Stephanie Willsey, Lawyer, McCarthy Tétrault LLP


Jonathan Frantz, Managing Director, Isuma

Sally Lee, Executive Director, Canadian Independent Screen Fund for BPOC Creators

Lisa Valencia-Svensson, Former Managing Director, Racial Equity Media Collective

3:45 p.m.

Refreshment Break

4:00 p.m.

The Future of Personalized Audio Streaming

Audio streaming companies have made large investments in personalization technologies and content in order to engage listeners and retain subscribers. What better way to do this than through the human voice. In this interview with the voice behind Spotify's "AI DJ", we'll look at how the project went from an idea, to a test, to a feature, now available to subscribers in 50 countries.


Catherine Moore, Adjunct Professor of Music Technology & Digital Media, University of Toronto Faculty of Music


Xavier "X" Jernigan, Spotify's AI DJ and Head of Cultural Partnerships.

4:45 p.m.

Closing Wrapup


Carolyne Sumner

5:00 p.m.

Termination of Program