President, Canada, Entertainment One Television
Jocelyn Hamilton leads all Canadian operations for Entertainment One Television which includes the strategic planning and day-to-day management of eOne’s television development and production activities in Canada. In her role, she focuses on building and broadening strong relationships with creative talent, Canadian broadcasters, and content brand builders. Jocelyn has over 25 years of creative and business experience in the entertainment industry. Prior to eOne, she served as Vice President, Programming & Original Productions for Corus Kids where she was responsible for all content strategies, programming and original productions, both affiliated and independent for eight (8) Corus networks. She held a number of other key roles over many years at Corus Entertainment, which included overseeing Comedy and Drama original programming for all Corus specialty networks as well as Movie Central and HBO Canada. Jocelyn is also currently a board member of Women in Film and Television and on the advisory boards for Ryerson RTA School of Media and the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.
Director of Sales, CBS International
In her role at CBS Studios International, Rekha focuses on sales to Specialty Services (cable channels) in English and French Canada, drawing from the vast CBS library of programming. She also manages CBS Studios International’s growing video-on-demand and subscription-on-demand businesses. Rekha joined CBS International from Toronto-based CCI Entertainment where she served as VP, Distribution and Co-production and Director of International Sales. Before that, she was the director of English Canada TV Sales and Manager North American TV Sales at Alliance Atlantis/Alliance Films. Rekha is a graduate of Ryerson Polytechnic University, Toronto, Ontario with a Bachelor of Applied, Arts, Radio & Television Arts and a graduate of the Alliance Atlantis Banff Television Executive Program.
CPA, CMA, Senior Director of Finance and Business
Development, Spin Master Ltd.(2017-2018 Foundation for WIFT-T Treasurer/Secretary)
Linda is responsible for the financial leadership of Spin Master’s Entertainment Division ensuring the smooth interface between the finance and production departments. Linda is tasked with maximizing all funding opportunities allowing for optimum paths for development, production, and exploitation of all Spin Master’s film and television assets. Prior to joining Spin Master, Linda was co-owner of an independent production company and an award winning Producer specializing in Lifestyle and Documentaries. Linda also enjoys instructing at the TV Arts Program at Humber College in Toronto and serves as the Treasurer for three not-for-profit organizations. Linda received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from York University and is a CPA, CMA.
Partner, Buchli Goldstein
Christina is a founding partner at Buchli Goldstein LLP. Her practice is focused on the areas of media and entertainment law with an emphasis on film and TV production, financing, licensing, distribution, and intellectual property acquisition and protection. Christina has represented clients ranging from independent producers to studios, E&O insurers, writers, directors, and artists at every stage of production, from development to delivery. She is also involved in copyright-related matters including E&O reviews. Christina has extensive experience advising clients with respect to Canadian and U.S. talent guilds, co-productions and Canadian tax incentives, and structuring clients’ productions to maximize the benefits of these programs. Christina has been recognized as a leading Entertainment lawyer by the Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory and the Best Lawyers in Canada. Before starting the firm, Christina was a partner at a national law firm. Prior to that, she worked as a production manager and line producer.
Partner/Executive Producer, Sticky Brain Studios Inc.
Sasha’s 15-year career in Canadian screen media industries has spanned across game studios, television producers, funding agencies, and academia. Sasha is Co-Founder/Producer at Sticky Brain Studios, where she is responsible for project management and business affairs. Since 2013, Sticky Brain Studios has developed over 25 games and apps for clients, ranging from television broadcasters to health tech, to not-for-profits. She is also contracted faculty at Centennial College’s Story Arts Centre where she teaches post-graduate courses on accounting, marketing, business and entrepreneurship to future interactive media, games, and television producers. Previously, Sasha worked on a number of interactive digital media projects as a freelance Producer/Business Analyst, where her clients included both game studios and television production companies. She started her career at the Bell Fund, then moved to Marble Media where she held various posts in business affairs and produced award-winning interactive projects. Sasha currently sits on the WIFT-Toronto Board of Directors and the OMDC IDM Industry Advisory Committee. She is also a member of Interactive Ontario and Dames Making Games.
Vice-President, Information Technology, Bell Media
Sonia Brar is Vice President, IT – Bell Media. Sonia leads IT strategy, delivery, infrastructure and application support across Bell Media, for TV, Radio, and Out-of-Home. In addition, Sonia has accountability for development quality assurance and automation strategy for Bell IT. Since joining Bell in 2001, Sonia has held various leadership positions across IT, leading large-scale systems implementations for consumer, small/medium business, call center operations, and media broadcast management. Prior to joining Bell, Sonia has experience from RBC and GE Medical Systems. Sonia holds a Master of Business Administration and an Honours Bachelor of Science in Psychology from McMaster University. Outside of Bell, most of Sonia’s time is spent enjoying her young niece and nephew, doing yoga, bootcamp, and boxing. Sonia has recently picked up road cycling, and is an avid traveler.
Senior Director, CBC Comedy
As Senior Director of CBC Comedy, Michelle Daly leads the team responsible for managing the creative development and production of CBC Television’s slate of comedic programming. Michelle joined the CBC as Executive in Charge of Production in 2011 and has overseen such comedies as Schitt’s Creek, Mr. D., This Hour Has 22 Minutes and The Rick Mercer Report. Prior to joining the CBC, Michelle was the Director of Content at The Comedy Network where she managed the creative elements on such programs as Corner Gas, Dan for Mayor, Picnicface, and The Jon Dore Television Show. Her passion for comedy extends back to one of her first positions as an assistant to The Kids In The Hall. Michelle also served for three years on the board of the Canadian Comedy Awards and Festival.
COO, Digital Howard (2017-2018 Foundation for WIFT-T Chair)
Alex’s career spans over 25 years in Film and Television and now in Digital Media as the COO of leading 360 media production house; Digital Howard. Alex joined the Digital Howard team in 2015 to produce Terracosm, the AR/VR live action adventure game launching in Science Centre’s this year (2017). She became a permanent part of the DH team in August 2015 as Chief Operating Officer. Alex’s work includes CSA winning Wynonna Earp Digital as well as the many other innovative projects coming out of Digital Howard. Previously, Alex spent 5 years in the role of Executive in Charge of Production for First Generation Films acting as head of business affairs and Executive Producer on several films including Life, Regression, and The Whistleblower. Other organizations on her resume include the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, Telefilm Canada, the CMF and the Motion Picture Bond Company. Alex also sits on the WIFT-T Board of Directors and is the chair of WIFT-T’s charitable Foundation board.
Executive Vice President, Global Operations, DHX Media Ltd.
Anne Loi, EVP, Global Operations, oversees operations for all of DHX’s business units. Anne joined DHX in 2001 (with predecessor company DECODE) as head of finance and over time, increased her responsibilities to include various parts of the business. Her current duties are more business and operationally focused, and include working with a great team of production management and creative talents to manage studio and distribution group operations, and arranging project financing. Overall, Anne manages global technical services and is responsible for creating long-term plans to manage growth and development in new areas of DHX’s core business. Prior to joining DHX Media, Anne was Vice President of Financial Strategy at Extend Media and before that, she held various management positions at IMG Group (now Lavalife), Proctor & Gamble and Deloitte.
Senior Legal Counsel, Rogers Communications
Susan Karnay is an entertainment lawyer with over 20 years of experience in the Canadian film, television, music, and gaming industries. In her role at Rogers, she is responsible for all legal matters related to Canadian content production for Rogers’ media operations. Prior to joining Rogers, Susan worked in the entertainment group of a leading national entertainment law firm and at various Canadian production, distribution and broadcasting companies. She holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto, M.B.A. from the Schulich School of Business, and LL.B. from the University of Western Ontario. Susan is an active supporter of the arts community in Toronto, and adjunct instructor of entertainment and business law at Queen’s, Ryerson University, and Centennial College
Vice President, National Sales, Corus Entertainment
Marilyn Orecchio is the Vice President, National Sales at Corus Entertainment. With over 20 years of experience in the advertising and broadcasting arena, Marilyn has developed a strong, multi-disciplined approach to her business. In her current role, Marilyn is responsible for establishing and executing the Business Development Strategy for the Corus Entertainment brands. Marilyn has played an instrumental role in building Corus’ reputation as a strong solutions provider that leverages content and insights to deliver results. Marilyn began her career at Corus in 1999 as an Account Manager on the YTV business. Subsequently, she became Sales Manager on Corus’ newly acquired women’s service, W Network. As the Television division grew, Marilyn took on responsibility for leading the sales team that successfully launched and expanded the women’s portfolio of brands to include W Movies, Cosmopolitan TV and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. In 2004, the Women’s sales team was honoured with the company’s prestigious President’s Award in recognition of their strong contribution to the company. Marilyn also plays an active role in the broader Marketing community in various roles, including officer roles on the Canadian Association of Broadcasters committee, and the Steering Committee for the Forward Together Women’s Leadership Conference.
Vice President Media, Universal Pictures (2017-2018 Foundation for WIFT-T Board Member)
As Vice President of Media for Universal Pictures, Tamara is responsible for all of the advertising and promotional initiatives for the studio’s releases in Canada. Past and current releases include Jurassic World, Fifty Shades of Grey, Get Out, Fate of the Furious 8, and Despicable Me 3. Prior to joining NBCUniversal, Tamara Shannon was Vice President of Marketing and Promotions at Entertainment One where she led the strategic marketing initiatives for a diverse group of studio and independent film product including The Twilight Saga, Beasts of the Southern Wild and Gnomeo and Juliet.
CEO, Independent Production Fund & Cogeco Program Development Fund
Andra Sheffer is the CEO of two private funds supporting the Canadian digital media, television and film industries: the Independent Production Fund which invests in drama series created for digital platforms; and the COGECO Program Development Fund for the development of digital drama and production of television drama. She was the founding Executive Director of the Bell Fund (1997-2014) which supports interactive digital media projects associated with Canadian television programs. Previously, she was the founding Executive Director of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television producing the annual Genie and Gemini Awards (now the Canadian Screen Awards. She also served as Managing Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, with the federal government as a Certification Officer setting up the original CAVCO office, and at the Film Festivals Bureau promoting Canadian films internationally.
Co-Founder, Vérité Films
Virginia Thompson, President of Vérité Films, is an award-winning Executive Producer, TV series creator, and audience engagement strategist. Currently, Virginia is Executive Producer of Corner Gas: The Animated Series, the new primetime animated reboot of Canada’s most beloved comedy series. She’s also Executive Producer of The Governor General Performing Arts Awards Gala, which will be broadcast on CBC and SRC in June 2017 and open Canada’s New National Arts Centre as part of Canada’s 150 Celebrations. Virginia produced the #1 rated comedy series Corner Gas: The Sitcom (CTV), followed by Corner Gas: The Movie which reached 7 million viewers and won the 2016 Golden Screen Award for Canada’s highest-rated scripted program. Select credits include the internationally acclaimed children’s series Incredible Story Studio (Disney/YTV), the youth drama series renegadepress.com (Global, APTN) and the comedy series InSecurity (CBC). Virginia enjoys mentoring emerging creators and producers. She’s a board member for The National Screen Institute and a guest lecturer at Ryerson School of Media.
Director, People, Corus Entertainment
Bianca Williamson is the Director, People, Corus Entertainment and is accountable for the development and execution of national HR strategies. She also brings organizational expertise acting as an Industry Expert to the JOLT network, a technology accelerator dedicated to building high-growth web and mobile companies. Bianca has almost twenty years of diverse HR business experience which includes building, shaping and transforming organizations in start-up, turnaround, and growth environments. Prior to joining Corus, Bianca has held positions with Canwest Interactive, National Post and Hogg Robinson Group. She is a graduate of McMaster University with a Bachelor of Arts degree and is also a graduate of the University of Toronto with a Certificate in Human Resources Management.