Leadership Development Series


What do we mean by “leadership”? What are the experiences and attributes that make a good leader? This program introduces participants to the basics of moving into a leadership role.

This series will introduce participants to the ideals of leadership. In conversation with subject matter experts as well as guest speakers, these sessions will help participants to set goals towards becoming a leader in their chosen career path. 

This career-building program focuses on developing leadership skills as opposed to focusing on "business". It is intended as an introduction to prepare participants to transition from a non-management position into an effective leadership role. 

Benefits include answers to these questions: 

What does leadership mean to me? How do my skills and drive fit into the leadership picture? 

What is my management style, and how can I make it work for me? 

How can I learn how to more effectively, efficiently, and powerfully communicate up and down the "chain of command"? 

What exactly is my area of expertise? How can I manage my reputation so everyone knows I am a subject matter expert? 

*** NEW DATES ***

The Leadership Development Series is comprised of four sessions (your fee pays for all sessions):

Session One: Friday November 17, 2023

Session Two: Friday November 24, 2023

Session Three: Friday December 1, 2023

Session Four: Friday December 8, 2023


This program will be run at:

The Centre for Social Innovation

Viola Desmond Room

192 Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C2



WIFT Toronto Members: $500 + hst

Non Members: $650 + hst

One (1) bursary will be available to cover program fees for one individual for this program and is made available through the Foundation for WIFT+ Toronto.

*This fee pays for ALL four sessions


This program is geared toward mid-level media professionals as well as those re-entering the work force or looking to transition within the industry into management.

Target participants: Junior Series Producer, Line Producer, Story Editor, Showrunner, and those looking to move into Executive Producer or Broadcast Executive.

NOTE: while the focus of the program will be on building skills and confidence for women, women-identifying, non-binary, and all equity-seeking participants, ALL GENDERS ARE WELCOME!

Those looking to apply for our Media Leadership Program  will find this series a terrific introduction.

Questions about whether or not this Series is for you? Email Laurie Januska, Director of Programming.


Day 1 – The Essential Foundations of Leadership

·      What do we mean when we say “leadership”?

·      What are the characteristics of a successful leader?

·      Figuring out who you are and who you want to be

·      How do you see yourself in the greater landscape? What do you bring to the picture?

·      What are your strengths and challenges?

·      How can you leverage your strengths?

·      How can you build on your challenges?

·      What is your management style and how does it serve you?

·      Basic management skills

·      What is your motivation and how does it serve you?

·      What are your obstacles?

Instructor: Fennella Bruce

A veteran television producer and writer, Fennella Bruce is now at the helm of FKBMedia Solutions and FKB Media Productions Inc – a media consulting business and media production house. Having worked in the field of journalism for over 20 years, Fennella has produced both of Canada’s national morning shows – Your Morning and Canada AM. She has been the senior writer or producer at numerous major market television stations including: CTV News Channel, CTV National, CP24, CityTv, Toronto 1 and BET. For six years, Fennella taught Media Theory at Centennial College and has also served on journalism boards and on many critique juries, including the Canadian Screen Awards and The New York Festivals International TV Broadcasting Awards and recently joined the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences as juror for the Juno Awards. She has her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto and her Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism from Toronto Metropolitan University, formerly Ryerson University. Fennella has taken the public relations lead in numerous campaigns and charitable fundraisers that have exceeded monetary goals. She also has an extensive background in event management, hosting and strategic planning. Fennella volunteers her time and expertise with Dr. Roz’s Healing Place - a centre that aids women and children escaping from violent situations. She served as Vice-President of the Board of Directors and was a Board member for the past four years. She is currently the Vice-President of the Foundation Board of Women in Film and Television. Fennella was recently named the 2022 Business Woman of the Year by the Women Empowerment Awards and is one of 2020’s 100 Accomplished BlackCanadian Women.

Day 2 - Growth Strategies and Team Building 

·      Critical and strategic thinking, in both big and small scenarios

·      Building a strategy for yourself to move forward

·      The importance and power of networking (part 1)

·      Leading various departments (with different needs) efficiently andeffectively

·      Managing up and down the organizational chart

·      Learning the difference between “personal goals” and “leadershipvision”

·      Crafting your leadership vision

·      Imposter syndrome – what is it and how do you overcome it?

Instructor: Marlo Miazga

Marlo Miazga has spent the last 25 years building her reputation as a global-facing producer, creating and delivering premium factual series with an unparalleled visual style. Since joining Bristow Global Media as Vice President of Content in 2016, Marlo has been intrinsic in the developing and producing of a diverse slate of international formats and productions, including the internationally-acclaimed Canada: The Story of Us, the Canadian-Australian Co-production 100 Days to Victory for BBC, FOXTEL and History Canada, and Haunted Hospitals and Paranormal 9-1-1, 26 original hours for Travel Channel US, Discovery Quest Red and Blue Ant’s T&E – both currently in their second seasons. BGM’s premium factual special Cleared for Chaos:9/11 will air on the anniversary of the 9/11 in 2019 on National Geographic and Discovery Channel. Marlo also oversees BGM’s children’s content, including the factual series It’s My Party for TVOkids and the upcoming preschool series Backyard Beats. Marlo launched her career as a film editor after graduating from McGill University and the Canadian Film Centre. Marlo has worked as an editor, series producer and creator across multiple genres, with credits such as Peter Wintonicks’ multiple award-winning NFB feature, CinemaVerité: The Defining Moment; Paul Fox’s psychological feature thriller, The Dark Hours; CBC comedy series Tuning In with Rick Mercer and Jimmy MacDonald’s Canada. Marlo was also founder and co-president of Newroad Media, where she created and produced popular series such as Discovery Science US & Discovery Canada’s Close Encounters and Curious and Unusual Deaths, as well as the UK-Canada co-production My Wild Affair for PBS & Animal Planet. Marlo is an active member of Canada’s production community and has continued her relationship with the Canadian Film Centre for over a decade, acting as a mentor and nurturing the art of storytelling in Canada’s next generation of content creators.

Guest Speaker: Michelle Melanson

Emmy and Bafta Nominated, Michelle has 30+ years’ experience in the production business with hundreds of episodes produced and over 50 awards and nominations.

Michelle launched Headspinner Productions in 2018 with Showrunner and Husband Ken Cuperus (Hudson and Rex, Mistletoe Murders). Their first production, Denis and Me airs on Wildbrain TV, ABC Australia, Cartoonito Italy and YouTube where it has already racked up over 33+ million views. Other series include Two time Canadian Screen award writing winning Happy House of Frightenstein on Youtube and Family Jr Canada, Gisele’s Mashup Adventures starring Canadian preschool icon Gisele Corinthios on CBC Kids and CBC Gem and Headspinner Kids YouTube channel and live action preschool series Aunty B’s House on CBC kids and CBC Gem.

Michelle oversees all development, production and distribution for the company alongside her creative partner Ken Cuperus. They develop and Produce Television, Digital first projects and Podcasts in Drama, Comedy, Kids and Family genres.

Michelle has previously won a Canadian Screen award, the Grand Prize of the Youth Media Alliance, Multiple Kidscreen Awards and Cynopsis Awards. She also has a Juno Award for producing the Stella and Sam Album. In 2019, Michelle was inducted into the Ryerson Radio and Television Wall of Fame. And in 2021 she was the Youth Media Alliance Outstanding Achievement Award Recipient.

Michelle is also the Founder of Women Drawn Together-a free organization that fosters learning, networking and mentorship for Women in the Animation community. In the past 8 years, the group has grown to 4 cities and over 1800 members.

Day 3 – Communications and How Your Technique Serves You 

·      Making a powerful impression (in all ways)

·      Carrying yourself with authority

·      Delivering consistent messaging

·      “Clear is kind”

·      Keeping your communications on point

·      Giving constructive criticism

·      Asking for what you need

·      Making “leadership presence” your second nature

·      The impact of your verbal skills and how to focus them for success

·      The impact of your written skills and how to focus them for success

Instructor: Diana Kawarsky

Diana Kawarsky has been on the Faculty at the Schulich ExecEd at York University since 2006 and is among the top 3% of teaching faculty student rankings. Her experience has breadth from working with a variety of professionals – from new hires to seasoned executives, totaling more than 20,000 learners to date. Diana is a Certified Coaching Professional (CCP) working one-on-one, in-person and remotely, building individual success skills. She also holds an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies. She is the author of two well-reviewed books: Skills Volume 1, and The Soft Cs. In 2021 Diana attained the rank of #26 in Global Gurus’ “Top 30” in the Communication category. Top 30 Gurus, in their respective categories are the “Cream of the Crop”, the World’s Top 30 most influential Professionals Speakers, Trainers and/or Consultants in their areas.

Day 4 – Moving Yourself Forward

·      How to best handle an interview

·      Characteristics of an impressive resume

·      Preparing an “elevator pitch” for yourself

·      How to negotiate

·      The importance and power of networking (part 2)

·      Learning how to thrive in an organization

·      Avoiding leadership “blind spots”

·      Using motivation to lead others

·      Differences of Executive leadership

Instructor: Erin Haig  

In her role as Director Talent Management and Organizational Development Erin provides strategic input into existing and new global talent management and organizational development initiatives at Blue Ant Media.  She works with leaders and employees to develop tailored programs to their unique needs.

Erin has broad human resources experience in Media, Automotive and Finance from leading day-to-day human resources operations to designing, developing and implementing talent development programs.

Erin holds a Honours Masters Degree (M.A) from the University of Glasgow and Honours, Post-Graduate Human Resources Certificate from Humber College is a Chartered Human Resources Leader (C.H.R.L).  She has been on Humber College’s BComm. Human Resources Program Advisory Committee since 2012.