Founded in 1984, WIFT Toronto is a member-based, not-for-profit organization of passionate individuals dedicated to the development, advancement, and celebration of women in the screen media industry.
To provide the necessary tools to allow our members and the industry reach their goals through networking, mentoring, professional development, and celebrating.
To ensure the screen media industry provides equality, diversity, and inclusion for all and provide opportunities that elevate women into senior and executive roles within the screen media industry in the fight to reach gender parity.
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.
Susan Alexander has been a creative force within Canadian television for over two decades, as a Producer and Executive for independent production companies and the broadcast community. As a Production Executive with Corus Entertainment, Susan has overseen the development and production of numerous dramatic series, including Mary Kills People, Ransom and Private Eyes. A recipient of several prestigious awards including a Gemini for Little Mosque on the Prairie, Susan has developed and produced hundreds of hours of Canadian television to critical acclaim. Equally important to her is the work she does nurturing emerging talent through her role as a mentor at the CFC, of which she is a proud graduate, and through many industry-sponsored programs. Susan is a member of WIFT Toronto, the WGC, the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, and is a graduate of WIFT Toronto's Media Leadership Program (2016).
As Finance Director, Toronto Blue Jays, Janet Chant leads the Finance operations for the Rogers Centre and Blue Jays. She has worked with Rogers in various capacities since 2008 including leading large transformation projects, implementing the Enterprise Risk Management program as well as supporting the Digital Media Publishing division. Prior to joining Rogers, she spent a few years in Fort McMurray, AB, working on a large municipal project and also taught business classes at Keyano College. Janet holds an MBA from Rotman School of Business, University of Toronto, and is a Certified Public Accountant.
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.
As the first employee of Secret Location, an award-winning VR content and distribution studio, Noora witnessed how the evolution of technology we use to communicate shaped the way we build and design digital content. Noora produced high-profile interactive projects for ad agencies, entertainment producers and broadcasters that tap into the latest web, wearables, 360 video and VR technology. For the past eleven years, she has been supervising production management and operations, working closely with the rest of the leadership team on new business opportunities. In 2017, Noora moved into Secret Location’s product team specializing in VR distribution. She currently leads production services for Vusr Publisher, working with premium publishers such as National Geographic, AMC and The New York Times.
Argie Eliopoulos joined the CFC in 2008 and currently serves as Director of Partnerships and Events. In this role, Argie is responsible for negotiating corporate partnerships and designing, implementing and coordinating sponsorship strategies. Prior to joining the CFC, Argie managed major public and private events in Toronto; she was the Events Manager of L’Oréal Fashionweek, Director of Events of the Greek Film Retrospective, and managed other various conferences, tradeshows and corporate events. She holds a certificate in Events and Meeting Management from George Brown and a Business Communication Certificate from the University of Toronto. Argie is an active CANFAR entertainment advisory committee member, and is a currently a parttime instructor at George Brown College (Event Sponsorship & Fundraising and Event Leadership & Human Resources).
Emmy award winning producer, Tanya Green, has been in the animated arena for 15+ years and she has overseen and managed many projects from development to final delivery. As VP Production at Brown Bag Films (a 9 Story Company), she produced hundreds of hours of animated television including Emmy award winning preschool series Peg + Cat for PBS, Emmy award winning Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood for PBS, Top Wing for Nickelodeon, and the reboot of Magic School Bus for Netflix. In her current role, as Head of Animated Series at Sinking Ship Entertainment, she develops and produces animated series for kids and family. Before she entered the animated arena, Tanya worked on a number of performing arts series, dramatic series, feature films and documentary series for various broadcasters in Canada.
Susan Karnay is an entertainment lawyer and consultant with over 20 years of experience in the Canadian film, television, music, and gaming industries. She currently handles business & legal affairs for Tangent’s animated film 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 business law at Trent University.
Born in Seoul, Korea, Gloria Ui Young Kim is an alumni of the University of Toronto, the Canadian Film Centre’s Director’s Lab, and TIFF Talent Lab. She wrote, directed, and produced her latest short, Flamenco, for CBC (2015) and won the 2017 Corus Fearless Female Filmmaker Award. Gloria has won numerous Golds for her commercial work at the Cannes Lions, Bessies, the Marketing Awards, One Club, ADCC, and has had over a million views online. She recently directed two episodes of Sinking Ship’s Dino Dana (TVO, Amazon); two episodes for Riverbanks’ When I Grow Up (TVO) and 7 episodes of BGM’s It’s My Party (TVO). Gloria is now working on two features: Deception, a thriller (WIFTV Genre Competition); and Queen of the Morning Calm, a redemption story (WIDC Feature Film Award). Gloria was chosen by Women in View as one of the 2017 Five in Focus and is a Creative Lead for Lunch agency.
As VP, Head of Original Content for Blue Ant Media, Sam brings over 30 years of production expertise to services such as Cottage Life, T+E, Makeful and Smithsonian Canada. Sam oversees commissioning for BAM’s portfolio of brands, working closely with independent and in-house producers to create premium content that sells around the world. Sam has written, produced and directed many series and one-offs. She was previously Director of Programming for Discovery Canada and Animal Planet. As SVP of Factual for Cineflix Productions, she executive produced series like May Day, Final 24, Mega Moves and Urban Legends. As Acting Director of Factual Content for History Television, Sam oversaw shows like Ice Pilots and Secret History. As VP and executive producer for RTR Media, Sam executive produced BBQ Crawl and Mother of the Bride.
Terry Markus is an independent consultant and lawyer providing business and legal affairs services to the screen-based industry. A graduate of the University of Toronto and Queen’s University Law School, she has held various senior legal, business and regulatory affairs positions at: Astral Media Inc.; Alliance Communications Corporation’s broadcasting division; Catalyst Entertainment Inc.; and Gullane Entertainment PLC group of companies. Terry has also worked at S-VOX Group of Companies in the roles of Executive Vice-President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary. She has co-executive produced a feature-length theatrical film, Suck, which premiered at TIFF in 2009; executive produced a documentary short, Chasing the Lion; and, is executive producing a feature-length theatrical film, Cold Strings.
Cailyn Michaan is a Marketing Manager at Walt Disney Studios, where she is responsible for managing the media planning/buying and experiential marketing strategy in Canada for key Disney, Pixar, Marvel Studios, Lucas Films, Blue Sky Studios, and 20th Century Studios releases. She is a passionate digital marketer and people leader who has managed client relationships with major film studios and fortune 500 brands at some of the largest Media and Entertainment companies in the country. Prior to Disney, Cailyn held management positions leading marketing and digital sales teams at Cineplex Entertainment and Rogers Media. She holds an Honours B.A degree in Film Studies and Creative Writing from the University of Western Ontario. Cailyn is excited to be a member of WIFT Toronto, and aims to help empower women to push past their limits and lead successful and fulfilling careers.
Dylen Postnikoff is an award-winning and results-driven marketer with 13+ years of experience working in media and entertainment. Dylen draws on a proven track record of success in leadership and relationship-building skills, balanced with the pragmatism and cultural sensibility needed to create highly-visible 360 marketing campaigns for both the domestic and international market. In Dylen’s current role as VP, Global Brand Strategy at Shaftesbury, she is responsible for cultivating and serving the company’s global audiences while expanding its content footprint, focusing on audience awareness, audience loyalty, and increasing engagement by building on existing global fandoms, and tapping into passionate audiences to create deep and dynamic new ones.
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.
Karen Walton is a film and television writer and Creative Executive Producer. A Film Writing graduate of the Canadian Film Centre, Karen holds a BA-Honours in Drama from the University of Alberta and was the 2016 Showrunner in Residence for the CFC’s Bell Media Prime Time TV program. She is known as the writer of Ginger Snaps. Her credits include Orphan Black, Queer As Folk, Heart: The Marilyn Bell Story, and the true-life rape culture saga, The Many Trials of One Jane Doe. Karen founded the public online community known as inkcanada. Awards include: Margaret Collier Award for Screenwriting, Canadian Comedy Award for Pretty Funny Screenplay, a Canadian Screen Award for Best Dramatic Series, the Banff Media Festival Fellowship Alum Award, a Women In Film and Television’s Crystal Award, ACTRA-Toronto’s Nell Shipman Award and the Writers Guild of Canada’s Writers Block Award.
Anyone that has met me knows my love for animals. So how did someone from the travel industry that decided to use that degree to go backpacking around the world come home to work at Toronto Hydro in real estate law end up at with a job at WIFT? Great question, and the answer is my love for storytelling.
It started with a position volunteering and ended as a Director supporting our Canadian screen-based industry, which is something I am most proud of to date. 20 years later I am still doing what I can to support, elevate and celebrate Canada's rich, diverse, and amazing storytellers.
That being said, do not offer me a job at an animal sanctuary – I might jump ship to go save as many animals as possible!
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.
Once upon a time there was a girl who liked to party, in fact her friends gave her the nick-name Party. In her early years, she worked theatre Front of House jobs and was a publicist in the publishing industry by day and partied hard by night. These activities began to coalesce into a secret sauce of event planning skills on her resume.
Suddenly she was programming March Break activities, speaker series and film premieres for large museums and raising boatloads of money for non-profits by creating fancy gala dinners and silent auctions. Now, instead of partying at night, she was consuming movies at an alarming rate. Finally, her secret sauce of skills collided with her love of all screen-based creations and that woman arrived at her destination (destiny?) – WIFT Toronto.
Venessa wanted to be an artist, but learned very early on that she had little to no artistic talent. Instead, she decided to study arts management, and help actual artists live their dreams. WIFT Toronto is the third art-focused, membership-based organization she's worked with since obtaining her degree.
In addition helping you achieve your professional goals here at WIFT Toronto, Venessa is a Canadian Screen Award winning producer, not-yet-published author, and Weezer-enthusiast.
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.
Our Annual General Meeting will take place on April 27, 2021 virtually via Zoom. Questions? Contact Venessa Harris at email@example.com.