Incoming Group of Industry Leaders Graduate from WIFT+ Toronto’s Media Leadership Program

Incoming Group of Industry Leaders Graduate from WIFT+ Toronto’s Media Leadership Program

Toronto—July 31, 2023—WIFT Toronto’s Media Leadership Program (MLP) participants graduated from their 13-session program last month. The biennial certificate curriculum ran from March 10 to May 27, 2023, during which participants engaged in many immersive modules and unique learning opportunities around media leadership. Some of the focus topics were critical communication skills, strategic mindset, marketing concepts, “futureproofing” film and television (AI), managerial finance, and organizational behaviour.

The objective of the newly revamped program is to empower women in the Canadian screen-based industry by building on their leadership skills and peer connections. It is geared towards professionals with 10+ years of experience. Participants gain insight into best practices from high-level industry executives, seeing partakers from all sectors of the screen-based industry, including top executives from CBC, Bell Media, Corus, National Film Board, among other major production companies.

The MLP was created by WIFT Toronto in conjunction with the Schulich School of Business, which is consistently ranked one of the top business schools in the world. Trina McQueen O.C., Co-Director of the Arts, Media, and Entertainment Management Program, Schulich School of Business; Lisa de Wilde O.C., Bell Media Professor of Media Management, Schulich School of Business; and Laurie Januska, Director of Programming, WIFT Toronto lead the program. Both McQueen and de Wilde have received the Order of Canada for their achievements in the media sector.

The 2023 Media Leadership Program graduates are: Paulina Abarca-Cantin, Director, Policy and Research, CMPA; Kerry Ball, Literary Agent, Meridian Artists; Maxine Bergevin, Independent Producer; Leah Borkwood, Director of Production, Bell Media Studios; Meaghan Brander, Film Industry Growth Specialist, Government of Prince Edward Island ; Elyse Frost, Manager of Operations NBCUniversal Television & New Media Distribution; Sandra Hudson, Executive Producer and Lawyer ; Jennifer Morrison, Senior Manager, Affiliate Relations and Content, Orbyt Media; Zoe Grant, Programming Liaison, YesTV; Tara Jan, Freelance Supervising Producer/Producer; Sally Karam, Vice president of development, Frantic Films; Virginia Kingston, Independent Producer, Artemis Entertainment Inc.; Teza Lawrence, Executive Producer and Co-President of Amaze Film and Television ; Kristin Lecour, VP Consumer Products & Canadian Distribution, 9Story; Kristine Luciw, Director Marketing and Communication, University of Toronto Scarborough; Carol Oliveira, Marketing Director, International Distribution at Entertainment One; Kelly Payne, Senior Director Business Affairs, Content and Production Financing, Blue Ant Media; Heidi Tao Yang, Director, Fund & Labs, Hot Docs. 

“It’s not an exaggeration when I say that in each graduating class, there is at least one person who has received a work promotion while still in the program,” said Laurie Januska, Director of Programming, WIFT Toronto. “This program imparts useful insights and lights a motivating fire for those in the class. Also, any opportunity to work alongside Trina, Lisa, and their arsenal of industry insiders is always a pleasure. Once again, congratulations to the 2023 graduates; we can’t wait to see what you do next.”


Women in Film and Television Toronto is a member-based, not-for-profit organization made up of passionate individuals who are dedicated to the education, engagement, and empowerment of all individuals at every stage of their careers in the screen-based media industry. It is WIFT Toronto’s mission to build and advance the careers of their members by providing professional development, peer support, and mentorship in collaboration with industry partners.

For more information, please contact:  

Simi Khosa
Communications & Social Media Coordinator
WIFT Toronto

Simi Khosa