An Annual Conference on the Future of Content in Digital Media
Bram Abramson, Commissioner Ontario Region, CRTC, has over 20 years of experience in the communications sector, working on a wide range of broadband, wireless, digital media, and broadcasting issues. As a lawyer with 32M and with McCarthy Tétrault, he advised a broad range of public- and private-sector clients on regulated communications, privacy, and data governance matters. As head of legal for a competitive telco and for a blockchain wallet provider, he played strategic roles in-house and within industry associations. Early in his career, he was an analyst with TeleGeography's international network infrastructure and the CRTC's industry monitoring programs.
Over the years, Bram has served on various sector boards and advisory committees, including as a trustee of the American Registry for Internet Numbers, director of the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services, and member of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority's Community Investment Review Committee.
He is a graduate of the Women in Film and Television's Media Leadership Program and Canadian Bar Association's Certified In-House Counsel program, and holds a range of privacy, investigation, and compliance designations.
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.
Scott Benzie has over 20 years working in Canadian Media including BANFF World Media Festival, NEXT MEDIA and others. Scott is an expert in everything from getting coffee to managing in the fast paced universe of the Creator Economy. As the CEO of Buffer Festival for 7 years Scott works with Creators, Brands and Governments around the world to Celebrate, Educate and Innovate on digital platforms.
Scott had worked with 1000's of Creators and Brands within the framework of Buffer Festival and has taken the program which originated in Toronto, to Vancouver, Los Angeles and London.
In 2021 Scott formed Digital First Canada with the team from Buffer Festival as an Not For Profit to advocate on behalf of the Digital Entrepreneurs in Canada. As Executive Director, Scott has appeared before the House and Senate on a number of occasions and works with Heritage Canada to further the interests of Digital Creators. Since inception Digital First Canada has launched a number of programs for Creators including Road To Freedom for Indigenous Youth, Programs for Creators to get administrative help and new tools, and opened a Studio in Toronto for Creators to use free of Charge.
Scott has served as a mentor at the Canadian Film Centre's Ideaboost program, sits on several Advisory Boards but finds most joy in being a little league Baseball coach.
Marla Boltman is the Executive Director of Friends of Canadian Media. She is a trusted and passionate leader in the Canadian media sector with more than 20 years of combined experience in policy and regulatory advocacy, content production, and entertainment law. Prior to joining FRIENDS, Marla was the Senior Vice President, Business Affairs & Operations at Halfire Entertainment. Before that, she served as the Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs and General Counsel at the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), where she provided broad-based legal and strategic business advice on various aspects of the independent production sector. Her robust experience also includes roles at DHX Media (now Wildbrain), the Canada Media Fund, the Canadian Film Centre and Alliance Atlantis Communications.
Andrew Cash is the President and CEO of the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA), the voice of Canada's independent music sector. As a Member of Parliament from 2011 to 2015 Cash championed the music sector while raising awareness of the realities of making a living in Canada as an arts and culture worker. He continued this mission post-Parliament, co-founding the non-profit Urban Worker Project.
As a singer/songwriter, producer and performer Cash spent 25 years touring and recording, first in the post punk band L'Etranger followed by a successful solo career as well as several collaborations including the Cash Brothers, with Peter Cash, Skydiggers and Jason Collett. He has created soundtrack music for television, including as series composer for Dragons Den. Cash has released over a dozen records and his contributions as an artist have earned him a Juno award and three SOCAN awards. His music can be found at https://andrewcash.net.
Brian Christiensen is an Analyst based in Edmonton, reporting to Nordicity's Toronto office. He is a dedicated and interdisciplinary researcher and policy analyst with experience in government and politics and in the music and theatre industries. Prior to joining Nordicity, Brian was a senior advisor to a member of Edmonton City Council, where he developed a keen sense of municipal governance and policy issues. Brian also draws upon over a decade of work in the performing arts as a musician, stage actor and composer to augment his perspectives on the creative and cultural industries. He recently completed his Master's thesis research in the intersection of municipal land use policy and performing arts venue.
Valerie Creighton is an industry leader in arts, culture, and media, recognized for reenergizing some of the country's most important organizations in the sector over a period spanning close to four decades. An expert in organizational change, Valerie has been recognized as a visionary in promoting Canada's cultural wealth.
Currently serving as President and CEO of the Canada Media Fund, Valerie positions Canadian programming at the forefront in world markets, promoting successful, innovative Canadian content and software applications for current and emerging digital platforms. Valerie has taken part in foreign trade missions, is a passionate industry advocate, and is regularly called upon to present the CMF model internationally.
Valerie was invested into the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 2016 and the Order of Canada in 2019. She was named one of 2016's 20 most powerful women in global television by The Hollywood Reporter, was recognized in 2017 by Women in Television and Film – Vancouver for her major contribution to promoting gender equality in media, and was bestowed the Honorary Maverick Award at the 2017 Female Eye Film Festival. She was inducted into Playback's Hall of Fame in 2018 and received C21's 2020 Content Canada Impact Award.
In 2022, she was recognized again by The Hollywood Reporter as one of the 20 most powerful women in global entertainment, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Regina, and the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal from the province of Saskatchewan.
Valerie holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Saskatchewan, has served on a variety of regional, national, and international juries and boards and has produced radio dramas for the CBC in Saskatchewan, where she owns and operates the Red Horse Ranch.
Paul Deegan is President and Chief Executive Officer of News Media Canada – the voice of the print and digital news media industry in Canada. From 2015 to 2018, he was Vice-President, Public and Government Affairs at Canadian National Railway Company. He had North American responsibility for CN's relationships with governments at all levels as well as media relations, social media, corporate advertising, sponsorships and donations, community relations, and internal communications.
Mr. Deegan joined BMO Financial Group in 1996 as a policy adviser in the CEO's office. From 2009 to 2015 - a period which included the global financial crisis and a transformative acquisition by BMO - he was Vice-President, Government and Public Relations.
Prior to joining BMO, Mr. Deegan served as Deputy Executive Director of the National Economic Council in the Clinton White House. He worked for the Government of Ontario's Cabinet Office. He also interned in the office of the late United States Senator Edward M. Kennedy and at the Democratic National Committee in Washington, DC. He studied at McGill, and graduated from University of Toronto in History and Political Science. While at BMO, he completed two advanced executive programs with the Ivey/Kellogg and Rotman business schools.
Mr. Deegan is a director of the Michener Awards Foundation and Journalists for Human Rights, and he is a member of the Canadian Investment Committee of the Society of the Sacred Heart.He is a past director ofthe Canadian Journalism Foundation, Toronto Terminals Railway Co. Ltd, Toronto Financial Services Alliance, Necessary Angel Theatre Company, Tarragon Theatre, and Aptus Treatment Centre for Complex Disabilities.He is a former member of the Acquisition Committee - International Art after 1900 - at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.From 2017 to 2022, Mr. Deegan was an Honorary Captain in the Royal Canadian Navy.He is a contributing writer to Policy Magazine.
He is married with two children.
Kevin Desjardins is the President of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, representing Canada's private radio and television stations, as well as specialty services. He was appointed to the position in November, 2020, rejoining the organization where he previously served in communications and public affairs roles from 2005 to 2007.
Kevin is an accomplished association leader, with a wealth of experience in all aspects of association management for industry and professional groups, and a focus on in federal advocacy and communications. Previous to the CAB, he also served in public affairs roles at the Canadian Dental Association, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada and the Canadian Conference of the Arts. He also served for six years on the Board of Directors of the Government Relations Institute of Canada.
Erin Finlay is a partner with Stohn Hay Cafazzo Dembroski Heim Finlay LLP where she practises in the areas of entertainment law, copyright, privacy, broadcast regulatory and cultural policy. She provides a wide range of legal services and strategic direction to producers, artists, musicians, authors, publishers, trade associations, copyright collectives and cultural businesses in the development, production, exploitation and protection of film, television, publishing, music and digital media projects.
Erin has led the negotiation, drafting, and enforcement of multi-party collective licences, directed complex copyright tariff and CRTC broadcast regulatory and policy proceedings, and has appeared numerous times before the Copyright Board of Canada, the CRTC, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court of Canada and the House of Commons Standing Committees on Canadian Heritage and Industry Canada, as well as the Senate of Canada. Her expertise spans a range of legal, policy and government relations experience in the music, film and television production and publishing industries.
Before joining the firm, Erin was the Chief Legal Officer at the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), General Counsel and Director of Government Relations at Access Copyright and an associate practising in the entertainment law group at Cassels Brock. With more than 15 years' experience as both in-house counsel and in private practice, she brings a practical perspective to resolving complex issues and advocating for her clients in Canada's creative industries.
Julie Ford is the Executive Director of the Digital Advertising Alliance of Canada, the Canadian arm of the AdChoices self-regulatory program for interest-based advertising (YourAdChoices.ca). Julie handles all administration and advocacy for the program and has been leading the association since 2015.
Julie also assists the DAA US with projects that span across North America, all with the aim of providing greater consumer transparency and choice for relevant advertising.
Previous to her role with the DAAs, Julie worked in various senior positions on the ad network-side, agency-side, and association-side throughout her digital career, which started in 2000.
Jonathan Frantz is the Managing Director for Isuma, a collective of Inuit and non- Indigenous artists and media creators led by celebrated filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk, OC. Since 2012, Jonathan has helped Isuma develop impactful and innovative community-led projects, including the creation of Canada's first 24/7 Inuktut television channel, Uvagut TV.
Launched in 2021, Uvagut TV is currently available to 600,000 subscribers of Shaw, Arctic Co-op and local cable satellite channels across Canada. Sharing Inuit-language feature films, documentaries, current affairs, children's programming, and live broadcasts every week, Uvagut TV provides a vital service for Inuit audiences in the north and the south.
In addition to the development of Uvagut TV, Jonathan has led production for several notable and award-winning projects for Isuma, including the 2019 Canada Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale, feature film One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk (TIFF “Canada's Top Ten” 2019); Haida language film SGaawaay K'uuna: Edge of the Knife (winner of 6 Leo Awards and VIFF “Best Canadian Film”); and animated short film Angakusajaujuq: The Shaman's Apprentice (winner of 2021 FIPRESCI award and shortlisted for the 2022 Oscars).
Currently, Jonathan is managing operations for Uvagut TV, securing licensing agreements for new content, and acting as the lead liaison with the CRTC on a 9(1)(h) application. Jonathan has a master's degree in community planning from the University of British Columbia, and lives with his family in Squamish, BC.
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.
Spotify AI DJ x Head of Cultural Partnerships, Xavier "X" Jernigan is the Voice of Spotify… literally. Xavier is the voice and personality of Spotify's AI DJ, named one of Time Magazine's Best Inventions of 2023. He is also a Spotify executive (Head of Cultural Partnerships) and Spotify's go-to host and spokesperson for Spotify events and press around the world. In that role he has interviewed some of the biggest celebrities in the world and brought Spotify to the Oscars and AMAs red carpet for the very first time. Xavier has hosted several podcasts across Spotify including The Get Up (Spotify's Morning Show) that garnered nearly 6 million listeners and was a top 10 podcast on Spotify.
As a Founding Member of The Kennedy Center Hip-Hop Culture Council, Xavier "X" Jernigan works to bring Hip-Hop programming to the USA's national performing arts center. As Lincoln Center's Guest Curator for Hip-Hop, he curated the Hip-Hop 50th Anniversary concerts and Hip-Hop programming in 2024. Prior to Spotify, Xavier worked across Def Jam, Epic, Motown, Republic, and Bad Boy launching the careers of Future, Logic, and Amy Winehouse.
Born and raised in Daytona Beach, FL, Xavier is a proud MBA graduate of FAMU, graduated NYU as Valedictorian (MA; Music Business), serves on the NYU Steinhardt Dean's Alumni Advisory Board, and is most proud to serve as a Deacon at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Brooklyn, NY.
Peter Kosmala is a recognized thought leader and pioneer in data privacy and digital media as a former marketer, technologist, lobbyist and association leader and as a current educator, consultant and speaker.
Peter served the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) as its first Assistant Director and then as Vice President. He helped to establish IAPP-Canada's office in Ottawa and the annual IAPP Canada Privacy Symposium based in Toronto, both beginning in 2006. Peter led the creation of the first professional certification in privacy, the IAPP's Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) in 2004. He then launched the CIPP-Canada (CIPP/C) and four more credentials over the course of several years. Today, over 40,000 professionals around the world hold one or more of the CIPPs which certify knowledge in global privacy laws, standards, and practices.
Peter then served the US-based Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) and led the DAA “AdChoices” program for consumer privacy protection as the organization's first managing director.
Peter's roots are in digital media beginning with WIRED magazine and Hotwired, the first ad- supported Web publishing site. He has served in leadership roles at technology companies CMGI and dataxu (now ROKU), trade associations the NAI and the 4A's, and at ad agencies Wells Rich Greene BDDP and MVBMS Partners/EURO RSCG (Havas).Since 2020, Peter has served as the program advisor, content developer and lead instructor for the first post-graduate program in information privacy offered by York University in Toronto. He also advises private clients on digital media and data privacy issues.
Monique Lafontaine is a communications lawyer with over 25 years of experience in communications law and policy. Monique recently completed a five-year term as Commissioner for Ontario at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) where she worked as an adjudicator on a wide range of broadcasting, telecommunications and enforcement matters. During her career, Monique has worked as General Counsel, Vice-President of Regulatory and Business Affairs for Canadian broadcasters. She has also overseen public policy and regulatory matters for a national association of audiovisual content creators. Earlier in her career, Monique had the opportunity of working in the Communications and Technology Law Group at the law firm of McCarthy Tétrault where she worked on a wide range of domestic and international regulatory matters. Monique currently operates her own legal practice in the areas of communications and entertainment law.
Jesse Langdon is the Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of The Globe and Mail. In thisrole, 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. She also has a Master in Laws degree with a Specialism in Regulating Innovation, Communication and Technology from the London School of Economics.
Howard Law writes the blog MediaPolicy.ca. He was a staff union representative for the Southern Ontario Newsmedia Guild beginning in 1997 and then the Media Director at Unifor from 2013 to his retirement in 2021. He has a law degree and a graduate degree in history from the University of Toronto. His book on the Online Streaming Act Bill C-11 be published in 2024 by Lorimer.
Sally Lee is Executive Director of the Canadian Independent Screen Fund for Black and People of Colour Creators (CISF), the country's only dedicated production fund governed and operated by members of the Black and racialized communities it serves. CISF administers the Rogers-BSO Script Development Fund and has Certified Independent Production Fund status with the CRTC. With the passing of Bill C-11, Sally has been leading CISF's participation in the Commission's consultations towards a modernized regulatory framework. She has also served in leadership and management roles at the staff and board levels at the Reel Asian International Film Festival, CARFAC Ontario, the Toronto International Film Festival the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto, the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre, the Toronto Arts Council, and the Coalition of Canadian Media Arts Distributors, among others.
Peter Lyman is Senior Partner of Nordicity, an international consultancy in strategy, economics, and policy in the creative industries and cultural sectors. He has co-presented at the opening panel of DM@X in five of the last seven years.
Peter co-founded Nordicity in 1979. He guided the company's merger with PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1998 and was made national lead partner for the Information Communications and Entertainment/Media practice. He then led Nordicity's re-emergence as a standalone firm in 2002. Over the decades, he has found new ways to drive the business and help companies, arts and heritage institutions, industry associations and government agencies transform themselves to the digital world.
Peter is a media commenter and frequent panelist or moderator at professional conferences. He is active in the arts and social justice community, as past chair of the board for the Inspirit Foundation, governance chair of Canadian Stage in Toronto, and currently a board member for Caribbean Tales Media. He is an adjunct professor at Schulich Business School at York University, where he teaches cultural policy to the MBA students in arts and media. He is fluently bilingual in English and French.
Michael MacMillan co-founded and is CEO of Blue Ant Media. Started in 2011, the global media company is an international production studio and rights business, and owns and operates eight free streaming channels internationally, in addition to a roster of pay TV broadcast channels in Canada. The company is headquartered in Toronto, with six international offices in Los Angeles, New York, Singapore, London, Washington and Sydney.
Michael co-founded Atlantis Films Limited in 1978. In its early years, Atlantis was primarily a film and television production house, winning an Oscar in 1984 for its short film Boys and Girls. In 1998 Atlantis acquired Alliance Communications in a reverse takeover and the company became Alliance Atlantis Communications. Under Michael's continued leadership, as Chairman and CEO, the company operated 13 Canadian television networks and also distributed and produced movies and television programs including the hit series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. In 2007, Michael retired from Alliance Atlantis after selling the company to Canwest Communications and Goldman Sachs.
Michael is also the co-founder and Chair of The Samara Centre for Democracy (launched in 2008) which is a non-partisan charity that is dedicated to reconnecting citizens to politics.
A member of the Order of Canada, Michael has volunteered with numerous community and industry organizations over many years. He is a Senior Fellow at Massey College and co-author of the best-selling book Tragedy in the Commons.
Nicole Matiation is the Sector lead AV Production for Canada at Nordicity, an international consultancy in strategy, economics, and policy in the creative industries and cultural sectors.
has over 25 years' experience in executive positions leading cultural organizations and has chaired, and participated in, a wide range of not-for profit Boards and committees locally and nationally. As the Executive Director of the Strategic Policy Branch in the department of Sport Culture, Heritage and Tourism Manitoba, Nicole oversaw a team dedicated to research, analysis, and development of legislative, policy, and program options in the areas of creative industries, performing arts, heritage, public libraries, multiculturalism, and sport.
Over a period of ten years as the Executive Director of On Screen Manitoba, the provincial industry association, Nicole produced All Access, an annual AV industry conference with a program stream for each of the English- and French-language markets that brought together Canadian industry leaders, with national and international broadcasters and distributers for two days in Winnipeg, Canada. She led a five-year interprovincial bilingual cross-disciplinary industry development project bridging AV and IDM production in partnership with provincial industry associations across the prairies that resulted in several online industry development tools and other initiatives. Previous to that she co-founded and led le Centre des arts médiatiques pour jeunes : Freeze Frame: the Media Arts Centre for young People for over ten years.
Neal McDougall is Assistant Executive Director at the Writers Guild of Canada (WGC). Since 2013, Neal has advocated for Canadian screenwriters in policy proceedings before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), federal Parliamentary committees, and with funding bodies and elected officials. Prior to that, Neal worked in policy and program development at the Canada Media Fund. He has worked as a professional screenwriter himself and was an award-winning student filmmaker. Neal holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from Osgoode Hall Law School, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from York University, where he studied film and video production.
Trina McQueen is Co-Director of the Arts, Media and Entertainment program at Schulich School of Business. In her media career, she was Head of CBC Television News (where she launched and oversaw the development of Canada's first news channel), founding President of Discovery Channel and President and COO of CTV.
She has served on numerous media boards, including CBC/Radio Canada; Telefilm, Banff World Media Festival, Historica Canada, TVOntario and the Canadian Journalism Foundation. In the arts, her boards include the Canadian Opera Company, Canadian Stage, Governor General's Performing Arts Awards and Tafelmusik In education, she served the boards of the Banff Centre for Creativity, the University of Waterloo and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, as well as advisory boards at Queen's, Toronto Metropolitan University, UBC, Carleton, University of Regina and the Arts ,Media, Performance and Design school at York University.
She is an Officer of the Order of Canada and has received four honorary doctorates, from York University, University of Waterloo, Carleton University and Mount St. Vincent University. Other honours include the CBC News Hall of Fame, the Playback Film and Television hall of Fame, Crystal Awards from Women in Film and Television, and honourary life membership in the Directors Guild of Canada.
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).
Miranda Mulholland is a Canadian Musician, Label Owner and Artistic Director of the Muskoka Music Festival. Her most recent solo release, By Appointment or Chance, was nominated for a JUNO for Traditional Roots Album of the Year. Dubbed the “Sweet secret weapon of Canadian Roots Music” by Brad Wheeler at the Globe and Mail, her touring and recording credits include Great Lake Swimmers, Bowfire, Harrow Fair, Alan Doyle, The Jim Cuddy Band and many, many more. She has performed on over 100 albums as well as TV shows and film scores. She runs a boutique record label out of Toronto called Roaring Girl Records which is the home to a select group of diverse artists.
Over the past six years, Miranda has emerged as one of the World's foremost Artist Advocates speaking at the WTO and WIPO in Geneva, a CUSMA negotiating round in Washington, CMW, MIDEM, Banff World Media Festival and was the first creator to take the podium at the Economic Club of Canada.
She was presented with the Global IP Champion award from the US Chamber of Commerce and was Runner up to Margaret Atwood for 2019's Artist of the Year in the Globe and Mail.
Miranda is Vice Chair of the Board of Governors, Massey/Roy Thomson Halls, serves as the Creative Culture Advisor for Music Canada and Chair of The Music Canada Advisory Council.
Jérôme Payette is the Executive Director of APEM, the association representing Québec and francophone music publishers in Canada. He also is a Vice-President of the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, a member of the Board of Directors of MetaMusic, and is an active member of the Canadian music policy coalition. His career path has taken him to UNESCO, l'Orchestre symphonique de Laval and consulting in the cultural sector. Jérôme holds a Master's degree in management and a Graduate Diploma in arts management from HEC Montréal, as well as a Bachelor's degree in Jazz Performance from Université de Montréal.
Jonathon Penney is a legal scholar and social scientist with an expertise at the intersection of law, technology, and human rights, with a special focus on interdisciplinary approaches to emerging technologies. He is an Associate Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School; a Faculty Associate at Harvard's Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society; and a long time Research Fellow at the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab. His work on privacy, security, and technology has received national and international press coverage including in the CBC, Globe and Mail, Washington Post, Reuters, New York Times, WIRED Magazine, The Guardian, and Le Monde, among others.
Amanda Roth oversees customer experience, growth and product at The Logic. She was awarded a Best in Business Award from the Canadian chapter of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in 2020 and a Canadian Hillman Prize Honourable Mention in 2019 for her reporting on Sidewalk Labs.
Shruti Shekar is Android Central's editor-in-chief and was most recently the managing editor. She was born in India, brought up in Singapore, but now lives in Toronto. She started her journalism career as a political reporter in Ottawa, Canada's capital, and then made her foray into tech journalism at MobileSyrup and, most recently, Yahoo Finance Canada. When tech isn't on her mind, she loves working out, reading, watching all kinds of TV shows, and planning what she's going to eat the next day. She is also a regular contributor and commentator on tech for CBC, CTV, CP24, and Global News.
Hugh Stephens had a long career in Asia Pacific, first with the Department of Foreign Affairs and later in the private sector, as SVP for Public Policy for Asia for Time Warner Inc. In both his government service and in the private sector, he was engaged in international relations and trade issues as well as specific issues related to intellectual property. After “retiring” to Victoria, he began writing an award-winning weekly blog on international copyright issues. ( www.hughstephensblog.net) As a result of the blog, he was approached by Cormorant Books in Toronto with a proposal to write a book on the state of copyright in Canada.
His book, In Defence of Copyright, was published in August of 2023. It examines a number of current copyright issues, such as the role of AI in copyright, copyright and the news media (related to Bill C-18 aka The Online News Act), educational copying, and how copyright law fits with Indigenous Cultural Expression. The book also provides an explanation of copyright, copyright piracy, contested uses, and provides an overview of the history of copyright. Finally, it lays out some recommendations for dealing with the current issues government is facing in dealing with copyright issues in Canada today. The book uses examples and anecdotes drawn from the blog to “illustrate” the issues discussed.
Prior to joining Time Warner in 2000, Mr. Stephens spent 30 years in the Canadian Foreign Service with the Department of External Affairs, later the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). His last Ottawa assignment was as Assistant Deputy Minister for Policy and Communications in DFAIT. He also served abroad as Canadian Representative in Taiwan, Counsellor and Charge d'affaires at the Canadian Embassies in Seoul, Korea and Islamabad, Pakistan, among a number other overseas and headquarters assignments, including service at the Canadian Embassies in Beirut, Lebanon, Beijing, China and Mandarin language training in Hong Kong.
Mr. Stephens was educated at the University of British Columbia (BA-Hons), University of Toronto (B.Ed) and Duke University (MA), and has a Certificate in Mandarin from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Currently serving as chancellor of Trent University, Stephen Stohn is also a founding partner in the entertainment law firm Stohn Hay Cafazzo Dembroski Heim Finlay LLP; chair of Orange Lounge Recordings; and a director of ISAN Canada, the Canadian Retransmission Collective, and the Producers Audiovisual Collective of Canada.
He is a longtime executive producer of the television franchise Degrassi, amongst several other series. For nearly twenty years, Stephen was a director and then chair of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) and executive producer of The Juno Awards, Canada's national music awards show.
A member of the Order of Canada, Stephen has been nominated four times for Primetime Emmy Awards, was inducted into the Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame in 2011 and is a winner of the Peabody Award. He has received 28 nominations for Canadian Screen Awards (formerly the Gemini Awards) and won 14 times. He and his wife Linda Schuyler recently received a Star on Canada's Walk of Fame on behalf of Degrassi.
Stephen's industry experience includes being a partner for 10 years in McCarthy Tétrault. He is the author of Whatever It Takes: Life Lessons from Degrassi and Elsewhere in the World of Music and Television (Dundurn Press).
Richard Stursberg is the former 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.
Dr. Carolyne Sumner is the Executive Director of DM@X. She is currently an Assistant Professor and Cross-Cultural Exchange Advisor at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Music, and has recently completed her PhD in Musicology from the same institution. Her doctoral thesis investigates the gatekeeping activities of a network of musicians and music administrators who governed the cultural institutions crucial to the dissemination of Canadian art music during the mid-twentieth century, and evaluates the subsequent challenges posed by the implementation of a national cultural policy in Canada upon their activities during the postcentennial era. Since the beginning of her academic career, Carolyne has presented her research at professional conferences including The Canadian University Music Society and the American Musicological Society, and her work has been published in Les Cahiers de la Société québécoise de recherche en musique (SQRM), Intersections, and American Music. Over the course of her academic career, Carolyne's research has been generously supported by various provincial and federal academic awards and grants, including the Ontario Graduate Student award and a SSHRC Doctoral fellowship award.
Lisa Valencia-Svensson is an Emmy award winning and Academy Award shortlisted producer, VP of Finance at Fae Pictures, Programmer for the International Documentary Association's Getting Real conference, and the lead consultant for the Documentary Organization of Canada's Business Leap program. She was previously the Managing Director of the Racial Equity Media Collective and the Acting Industry Programs Director at Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. Before that she was Head of Operations at Multitude Films, where she co-produced IT'S ONLY LIFE AFTER ALL (Sundance 2023), THROUGH OUR EYES: APART (HBO Max, Emmy Award 2022), CALL CENTER BLUES (SXSW 2020, Academy Award Best Short Documentary shortlist 2021), PRAY AWAY (Netflix, Emmy Award Nominee 2021), and ALWAYS IN SEASON (Sundance 2019, Independent Lens). She produced CALL HER GANDA (Tribeca 2018, POV), which The Hollywood Reporter called “heartbreaking and inspirational.” Her first documentary HERMAN'S HOUSE (Full Frame 2012, POV) won an Emmy for Outstanding Arts & Culture Programming. Her second feature MIGRANT DREAMS (Hot Docs 2016, TVO) won the Canadian Hillman Prize and was a Top Ten Audience Favorite at Hot Docs. Other credits include THE WORLD BEFORE HER (Tribeca 2012, POV) and LAILA AT THE BRIDGE (CPH:DOX 2018).
Stephanie Willsey is Chippewa from the Rama First Nation and from the marten clan.
Stephanie is an associate at McCarthy Tétrault LLP in Toronto. She maintains a broad litigation practice including class actions, media, and professional liability matters. Stephanie regularly works on behalf of First Nations communities and individuals. Stephanie has appeared as counsel before several levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada.
In 2023, Stephanie completed a secondment as Senior Legal Counsel at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. She has a passion for Indigenous media and connectivity.
In addition to her legal practice, Stephanie commits significant time to both local and global Indigenous initiatives. Stephanie serves on the board of the Indigenous Bar Association, provides pro bono legal advice at the PBSC Indigenous Human Rights Clinic, and mentors Indigenous high school students through the Martin Family Initiative Indigenous Mentoring Program. Stephanie has also served as a delegate at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and EU Working Group on Indigenous Populations.