Digital Media at the Crossroads

An Annual Conference on the Future of Content in Digital Media


John Anderson

John Anderson is the Principal at Anderson Consulting. John was previously Director of Policy for the Official Opposition and Special Advisor on Economic Policy to the Leader. He has been Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy for the Canadian Co-operative Association, Vice President for Research for the Canadian Council on Social Development and senior policy analyst for the National Council of Welfare. He is the author of numerous studies on policy, media and communications including the 2016 study for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives "An Over-the-Top Exemption: It's Time to Fairly Tax and Regulate the New Internet Media Services" and "Why Canada needs Postal Banking. He is the co-editor of a two volume study on work and technologyRe-shaping Work. He has taught at many Ontario universities, McMaster, Western, York and Brock and was educated at McGill, Sussex and London School of Economics. He is fluently bilingual and appears regularly on English and French media.

Grant Buchanan

Grant Buchanan is a leading communications lawyer, a partner 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 Blue Ant Media Inc. in respect of its acquisition of GlassboxTelevision Inc.; acting as counsel to the Ontario Ministry of Culture and the Ontario Media Development Corporation and the Directors Guild of Canada in numerous CRTC proceedings; acting for various radio broadcasters, including Standard Radio Inc., Astral Media Radio, Ryerson Radio Inc., Newcap Radio, and SiriusXM Canada; and acting as President of Canadian Broadcasters Rights Agency Inc., a copyright collective. He is listed in the 2015 edition of Best Lawyers in Canada, in Communications Law, and in Who's Who Legal Canada 2014 in Information Technology.

Valerie Creighton

Valerie Creighton is President and CEO of the Canada Media Fund. Valerie is an industry leader in arts, culture and media, recognized for reenergizing some of the country's most important organizations in the sector over the last thirty years. An expert in organizational change, Valerie has been recognized as a visionary in promoting Canada's cultural wealth. Valerie positions Canadian programming at the forefront in world markets advocating successful, innovative Canadian content and software applications for current and emerging digital platforms. Valerie has taken part in foreign trade missions, and is regularly called upon to present the CMF model internationally. She has been recognized with numerous awards nationally and from her home province of Saskatchewan, where she owns and operates the Red Horse Ranch. She 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.

Vlad Dascalu

Vlad Dascalu is a seasoned innovation strategist with experience from internationally renowned advertising agencies, most notably Sid Lee. He’s has played pivotal roles in engaging customers for legacy brands and has built brands from a blank canvas.

In 2014, he instituted an award winning branding and digital development agency called FutureFuture and led the vision and direction of both the agency and its clients. There he worked with startups from technology and the social sector who were attempting to dismantle the status quo.

Today, as Co-founder and Head of Strategy for Pinch VR, Vlad is helping companies harness the power of immersive technologies to deliver transformative experiences to audiences worldwide.

Dr. Sara Diamond

Dr. Sara Diamond is the President of OCAD University, Canada's university of the imagination. She holds a PhD in Computing, Information Technology and Engineering from the University of East London, a Master's in Digital Media theory from the University of the Arts London and an Honour's Bachelor of Arts in History and Communications from Simon Fraser University. She is an appointee of the Order of Ontario and the Royal Canadian Society of Artists, and a recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Digital Pioneer Award from the GRAND Networks of Centres of Excellence. She is also a Senior Fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto. In 2014, Toronto Life described her as one of "Toronto's 50 Most Influential People." Diamond is a data visualization, wearable technology and mobile media researcher, artist, designer and scientist. Her artwork is held by prestigious collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, NYC and the National Gallery of Canada. Her recent publications include 'Euphoria and Dystopia'.

Charles Falzon

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.

Tammy Johns

Tammy Johns is the CEO/Founder of Strategy & Talent and co-founder of She is a thinker and a doer with extensive experience in global labour markets who is recognized for anticipating trends reshaping the world of work and then delivering pragmatic, innovative solutions to help organizations, individuals and governments capitalize on these changes. Her experience includes 20 years on the Executive Management team at ManpowerGroup, where she led Global Sales and Innovation for the firm. Tammy is a Harvard Business Review author, a Visiting Scholar at MIT's Center for Collective Intelligence and holds an MBA from the University of Western Ontario.

Julia Johnston

Julia Johnston is a serial entrepreneur having co-founded, where she was the COO, and mEgo Inc., where she served as its CEO. She is currently a business affairs advisor to internationally-renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky, including on the Anthropocene Project, Burtynsky's next film, museum show, book and print project, and on Burtynsky's Toronto-based 3D printing atelier, Think2Thing. Prior to founding mEgo in 2007, Julia worked for many years for Richard Li's Pacific Century Group (PCG) including in the U.K. as the Senior Vice President of Business Development for PCCW, where she was a business development manager and worked on the roll out of a pan-Asian satellite telecommunications business and on the evaluation and execution of a number of investments in the real estate, telecommunications and technology spaces globally. From 2012-2014, Julia was the Vice President and head of the Corporate Communications Group at NATIONAL Public Relations in Toronto, and was part of the Telecommunications, Media and Technology group at CIBC World Markets in 2000.

Julia graduated from Princeton University and obtained her law degree from the University of Toronto. She currently sits on the board of ZoomerMedia Inc., the Toronto-based media company controlled by Moses Znaimer.

Allen Lau

Allen Lau is Co-founder and CEO of Wattpad. He leads the company's efforts to transform how people discover, create, and engage with stories across multiple platforms, including the top-rated Wattpad app. Today, entertainment companies work with Wattpad to adapt stories for other platforms; these stories have become blockbuster movies, hit television series, and bestselling books around the world. Allen is also a member of the Canadian Council of Innovators, a group that advances the interests of Canadian technology companies startups at all levels of government. He is also the co-founder of Two Small Fish Ventures, a fund that invests in Toronto and Waterloo-based early stage internet companies with strong network effects. Prior to Wattpad, Allen co-founded FeedM8, a mobile advertising company. Previously, he co-founded Tira Wireless where he helped leading brands optimize content for mobile delivery. Allen received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Toronto's Electrical Engineering program.

Jim Lidestri

Jim Lidestri is CEO of BuzzAngle Music, NYC. Mr. Lidestri is a highly experienced executive in the Internet and technology markets, having spent more than three decades in the space. In that time, he has handled corporate management for Fortune 500 companies IBM and Sprint, as well as guided a startup from inception to a $70 million IPO and a $175 million secondary offering. With Border City Media, he is revolutionizing music analytics via BuzzAngle Music, which gathers data on a song or albums sales, streaming history, airplay history, and social media metrics to provide a comprehensive picture of music consumption. Jim holds a bachelors degree in computer science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA in general management from NYU. He was named one of the Top 25 Leaders of the New Millennium by Computer Reseller News magazine.

Peter Lyman

Peter Lyman is Senior Partner and based in Toronto at Nordicity Group Limited. He co-founded the firm, guided its merger with PricewaterhouseCoopers, and led its subsequent re-emergence as a standalone consulting firm. An internationally recognized expert, Peter has participated in all facets of the regulatory, policy development, program evaluation, economic analysis, and business strategy formation in the digital and traditional media, cultural, and communications sectors.

Over his near-30 year career in consulting, Peter has assisted private and public companies, industry associations and government industries with business strategy, economic analysis, and policy advice. Peter is a frequent panellist or chair of professional conferences and media commenter, and is often called upon by policy-makers and regulatory authorities at the international, national and regional levels of government to provide advice and analysis on policy and regulatory issues.

From 1998-2002, Peter was the national lead partner for the Information Communications and Entertainment/Media practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting. He has served on the boards of high tech firms, TV broadcasters and not-for profit arts, education, political, and social-service organizations.

Peter holds an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School, and a B.A. from McGill University. He is fluently bilingual.

Reynolds Mastin

Reynolds Mastin is President and CEO of the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA). He develops strategic relationships with key external stakeholders, in order to ensure the continued success of Canada's independent production sector and a future for Canadian content. Prior to becoming President and CEO, Reynolds served as Chief Negotiator and Chief Legal Officer, providing strategic leadership and on a range of matters; these included intellectual property, industrial relations, Terms of Trade, Canada Media fund policies and guidelines, CRTC regulatory proceedings and corporate governance. In his professional capacity, Reynolds is a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Retransmission Collective (CRC) and the Executive Committee of the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF). Prior to joining the CMPA in 2008, Reynolds served as Legal Counsel for the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB), where his files included tariff proceedings before the Copyright Board of Canada, copyright reform, and corporate governance. Reynolds began his legal career as an articling student with the CRTC, a position which gave him broad exposure to both broadcasting and telecommunications matters. Reynolds completed his Common Law (LLB) and Civil Law (LLL) Degrees at McGill University, with an exchange semester spent at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He has an Honours BA in International Relations from the University of Toronto, and his Baccalauréat en éducation from the University of Ottawa

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 Adjunct Professor at Schulich School of Business where she teaches in courses on Media Management, Business and Strategic Solutions for Digital Media, and the Business of Creativity. 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. She taught at New York University from 1995 to 2016, retiring from that position to return to her home in Canada. Dr. Moore was Director of the Music Business Program at NYU from 1997 to 2015 and taught about forecasting, price strategy, strategic marketing, A&R music evaluation, and international expansion. Her first job in the music business was managing a record store in Liverpool, England. As a consultant in 1997, she created a forward-looking methodology to evaluate recorded music masters, regularly updating the method through 2015 to include new ways to measure digital value. Catherine Moore has been a music critic since 1990 for American Record Guide, and works as a consultant. She is a graduate of Bishop's University, the Conservatoire de Musique (Montréal), and the University of Liverpool (UK).

Barbara Motzney

Barbara Motzney is the Chief Consumer Officer at the CRTC. In this role, she serves as a focal point ensuring that the interests and concerns of consumers are considered in Commission decision making.

Barbara's responsibilities include: data collection and industry monitoring; research; economic and financial analysis; ownership and acquisitions; social, consumer and strategic policy; corporate planning and reporting; multiplatform and network technology; and international affairs. Together, these functions provide the tools, information, and intelligence necessary for the work of the CRTC to be accessible and responsive to the needs and expectations of Canadians.

Barbara has held policy and corporate leadership positions with Public Safety Canada, Canadian Heritage, Health Canada, and Industry Canada where she has worked on government priorities including: the Beyond the Border Action Plan; copyright reform legislation, the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games; and the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

Barbara graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Bachelor of Arts in Financial and Administrative Studies, and holds a Master of Business Administration from Concordia University.

Rachel Noonan

Rachel Noonan is currently the Director of Marketing, Communications, Creative and Editorial at the Toronto International Film Festival. Rachel has 12 years of experience in strategy development, integrated consumer brand marketing and insight development in the entertainment and media industries. She has worked in film, fashion, technology and music; leading efforts for brands such as Pony Footwear, The Canadian Film Centre, Worldwide Short Film Festival, Alliance (now eOne), Rdio/Vdio, Samsung and Microsoft. Rachel has launched two brands during her career, re-launched a heritage brand, developed first-to-market API integration partnerships and built a hybrid technology/music brand from the ground up. She has just completed her Masters of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation at OCAD.

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.

Chris Unwin

Chris Unwin is Founder and Executive Director of Free, a cultural incubator catalyzing mass collaboration between companies and creators. Their community-powered channel, #TheCreatorClass, is a collaborative dispatch on creator culture reaching millions globally, with recognition from Booooooom, Creativity, Fast Company, Highsnobiety, Hypebeast, It's Nice That, Nowness and Vimeo.

Free's corporate partnerships are transforming the way in which companies relate and create with their audience, while providing a new generation of creatives a new outlet for education, distribution, resources, and commercial opportunities so they can build a career doing what they love.

Free's community comes together in a 6500 square foot studio located in the heart of Toronto's creative core. The collaborative environment features training, production resources, and on-going cultural experiences, providing a vivid image of the future of millennial work.

Prior to Free, Unwin was a senior strategist at Bell Media, most notably helping guide leading youth brands MuchMusic and MTV Canada through digital, social transformations.

Dr. David A. Wolfe

Dr. David A. Wolfe is Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto Mississauga and Co-Director of the Innovation Policy Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs. From 2009 to 2014 he was the Royal Bank Chair in Public and Economic Policy at the University of Toronto. He has been the Principal Investigator on two Major Collaborative Research Initiatives funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the first on Innovation Systems and Economic Development: The Role of Local and Regional Clusters in Canada and the second on Social Dynamics of Economic Performance: Innovation and Creativity in City-Regions. In 2014 he was awarded a major new SSHRC Partnership Grant on Creating Digital Opportunity: Canada's ICT Industry in Global Perspective that runs to 2020.

Prof. Wolfe has published extensively on cluster dynamics, innovation policy and related knowledge-based economic development. He is the editor or co-editor of ten books and numerous scholarly articles. His most recent book, co-edited with Meric Gertler, is Growing Urban Economies: Innovation, Creativity and Governance in Canadian City-Regions.