About WIFT-T

who we are

who we are

WOMEN IN FILM & TELEVISION - TORONTO

Founded in 1984, WIFT-T is a member-based organization of enthusiastic people committed to the development and advancement of women in the screen-based industry. The following beliefs form our philosophy.

  • Women are smart, powerful and committed industry leaders.
  • Through WIFT-T, women are empowered to connect, learn and advance.
  • WIFT-T members get the job done.
  • We believe the screen-based media industry is stronger with a committed, connected and well-trained workforce.
  • We respect and acknowledge leaders who advance women’s careers, by recognizing hard work and all meaningful contributions.

WIFT-T in 2017

5

MENTORSHIPS
& iNTERNSHIPS

15

Awards
Bestowed

23

Occasions
to Network

40

Mentorship Matches

226

Hours of Programming

our inspirational board

BOARD MEMBERS

JOCELYN HAMILTON, CHAIR

President, Canada, eOne Television

Jocelyn Hamilton leads all Canadian operations for Entertainment One Television. 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 VP, Programming & Original Productions, Corus Kids, where she was responsible for all content strategies, programming and original productions. She also held a number of key roles, overseeing Comedy and Drama original programming for all Corus specialty networks as well as Movie Central and HBO Canada. Jocelyn currently sits on the advisory boards for Ryerson RTA School of Media and the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.

REKHA SHAH, VICE-CHAIR

Director of Sales, CBS Studios 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.

Linda Stregger, CPA, CMA, TREASURER

Senior Director, Finance & Business Affairs,
Spin Master Ltd.

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.

CHRISTINA BUCHLI, SECRETARY

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. 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.

SASHA BOERSMA

Partner/Executive Producer, Sticky Brain Studios

Sasha’s 15-year career in Canadian screen media industries has spanned across game studios, television producers, funding agencies, and academia. She is the Co-Founder of 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 tv broadcasters to health tech, to not-for-profits. Starting her career at the Bell Fund, she moved to marblemedia where she held various posts in business affairs and produced award-winning interactive projects. Sasha currently sits on the OMDC IDM Industry Advisory Committee, and is a member of Interactive Ontario and Dames Making Games. She teaches post-graduate courses on accounting, marketing, business and entrepreneurship at Centennial College’s Story Arts Centre.

SONIA BRAR

VP, IT, Bell Media

Sonia Brar is Vice President, IT – Bell Media. She 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. She holds a Master of Business Administration and an Honours Bachelor of Science in Psychology from McMaster University.

MICHELLE DALY

Senior Director, Comedy, CBC

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 CreekMr. 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 GasDan for MayorPicnicface, 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.

SUSAN KARNAY

Co-Founder, Bob Lake Productions

Susan Karnay is an entertainment lawyer and consultant with over 20 years of experience in the Canadian film, television, music, and gaming industries. She recently acted as production counsel on the feature-length documentary House of Z and is currently developing projects with Bob Lake Productions. Susan previously worked in the entertainment group of a leading national entertainment law firm and as in-house counsel for various Canadian production, broadcast and telecommunications 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.

ALEX LALONDE

COO, Digital Howard

Alex’s career spans over 25 years in film and TV, 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 centres in 2017. Alex’s work includes CSA-winning Wynonna Earp Digital as well as many other innovative projects coming out of Digital Howard. Previously, Alex spent five years in the role of Executive in Charge of Production for First Generation Films 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 serves as the Chair of the Foundation for WIFT-T.

ANNE LOI

Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), DHX Media

Anne Loi 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.

MARILYN ORECCHIO

VP, 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 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.

TAMARA SHANNON

VP, Media, NBCUniversal Canada

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.

ANDRA SHEFFER

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.  Andra was also 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.

VIRGINIA THOMPSON

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. She’s also Executive Producer of The Governor General Performing Arts Awards Gala, which aired on CBC and SRC in June 2017. Virginia also produced Corner Gas: The Sitcom (CTV), and Corner Gas: The Movie. Additional 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.

BIANCA WILLIAMSON

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.

our remarkable team

Staff

HEATHER WEBB

Executive Director, WIFT-T

Heather Webb is the Executive Director of Women in Film & Television – Toronto (WIFT-T) and works closely with WIFT-T’s Board of Directors to develop and implement strategic priorities. She is also responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of both WIFT-T and the Foundation for WIFT-T.

With over 20 years working in the arts and culture sector, including 16 years of executive management experience in non-profit organizations, Heather is an experienced leader with a demonstrated ability to innovate and grow organizations in a sustainable manner.

LAURIE JANUSKA

Head of Programming, WIFT-T

When Laurie and her squad won the All-Ontario Secondary School Cheerleading Championship, she had no idea how much those skills would influence her career – supporting and encouraging the team, planning and leading the charge, occasionally lifting people over her head while executing synchronized footwork and singing exuberantly.

Laurie’s 25+ years of in-depth experience in the feature film, television and screen-based industry has prepared her for almost anything, scripted or improvised. Her experience climbing the ranks at a respected industry membership organization saw her creating professional development programming for the full range of creative workers, from entry level to career veterans, in an ever-changing work environment.

KADON DOUGLAS

Communications & Engagement Manager, WIFT-T

There are three things Kadon enjoys doing: sharing resources and knowledge, empowering others (especially those who are often marginalized), and witnessing the magic of film and television. As the Communications and Engagement Manager at WIFT-T, she gets to do all that. Talk about finding your niche!

Kadon is responsible for maintaining WIFT-T’s digital brand, ensuring members have the tools they need to advance their careers, and finding new and exciting ways to promote the vast talent of women in the industry.

STEPHANIE LAW

Part-time Administrative Assistant, WIFT-T

Stephanie oversees WIFT-T's day-to-day board, financial, and membership administration. Before joining WIFT-T in 2016, she worked for several Toronto-based film and TV production companies, including Triptych Media and Union Pictures, and the Toronto International Film Festival and Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.

As a filmmaker and writer, Stephanie has participated in the Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) Diverse Screenwriters Program, Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA) National Mentorship Program, and the National Screen Institute (NSI) Features First Program. She received her B.F.A. Honours in Film Production and Screenwriting from York University, and is currently developing several film projects of her own.

Christina anderson

Programs & Special Events Coordinator

As WIFT-T's Program & Special Events Coordinator, Christina oversees the logistics for our many initiatives and hallmark events. A graduate from Carleton University’s Film Studies program, Christina continuously seeks out opportunities that combines her two favourite passions: parties and film! Before joining WIFT-T, Christina worked with TIFF’s internal event production department; producing and supporting TIFF’s year-round and festival related events. A true believer in community-based organizations, Christina also volunteers and has interned with local organizations such as the Art Gallery of Hamilton, the Hamilton Film Festival, and the Canadian Film Centre.

the nitty gritty

ANNUAL REPORTS & AGM

Each spring, at our Annual General Meeting, we invite our members and community to join us in celebrating and reviewing the achievements of the previous year. We also take this opportunity to share our vision for the current and upcoming year.

NOTICE OF WIFT-T AGM

Our next Annual General Meeting will take place at 7:30 p.m., May 7, 2018 in Toronto. 

The election of the 2018–2019 Board of Directors will take place at the Annual General Meeting.

2018 call for nominations is now closed.

ANNUAL REPORTS

Access our Annual Reports (2008-2015): 2015 Annual Report
2014 Annual Report
2013 Annual Report

FINANCIAL REPORT

You may find our latest Financial Report (2016) here.