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.
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-T, the WGC, the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, and is a graduate of WIFT-T's Media Leadership Program (2016).
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 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.
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.
As Finance Director, Digital and Content Publishing for Rogers Communications, Janet Chant, leads the Finance operations for the Publishing and Data businesses across Rogers Media. She has worked with Rogers in various capacities since 2008 including leading large transformation projects and implementing the enterprise risk management program. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bringing over 25 years of career experience in Film, Television and Digital Media, Alex is Currently VP of Business Affairs and Operations at New Metric Media (Letterkenny, Bad Blood, What Would Sal Do?). Previously, Alex held the position of COO at Digital Howard, producing the cutting edge AR/VR Adventure game Terracosm and winning back-to-back Canadian Screen Awards for Wynonna Earp Interactive (seasons one and two). Alex spent 5 years in the role of Executive-in-Charge of Production for First Generation Films, and Head of Business Affairs & Executive Producer on several films including Life, Regression, Red Lights and The Whistleblower. Other organizations on her resume include Secret Location, ACCT, Telefilm Canada, CMF and the Motion Picture Bond Company. Alex also mentors emerging talent through Schulich’s Adopt an Executive MBA program and is a WIFT-T Board member.
Anne Loi, Chief Commercial Officer, works closely with senior management and the Company’s talented content teams to help drive DHX Media’s leading slate of kids’ and family shows. She oversees content production and financing, key external partnerships, and business analytics. Ms. Loi has been a core member of DHX Media’s leadership team since the Company’s founding in 2006, coming over with DECODE Entertainment when it merged with Halifax Film to form DHX Media. Prior to joining DHX Media, Ms. Loi 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. Ms. Loi holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western University and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pia is a burgeoning screenwriter and filmmaker with a passion for cinema and great storytelling. She graduated from Ryerson University’s School of Image Arts with a BFA in Film Studies and has since then freelanced on various sets in a myriad of roles, from assistant director to art director, to PA. Pia also works part time as a screenwriting consultant at Script Society, helping screenwriters across the globe perfect their craft. Her 4th year short film, Bookends, that she wrote & directed—and was produced by Madison Falle—won the Industry Choice Award and was nominated for Best Director at the 2015 Toronto Youth Shorts Festival. Pia also received the William F. White International Award (Ryerson, 2014). When she’s not working, you can find Pia at the nearest Vietnamese restaurant eating some pho, or at a bookstore, adding titles to her neverending to-read list.
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.
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 2018 Annual General Meeting took place on May 7th at Goodmans LLP in Toronto.
The next WIFT-T annual general meeting will take place in May 2019.