Mary Elizabeth Luka

Photo credit: Dallas Curow
Assistant Professor
Telephone number
Building AA 335
Arts Management


Dr. MaryElizabeth (“M.E.”) Luka is Assistant Professor, Arts & Media Management at University of Toronto, where she examines modes and meanings of co-creative production, distribution and dissemination in the digital age for the arts, media and civic sectors. Dr. Luka holds a Connaught New Researcher Fellowship examining creative networks in Canada (see Dr. Luka is a founding member of the Critical Digital Methods Institute at University of Toronto Scarborough, of research-creation group Narratives in Space + Time Society, and of the technoculture research group, the Fourchettes. She is policy co-lead on the six-year SSHRC-funded partnership Archive/Counter-Archive: Activating Canada's Moving Image Heritage at York University, Canada and PI on SSHRC-funded research addressing remuneration of independent media arts online. Luka is lead supervisor for the Mitacs-funded Research in Residence: Arts’ Civic Impact research (, advisory member of Aarhus University Future Making Research Consortium. Previous research is found in Topia; Canadian Journal of Communication; Public; Canadian Theatre Review; Information, Communication & Society; Social Media & Society; chapters in Energy Culture: Arts and Theory on Oil and Beyond; Internet Research Ethics for the Social Age; and scholarly anthologies and commissioned research for the Department of Canadian Heritage about transitions in creative industries.





  • Luka, Mary Elizabeth (2022). Creative Hubs: Sites of Community and Creative Work. In Creative Industries in Canada. Eds., Miranda Campbell and Cheryl Thompson, pp157-179. Toronto: Canadian Scholars.  
  • Luka, Mary Elizabeth (2022). The new “main street”: reshaping the Canadian creative ecosystem. In Canadian Cultural Policy in Transition. Eds., Devin Beauregard and Jonathan Paquette, pp. 210-221. New York: Routledge.
  • Sicondolfo, Claudia Claudia; Ebanks Schlums, Debbie; Bourcheix-Laporte, Mariane; Luka, Mary Elizabeth, & Swanson, Raegan. (2022). Archive/Counter-Archive: Activating Principles of Respect in Archival Policy Development. ESSACHESS: Journal for Communication Studies 15:1 (29), 153-175. https://
  • Wall-Andrews, Charlie, & Luka, Mary Elizabeth (2022). Advancing Equity in Arts Entrepreneurship : A Case Study on Gender Equity and Empowerment in Music Production. Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts11(1).
  • Luka, M.E. (2020). Making video glitter in the time of COVID. Qualitative Inquiry. DOI: 10.1177/1077800420962473
  • Luka, M.E. (2019). Walking matters: A peripatetic rethinking of energy culture (2019). For Energy Culture: Arts and Theory on Oil and Beyond, eds. Imre Szeman, Jeff Diamanti. Energy and Society Series. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Press, pp. 61-75.
  • Luka, M.E. & Millette, M. (2018). Re(framing) Big Data: activating situated knowledge and a feminist ethics of care in social media research. Social Media & Society Special Issue: Ethics as Method, January-March 2018: 1-10. Eds. Annette N. Markham, Andrew Herman and Katrin Tildenberg. DOI: 10.1177/2056305118768297





  • Massive Micro Sensemaking: Cutting Edge Global Video Series. (2020). Co-curator. The Virtual International Arts Festival for Social Change (Via Festival), New York. October 27.
  • Exquisite Corpse 19 (7 videos). Curator and Producer, Midi Onodera.
  • Narratives in Space + Time Society. Public Geographies of the Halifax Explosion (reprise), part of the Collision in the Narrows Exhibition. Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. June-November 2018.
  • Narratives in Space + Time Society. Debris Field (sculptures and photographic images). Dalhousie University School of Architecture (exhibition). May 5-11, 2018.  
  • Narratives in Space + Time Society. Halifax Explosion Centenary Procession, a public art walk on December 3, 2017. 200 attendees. Supported by City of Halifax and Department of Canadian Heritage.
  • Narratives in Space + Time Society. Whistleblowing, a commissioned boat tour of the Halifax harbour for the Creative City Network Summit, involving 200 participants, nine speakers, and the Drifts iOS app. October 20, 2017.
  • Narratives in Space + Time Society. Debris Field: Public Geographies of the Halifax Explosion (exhibition). Dalhousie University Art Gallery. Four workshops, roundtables and panels and Drifts iOS app (collaborative processes, storytelling, augmented reality (October 14, November 2, 8), Mi’kmaq experience (November 9) & reprises or launches of four related public art walks (“Across the Narrows” (October 14), “Whistleblowing” (October 20), “North of North Street” (November 5), “Aftermath” (November 19). October 11-December 17, 2017.
  • Narratives in Space + Time Society. Debris Field: Public Geographies of the Halifax Explosion - Archives of Narratives in Space + Time Society. Nova Scotia Archives Gallery (exhibition). December 3-30, 2017.




Public Engagment

Media coverage:

Public Talks and Invited Lectures

  • Consolidation, complexity and speed: creative potential for a changing world. Faire face à l’urgence numérique/Facing Digital Urgency Symposium (by invitation). UQAM. Montreal, QC: December 11, 2019. Invited symposium talk.
  • Systems Change: Digital Disruption and Funding Development (panelist). With Kelly Wilhelm (Canada Media Fund, Chief Strategy Officer); Lise-Ann Johnson (Canada Council for the Arts, Digital Strategy Fund) and Fran Sanderson (Nesta Arts and Culture Programmes, UK). Arts, Culture & Digital Transformation: Imagining the Place of the Artist in a Digital World. Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. November 23, 2019. Invited panelist. 
  • (Re)framing data: approches féministes et methods éthiques pour la recherche, on and off-line (séminaire bilingue). Laboratoire sur la communication et le numérique. Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). With Mélanie Millette. March 29, 2019. Invited workshop leader.
  • Valentine Goddard (Artificial Intelligence Impact Alliance & AI on a Social Mission) and Ana Serrano (Canadian Film Centre) in Conversation: Fostering policy innovations in the ethics and governance of AI for social good/Sustaining positive growth and change in the face of rapid digital transformation. March 18. Digital Arts Services Symposium 2019: All digits on deck. Discussant and moderator. Toronto Reference Library, Toronto, ON. March 18-20, 2019. Invited. 






Expanding Impact: Activating arts and culture today 2022-2024
Principal Investigator. EI is a SSHRC-funded Connection Grant with co-investigators Mass Culture, Toronto Arts Foundation, Dalhousie University, MacEwan University. Over an 18-month period, a series of regional roundtables will take place to review and consolidate the impact assessment frameworks developed during the Mitacs Research in Residence project. Events are being scheduled in Vancouver, Whitehorse, Halifax, Charlottetown, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Edmonton.

Fair Play: Remuneration, IP management and Accessibility in the Independent Media Arts Sector 2022-23
Principal Investigator. Fair Play is a SSHRC-funded Partnership Engage Grant involving the Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA) as the partner, and collaborators Media Arts Alliance of the Pacific, Media Arts Network of Ontario, National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition, and Regroupement de pairs des arts indépendants de recherche et d'expérimentation, to help build an urgently-needed new consensus in the culture sector about the online use of independent artists' and creative-rights holders' content. Activities include interviews and focus groups across the media sector to help assess the reception of the new national remuneration fee schedule, toolkits and protocols for online media arts presentations.

Urban Just Transitions from Scarborough to the Globe 2021-24 
Co-investigator. PIs: Matt Hoffman and Laura Tozer. This three-year project is funded by the UTSC Clusters of Scholarly Prominence Fund to enable the development of new research questions and experiment with arts-based and community-engaged methodological approaches as we seek to understand how Scarborough communities imagine and enact just futures and the transition to zero carbon, and how interdisciplinary research can support community-based transitions to these futures. Laurence Dubuc is a UTSC postdoctoral fellow who is working on the related Mitacs-funded project with Mass Culture in 2022-23. 

Critical Digital Methods Institute Co-founder and Co-lead 
Co-leads: T.L. Cowan, Jas Rault, David Neiborg
Our many collaborators, including several graduate students, are listed on the website.

Archive CounterArchive (2018-2024)
Archive/Counter-Archive is a six-year SSHRC-funded Partnership project dedicated to activating and remediating audiovisual archives created by Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Métis, Inuit), the Black community and People of Colour, women, LGBT2Q+ and immigrant communities. Political, resistant, and community-based, counter-archives disrupt conventional narratives and enrich our histories.
PI: Janine Marchessault
Cultural Policy Working Group Co-lead; Chair of the Policy Action Plan Think Tank 

Mass Culture Research in Residence: Arts’ Civic Impact (2021-22)
Lead Supervisor
The Researchers in Residence: Arts’ Civic Impact initiative will conduct digital ethnographic research to identify impact indicators and frameworks of use to the arts sector. The initiative is funded by Mitacs and by a collaboration between Mass Culture, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Culture Statistics Working Group (Federal-Provincial-Territorial Culture and Heritage Table), the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and Toronto Arts Foundation, and six universities (McGill, Emily Carr’s Aboriginal Gathering Place, Winnipeg, Dalhousie & Carleton). The project is co-led by Robin Sokoloski at Mass Culture and Mary Elizabeth Luka. When completed, this national research model, including five qualitative impact frameworks, will be publicly shared. 




Professional Practice

  • Luka, Mary Elizabeth and Wallace, Jacqueline. (2020). Towards a Measurement Framework for Creative Hubs. Developed in consultation with Helen Yung, with additional research by Katy Illona Harris, Claudia Sicondolfo, Hillary Walker. Department of Canadian Heritage, Arts Branch. Commissioned Report. (145 pages). 
  • Luka, Mary Elizabeth. (2018). Creative Hubs in Canada: Knowledge Networks and Opportunities. Department of Canadian Heritage, Arts Policy Branch. Commissioned Report. (44 pages)
  • Wallace, Jacqueline & Luka, Mary Elizabeth. (2018). Inventory of Creative Hubs in Canada. Contributing researcher, with author Jacqueline Wallace. Department of Canadian Heritage, Arts Policy Branch. Commissioned Report. (21 pages)
  • Luka, Mary Elizabeth, with Amy Stewart, Jacqueline Wallace and Mélanie Millette. (2013). The Changing Visual Arts and Craft Landscape in Canada. Canadian Public Arts Funders, Ottawa. Commissioned Report. (15 pages)
  • Bhatty, F., Cho, H., Godo, E., Jenicek, A., Klein, R., Luka, M.E. (2012). Editor and co-author. Representations of Diversity in Canadian Television Entertainment Programming. Ottawa. Commissioned Report. (160 pages)




Graduate Student Supervision & Mentorship

  • Cate Alexander, PhD Student, Information Studies, Fall 2020-present. Cate received a SSHRC Joseph Bombardier Doctoral Scholarship in 2021. “Digital disruptions in cultural citadels: technology as a tool for decolonization and intersectionality in museums
  • Aline Zara, PhD Student, Information Studies (MTC/ Book History & Print Culture concentrations), Fall 2022-present. 
  • Sarah Charette, Master of Museum Studies: supervisor with Cara Krmpotich as second reader.  “Curating the Everyday: Taking Care in Exhibitions” (anticipated completion August 2023).
  • Danielle Lane, Master of Museum Studies; supervisor with Nicole Cohen as second reader; Paola Poletto, Director of Engagement and Learning, Art Gallery of Ontario as external assessor (completed August 2022). “YouTube for Museums: The Role of YouTube Content in Museum Education and Outreach” 
  • Samantha Summers, Master of Museum Studies and Master of Information (Combined Degree Program); supervisor with Alan Stanbridge as second reader; Nancy Noble, CEO of Nova Scotia Art Gallery as external assessor (completed July 2021). “Divestment in Times of Change: The Loss of Major Donors in Art Galleries”

Current Research Associates and Assistants:

  • Mariane Bourchieux-Laporte (PhD student, Simon Fraser University), Archive CounterArchive; Fair Play (IMAA)
  • Caroline Klimek (PhD candidate, York University), Creative Hubs and Networks database, interview coding and website visualizations
  • Trevor Cross (University of Toronto, Masters of Information student, UXD, Faculty of Information), Program Assistant and Production Coordinator, Knowledge Media Design Collaborative Specialization Multi-Modal project
  • Millan Khurana, Videographer and Editor, Knowledge Media Design Collaborative Specialization Multi-Modal project
  • Elisha Lim, Darsana Vijay, Cate Alexander (University of Toronto), CDMI Co-ordinators (co-supervised with CDMI Co-leads)
  • Claudia Sicondolfo (PhD candidate, York University), Archive CounterArchive; Fair Play (IMAA)
  • Jermaine Williams, Web Manager CDMI & Visualizations Manager for Artifex, Creative Hubs database and other projects

Research in Residence Graduate Students (lead supervisor):

Sydney Pickering (Emily Carr), Indigenous Cultural Knowledge; Emma Bugg (Dalhousie),  Climate and Sustainability; Aaron Richmond (McGill), Health and Wellbeing; Shanice Bernicky (Carleton), Diversity and Inclusion; Audree Espada and Missy LeBlanc (Winnipeg), Diversity and Inclusion. 




Post-Doctorial Fellow Supervision & Mentorship

  • Laurence Dubuc, MITACS-funded “Community-Based Participatory Research Strategies for Combining Creativity with Sustainability in the Arts and Beyond”, with Mass Culture and the Urban Just Transitions Cluster
  • Katie MacKinnon, Critical Digital Humanities Initiative (CDHI) Fellow, supported by Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR)