Artists & AI: An Open Conversation

Artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping the ways in which art is created, disseminated and understood, and challenging previous notions of labour, intellectual property, and even creativity itself. But how will the future of AI be determined, and by whom?

CARFAC OntarioArtists’ Legal Advice Services, and InterAccess invite you to join and participate in a discussion exploring the evolving landscape of generative AI, its impacts on the lives and careers of artists, and ways in which artists can actively shape a future informed by ethical and responsible AI development, use, policy and shared governance.

Following a short panel, we will facilitate an open conversation about both immediate challenges and questions faced by artists (e.g. current copyright and IP laws) and the importance of longer-term, artist-informed AI engagement, policy development, and knowledge mobilization. We invite you to consider and contribute to exploring models of AI governance that are conducive to artists and the cultural ecosystem.

Panelists*: Heran Genene (Artist, researcher, community mobilizer, autoethnographic art producer); Valentine Goddard (lawyer, certified mediator, and inter-arts curator with globally recognized ai expertise); Catherine Lovrics (leading Intellectual property lawyer); moderated by Jason Samilski (Managing Director, CARFAC Ontario.)

*Panelist and organizational bios below.

Date / Time

Date: October 13th, 2023

Time: 12pm – 1.30pm

Virtual via ZOOM

ASL interpretation and auto-captioning will be provided.

FREE to attend

Register here.


We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and the Government of Ontario, and the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.

Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada, le Conseil des arts de l’Ontario et le gouvernement de l’Ontario, et la Ville de Toronto par l’intermédiaire du Conseil des arts de Toronto de leur soutien financier.

Panelist Bios.

Heran Genene is a visionary conceptual artist and community mobilizer, who delves into the world of emerging technology, exploring it as a new medium for artistic expression.With a keen interest in anthropology, existentialism, and the concept of “play,” Heran’s personal works embody thought-provoking themes that inspire introspection and reflection. Recently, Heran has embraced a new path, shifting towards consultancy and facilitating “playshops” to empower fellow artists, organizations, and entrepreneurs. Her goal is to help them grasp and incorporate cutting-edge tools into their creative practices. Additionally, Heran Genene, also known as UrDaughterXYZ, is a passionate Ethiopian-Canadian artist immersed in the world of conceptual and immersive technology art. With over a decade of experience in Toronto’s underground and emerging arts sectors, Heran has honed her skills as an artist-enabler.Today, her art encapsulates a journey through the complexities of space, time, and the intricate interplay between social and technological constructs. Through her work, she documents and reflects on the ever-evolving human experience in a rapidly advancing world. /

Lawyer, certified mediator, and inter-arts curator, Valentine Goddard is a member of the AI Advisory Council of Canada, and a United Nations expert on AI policy and governance. In 2017, she founded and is the executive director of AI Impact Alliance, a non-profit organization whose mission is to facilitate responsible AI and steer its use towards the achievement of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals. It is recognized by the Montreal Art Council as a digital arts research organization and stands as a founding member of the International Observatory on the Ethics and Social Impacts of AI (OBVIA) and of the Responsible AI Consortium. Valentine takes part in the analysis of emerging AI and data laws and is regularly invited to discuss the impact of generative AI. She designs and leads transdisciplinary programs that bridge civic engagement and knowledge mobilization to policy and regulatory innovation. Notably, the Art Impact AI programs resulted in the adoption of international policies that highlight the role of the arts and civil society in AI and digital governance. She initiated and co-chairs the Gender Equality and the Environment in Digital Economies, an international expert group whose policy recommendations address critical issues for the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. In 2023, she was awarded the Mozilla Creative Media Award and is currently leading the Art Impact AI Coalition, a petition signed by almost 2000 artists and experts. /

Catherine (Cat) Lovrics is a Partner at Marks & Clerk Canada and Head of the firm’s Trademark and Copyright Groups. Cat’s practice focuses on trademarks, copyright, personality and publicity rights, marketing and advertising law, consumer protection and data and privacy law.

Cat is among Canada’s leading copyright and trademark practitioners. She has helped national and multinational clients protect, exploit, and enforce their IP in a wide range of industries, from creative and emergent tech to fashion and food. Cat manages large trademark portfolios. She has coordinated clearance and filing projects, consumer products, licensing programs, and enforcement and anti-counterfeiting programs. She handles all aspects of trademark and copyright clearance, rights acquisition, licensing, and enforcement.

Cat is a Member of the Canadian Trademark Opposition Board’s Advisory Committee. She recently completed her term as Chair of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada’s Copyright Committee. Cat has served as an expert witness on IP matters before Canada’s Standing Committee on Industry and Technology. She is a Board member of Artists and Lawyers for the Advancement of Creativity, which coordinates the pro bono clinic Artists’ Legal Advice Services, commonly known as ALAS.

Cat is a Co-Chair of the Canadian chapters of the Copyright Society of the USA, and a former Trustee of the Society. She also serves on Ad Standards Council and presides over consumer advertising complaints. Over the years, Cat has received various awards and accolades.

Jason Samilski is a Toronto-based literary artist and musician who currently works as Managing Director of CARFAC Ontario. He previously served as a Creative Director of CUE Art Projects, a Toronto-based arts initiative that, for 15 years, provided high-access grants and exhibition opportunities for new generation artists who experience social, cultural, and economic marginalization.

Host Organizations Bios.

Canadian Artists’ Representation/le front des artistes canadiens (CARFAC) Ontario is the association of visual and media artists in Ontario. Our vision is for vibrant, equitable, and sustainable communities in which we as artists are properly recognized for the role we play. As a Provincial Arts Service Organization, CARFAC Ontario serves and responds to the needs of our members, and visual artists across the province.

CARFAC Ontario is a regional affiliate under the umbrella of CARFAC National. Additional services, programs and projects are carried out by the individual affiliate organizations. By joining your provincial affiliate organization, you receive automatic membership in CARFAC National.

For 35 years, Artists’ Legal Advice Services (ALAS) has worked to empower Ontario’s creative community with access to summary legal advice, information, and education. ALAS is run by a group of volunteers who are entertainment and intellectual property lawyers, fellow creators, and law students. They generously donate their time to help those who may not be able to access more expensive alternatives. ALAS assists creators in three main ways:

● our educational sessions

● our bi-weekly legal clinic

● our legal database.



Oct 13 2023


12:00 pm - 1:30 pm