Analog: Unveiling of the Programming for the Conference Series

Curated by the Canada Media Fund and co-presented with Telefilm Canada, Analog is a series of half-day conferences on creativity and the transformations underway in the screen-based industry.

Analog: Creativity and Artificial Intelligence

Is creativity exclusively human? As artificial intelligence makes inroads into every aspect of our industries, governments and personal lives, it may be comforting to think that the creative sectors will remain impervious to machine learning. However, artists of all walks of life are already embracing the technology and demonstrating its creative potential – that somewhere between irrational fears and solutionism lies a fertile ground for artistic collaboration between humans and machines.

Launching this Fall, Analog will unfold in three phases and in three Canadian cities: Montréal (November 28), Vancouver (December 3) and Toronto (December 6). Presenting leaders of Canada’s cultural, creative and technological scenes, the three events will be free and their common theme will be creativity and artificial intelligence.

By presenting this series, the CMF intends to create a new hotspot to, on the one hand, reflect our industry’s major issues and main trends and, on the other hand, promote interdisciplinary networking.


Panel: Artificial Intelligence and the Creative Industries
Artificial intelligence is a powerful amplifier for human output—and creative endeavours are no exception. But how does that take form in the creative industries? This discussion will give AI professionals, observers and academics the opportunity to share their thoughts on machine learning’s increasing footprint in the creative industries.

Montréal (in French):

Moderator: Catherine Mathys (Canada Media Fund)
Ollivier Dyens (McGill University)
Marie-Pier Gauthier (National Film Board of Canada)
Joëlle Pineau (Facebook)

Vancouver (In English):
Catherine Mathys (Canada Media Fund)
Ben Bogart (pluridisciplinary artist)
Philippe Pasquier (Simon Fraser University)
Catherine Warren (Vancouver Economic Commission)

Toronto (In English):
Catherine Mathys (Canada Media Fund)
Steve Engels (University of Toronto)
Shauna Jean Doherty (new media art curator and critic)
Jack Zhang (Greenlight Essentials)

In Conversation with David Usher
In this conversation with CMF Industry and Market Trends Director Catherine Mathys, David Usher will talk about his creative process, share his thoughts on AI’s role in creative industries and pull from his experience in creating artificial intelligence-enabled oeuvre We Could Be Human: A Learning Machine to give the audience insight into how tech and creativity are converging. Please note that the panel will be held in English.


Montréal and Vancouver

8 AM – Doors opening and arrival 
8:45 AM – Word of welcome
9 AM – Panel: Artificial Intelligence and the Creative Industries
10 AM – Break
10:30 AM – In conversation with David Usher


12:30 PM – Doors opening and arrival 
1:15 PM – Word of welcome
1:30 PM – Panel: Artificial Intelligence and the Creative Industries
2:30 PM – Break
3 PM – In conversation with David Usher


BEN BOGART is an interdisciplinary artist who works with generative computational processes (including physical modelling, chaotic equations, feedback systems, evolutionary algorithms, computer vision and machine learning). Ben has produced processes, artifacts, texts, images and performances that have been presented at galleries, art festivals and academic conferences in Canada (Canadian Embassy at Transmediale, Surrey Art Gallery, Banff Centre, New Forms Festival), the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, Turkey, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Brazil, Hong Kong (Videotage), Norway and Spain. Ben’s recent work involves building appropriate machine subjects and reconstructing popular cinematic depictions of artificial intelligence.

OLLIVIER DYENS is founder and co-director of Building 21, an open lab dedicated to rethinking higher education in the 21st century. From 2013 to 2018, he was Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning) at McGill University, where he is currently full professor with the Department of French-language literature, translation and creation.


STEVE ENGELS (BASc, MMath, PhD) is a Professor, Teaching Stream at the University of Toronto’s computer science department. Engels has a research background in machine learning, specifically related to natural language processing and information extraction. His current research interests involve video game design and “artificial creativity”, specifically the use of artificial intelligence techniques to create original pieces of art or literature based on human compositions.

MARIE-PIER GAUTHIER is producer at the National Film Board of Canada’s Digital Studio and has contributed to this true narrative laboratory for the past eight years now. Whether it’s mobile or web-based digital creations, interactive installations in virtual or augmented reality, she guides and supervises the realization of the projects of innovative authors who are at the crossroads of disciplines. Social networks, codes, design, artificial intelligence, and chatbots are as many preferred ways to tell the stories of her projects. A graduate in journalism and interactive production, Marie-Pier Gauthier has contributed to more than 100 interactive works (The Enemy, Do Not Track, Way to Go) that have received more than a hundred awards in Canada and internationally.

SHAUNA JEAN DOHERTY is a new media art curator and critic. She has curated exhibitions and events across Canada since 2010, most recently at Arsenal Contemporary Art (Montreal) with the Kali Yuga exhibition, featuring analogue and digital works by Tasman Richardson. She has published texts in French, English, and Russian on topics that include post-internet art aesthetics, cyberfeminism, art and artificial intelligence as well as the role of blockchain in the digital art market.

CATHERINE MATHYS has worked in the audiovisual production and media sector for almost 20 years. Chronicler, reporter and animator, she specialized over the last decade in the analysis of technological and media transformations. She holds a bachelor's degree in sociology and a master's degree in communication, and she particularly appreciates our relationship with technology and its impact on our daily lives.

PHILIPPE PASQUIER researches creative processes and generative systems. He is a scientist who specializes in artificial intelligence as well as a multidisciplinary artist, an educator and a community builder. His contributions range from theoretical research into multi-agent systems, computational creativity, creative AI and machine learning, to applied artistic research and practice in digital art, computer music, and generative art. Philippe Pasquier is an associate professor at the Simon Fraser University’s School for Interactive Arts and Technology, in Vancouver, where he directs the Metacreation Lab for Creative AI.

JOËLLE PINEAU is a faculty member at Mila and an associate professor and William Dawson scholar at the McGill University’s School of Computer Science, where she co-directs the Reasoning and Learning Lab. She is also co-managing director of Facebook AI Research and the director of its lab in Montreal, Canada. She holds a BASc in Engineering from the University of Waterloo as well as an MSc and PhD in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Pineau’s research focuses on developing new models and algorithms for planning and learning in complex partially-observable domains. She is the 2019 recipient of the Governor General’s Innovation Awards.

When innovative companies like Google, 3M, Cisco, Pepsi, Rogers and SAP want to re-inspire creativity in their employees and executives, they bring in DAVID USHER. He doesn’t just talk creativity and artificial intelligence (AI), he lives it. Drawing from his unique experience as the lead singer of Moist; a multi-platinum, four-time Juno award winning musician; a bestselling author and the founder of Reimagine AI, an artificial intelligence creative studio, David defines the path that companies and institutions can follow to reboot their creativity in this brave new world of disruptive change.

CATHERINE WARREN is the Vancouver Economic Commission’s chief officer. She lived and worked in the U.S., the U.K, and Europe, during her fruitful career in entertainment tech, business development and community-building. Catherine served in the C-Suite of a Nasdaq-traded software company that she and founding partners took public and grew to a $300M market cap. Catherine has degrees in journalism and physics, with a focus on climate change. She is Canada’s board member for the United Nations flagship program World Summit Awards, which celebrates the intersection of digital media and sustainable development goals, and serves on the board of directors of several publicly-traded and non-profit companies.

JACK ZHANG graduated from the University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Mathematics with honours in 2014. Shortly after, he founded Greenlight Essentials Inc. to combine his passion for film and expertise in mathematics. Jack started his professional IT career in 2011 with a software company in California, which was developing an innovative high-precision location system for outdoor entertainment activities. After that, he accepted a job at one of Beijing’s largest asset management companies, where he focused on data modeling and research for equity markets. All of this led him to grow his body of knowledge on the potential of technology and, especially, of big data/machine learning.

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Curated by




The Canada Media Fund (CMF) fosters, develops, finances and promotes the production of Canadian content and applications for all audiovisual media platforms. The CMF guides Canadian content towards a competitive global environment by fostering industry innovation, rewarding success, enabling a diversity of voice and promoting access to content through public and private sector partnerships. The CMF receives financial contributions from the Government of Canada and Canada’s cable, satellite and IPTV distributors.
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