Expert advisory group
Consultations on Canadian content in a digital world
Rob Blackie is co-CEO, Executive Producer and Writer at Take the Shot Productions in St. John's Newfoundland. Rob Blackie's career in the film and television industry began in 2000 as the Production Supervisor with Halifax-based production company IMX Communications Inc.. Rob has also worked as a freelance producer and production manager on numerous award winning projects. Rob is a producer of the feature length documentaries Boy On Bridge and Shaun Majumder, Every Word Is Absolutely True, as well as the W Network series Majumder Manor, and the Gemini-nominated Republic of Doyle series on CBC. Rob holds a Masters in Fine Arts (Film) from Columbia University (2007) along with a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie University (1999).
Chosen by Elle Canada as one of the top three Canadians to watch and by the Toronto International Film Festival as one of their inaugural "Rising Stars", Katie divides her time between Los Angeles and Toronto. Acting professionally since the age of nine with over 60 roles to date, Boland's credits include Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, Atom Egoyan's Adoration, Daydream Nation and Terminal City as well as four films to be released this year. Boland's literary debut, a collection of short stories entitled Eat Your Heart Out, was released by Canadian publisher Brindle & Glass on April 2, 2013. The web-series Long Story, Short which Katie wrote, created and starred is available through Hulu and has generated hundreds of thousands of online views.
Catherine Cano is the President and General Manager at the Cable Public Affairs Channel (CPAC). She is a long time journalist by trade, and has had a nearly 30-year-long media career. Catherine has held leadership positions at CBC/SRC, as Senior News Producer of the Ottawa Parliamentary Bureau; Editorial Producer of Téléjournal/Le Point; Editor in Chief, SRC News and head of RDI; and Director of Program development at CBC. Catherine was also the Deputy News Director of Al Jazeera English in Doha. Among her many awards and distinctions are two Geminis and the Michener Deacon Fellowship. She also worked as a media consultant on strategy, management, and ethics, as well as newsroom integration. She was honored as one of Canada's top 100 most powerful women in 2012 by the Women's Executive Network.
Loc Dao is a Canadian digital media creator and co-founder of the groundbreaking NFB Digital and CBC Radio 3 studios and their industry shifting bodies of work. He recently became the chief digital officer (CDO) of the National Film Board of Canada, after serving as executive producer and creative technologist for the NFB Digital Studio in Vancouver since 2011. Loc was named Canada's Top Digital Producer for 2011 at the Digi Awards in Toronto. Loc has received over 60 awards most notably 10 Webby Awards, two New York Festivals Grand Prizes, three Online Journalism Awards, a Prix Italia, the FWA Site of the Year and a Cannes Cyber Lion.
Lisa de Wilde, C.M.
Since 2005, Lisa has served as the Chief Executive Officer of TVO, Ontario's digital learning organization. Lisa has had a wide variety of positions in the public and private sectors, including as Director General-Cable Television, Specialty and Pay Television Service at the CRTC, and as Astral Television's President and CEO. She serves on the Boards of Enercare Inc. and TELUS Corporation, is Chair of the Toronto International Film Festival's Board of Directors, and is a member of the advisory board of the University of Toronto's Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation. In 2009, Lisa was recognized with the Women's Executive Network Canada's Most Powerful Women Top 100 award; and in 2013 was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her support and dedication to scientific literacy. In 2015, Lisa became a Member of the Order of Canada.
Michael Patrick Donovan, Executive Chairman of DHX, has been recognized with numerous awards for his work in the television and film industry, including an Academy Award for the feature documentary Bowling for Columbine. Mr. Donovan was Chief Executive Officer of DHX from the time of the Company's founding, in 2006, until August 2014. He co-founded and was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Salter Street Films, which was purchased by Alliance Atlantis in 2001. Mr. Donovan is a member of the National Advisory Council of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, and is former Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD). Mr. Donovan is one of the creators of This Hour Has 22 Minutes, one of Canada's longest-running television comedy series; and he was producer and one of the creators of the multiple award-winning feature film, Shake Hands With the Devil.
Charles Falzon is the Dean of the Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD) at Ryerson University. Charles is an industry veteran and has managed media enterprises in the UK, US, Japan, Latin America and Malta. His breadth of experience includes the production of award winning television series and features, distribution, marketing, publishing, as well as live events, theme parks and brand development. Falzon's creative work includes such properties as Thomas the Tank Engine, Guinness World Records and Art Attack. Charles was the co-founder and continues to act as co-chairman of CCI Entertainment, a leading Canadian entertainment company. Previously he was President of Gullane Entertainment, a UK-based, publicly traded media company. He was the founding chair of the Canadian Media Production Association and is vested in the Order of Malta.
(member added on October 7, 2016)
Zsuzsi Gartner is the author of the acclaimed story collection All the Anxious Girls on Earth, editor of the bestselling anthology Darwin's Bastards: Astounding Tales from Tomorrow, and former creative director of Vancouver Review's Blueprint BC fiction Series. Her 2011 collection, Better Living through Plastic Explosives, was a Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist. A former journalist (newspapers, television and magazines), she has won several National Magazine Awards, most recently for fiction in 2015. Her fiction has been widely anthologized and broadcast on CBC and NPR. Zsuzsi taught MFA (Master of Fine Arts) students for eight years at the University of BC, and has mentored award-winning writers through the Banff Centre. Based in Vancouver, she is the founder and director of Writers Adventure Camp in Whistler, BC, and is currently the inaugural Frank O'Connor International Short Story Fellow for the City of Cork, Ireland.
(member added on October 7, 2016)
Sylvia D. Hamilton is a Nova Scotian filmmaker and writer. Her films include Black Mother Black Daughter, Speak It: From the Heart of Black Nova Scotia, Portia White: Think on Me and The Little Black School House. They have been broadcast in Canada and screened at festivals at home and abroad. Her writing has appeared in a variety of Canadian journals and anthologies. Her poetry collection, And I Alone Escaped to Tell You was short-listed for a 2015 League of Canadian Poets Award. Her recognitions include a Gemini, the CBC Television Pioneer Award and three honourary degrees. She was a member of the national Content Advisory Committee to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and served as a mentor for The Trudeau Foundation. She holds an MA from Dalhousie University and currently holds the Roger's Chair in Communications at the University of King's College in Halifax.
Phillippe Lamarre was elected president of the Société des designers graphiques du Québec in 2010 and has sat on the association's board of directors since 2005. He founded the TOXA creative agency in 2000 following graphic design studies at UQAM, the University of Connecticut and the Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design in Vancouver. In 2003, as his business took off, he created URBANIA, a boldly written and designed quarterly magazine. From there, he produced television content for ARTV, TV5 and ARTE, as well as several multiplatform projects under the URBANIA banner. He has received many awards for the quality of his work and his vision. Philippe is the winner of the Institut de Design de Montréal's Relève CGI award (2006) and the first-ever recipient of the Phyllis Lambert Grant, awarded by DesignMontréal in 2008, and he was named "Producer of the Year" at the Canadian New Media Awards in 2010.
Jean La Rose
Jean La Rose is a First Nations citizen from the Abenakis First Nation of Odanak. Since November 2002, he has been Chief Executive Officer of APTN (Aboriginal Peoples' Television Network). Since then, Mr. La Rose has been responsible for the network becoming an Official Broadcaster of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games that carried over 14 hours per day of events in English, French and eight (8) Aboriginal languages. Preparing APTN for future growth, he has developed the organization into a multi-platform broadcaster that employs more than 150 people nationwide. Mr. La Rose sits on the Boards of Directors of the National Screen Institute, Media Smarts, Mother Earth Recycling and Indspire. He was awarded an Indspire Award (formally the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards) for Media and Communications in 2011, and the CEO HR Champion of the Year Award from the Human Resource Management Association of Manitoba in 2015.
(member added on October 7, 2016)
Emily Molnar is the Artistic Director of Ballet BC. Emily is a graduate of the National Ballet School and a former member of the National Ballet of Canada, a soloist with the Frankfurt Ballet as well as a principal dancer with Ballet BC. An internationally respected and critically acclaimed dance artist and choreographer, Molnar worked and toured extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Mexico, Canada and the U.S. Named the Globe and Mail's 2013 Dance Artist of the Year, Molnar is a recipient of the 2015 BC Community Achievement Award and the 2015 YWCA Women of Distinction Award in Art, Culture & Design. She was recently appointed to the Order of Canada for her artistic leadership of Ballet BC and creative contribution to advancing dance in Canada. She currently serves as a Director on the Board of the BC Arts Council and is Artistic Director of Dance at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.
In 1996, Monique Savoie founded the Society for Arts and Technology (SAT), a non-profit organization internationally recognized for its active and leading role in the development of immersive technologies and augmented reality and the creative use of high-speed networks. With its triple mission as an artists', research and digital arts training centre, the SAT was created to support a new generation of creators/researchers in the digital era. This outstanding, internationally reputed arts and technology organization now has over 10,000 members and hosts, produces or co-produces approximately 240 events per year. Ms. Savoie also chairs the SAT, acts as artistic director and develops this organization where anything is possible, connecting the artistic, scientific and technological sectors and helping to position Montreal as a key digital culture hub in the world.
Justin West is the President of Secret City Records and Secret City Publishing, both of which he founded in 2006 in Montreal, Canada. Today, after 10 years of operations, Secret City's has earned three gold record certifications in Canada, a Polaris Music Prize (and five additional Short List nominations), and multiple JUNO and Félix award nominations. Justin is on the board of directors of both the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) and the Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent On Record (FACTOR). He is also the Canadian representative for the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) Council, a global forum for the professional independent music industry based out of the UK, and serves on the board of directors of MERLIN, a UK-based non-profit global digital music rights organization that is focused on ensuring that independents have a vehicle to protect and enhance their ability to compete in the ever changing world of digital music.
Mr. Whyte is currently Executive Vice President of Public Policy at Rogers Communications Inc. He has had a long and distinguished career in Canadian publishing, including as a columnist for the Globe and Mail, editor-in-chief of Saturday Night magazine, founding editor of the National Post, and editor-in-chief and publisher of Maclean's. He was subsequently president of Rogers Publishing Limited, and founding president of Next Issue Canada (now Texture), a magazine application. He has received many national and international awards for his work as a journalist and editor. Mr. Whyte co-founded the McGill Observatory in Media and Public Policy. He has served as a governor of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada for twelve years, and this year was recognized as an Honorary Life-Time Alumnus by McGill. He has been a juror and advisor to the Cundill Prize, an international award for historical literature. He is a director of two public policy organizations, The Aurea Foundation and the Donner Canada Foundation, and is a former Senior Fellow at Massey College at the University of Toronto.
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