November 7, 2017

Spotlight: Karen Walton, 2017 Crystal Award winner for Mentorship

In a 2012 interview with the Harold Greenberg Fund, Karen stated: “My responsibility as a writer is to be honest, not to be popular.”

Best known as the groundbreaking screenwriter of the original cult horror film, Ginger Snaps, and the true legal saga The Many Trials of One Jane Doe — starring past Crystal Award winner Wendy Crewson— Karen has also written for and co-executive produced critically acclaimed series such as Orphan Black, Queer as Folk, The Listener, and Flashpoint.

Karen is also rightfully known for her deep commitment to mentoring the next generation of Canadian storytellers and creating inclusive spaces for writers and other creatives to feel safe, supported and heard.

This year, Karen celebrates the 10th anniversary of ink canada, a virtual networking space she created for “Canadian Screenwriters and their sketchy friends”. Founded in 2007, ink canada has grown as a digital hub for over 5000 creatives internationally. Through both the online platform and in-person ink drinks gatherings in Toronto, Karen nurtures emerging and underrepresented and marginalized writers in the industry. 

For the 2017 Writers Guild of Canada Awards, ink canada members gave away 23 tickets to women of colour, all of whom were personally greeted at the door by Karen—because that is what she does so well; connecting people and building a supportive community. Karen’s dedication to fair representations of gender, gender equity, racial and cultural diversity in entertainment continues, onscreen and off.


The Crystal Awards is Women in Film & Television – Toronto’s (WIFT-T) annual tribute to women working in the Canadian screen-based industry, as well as the men who champion them. Since 1988, WIFT-T has honoured over 130 industry trailblazers for their excellence in creativity, innovation, and leadership in Canada’s screen-based media industry (film, television and digital media).

The 30th Annual Crystal Awards Gala luncheon will take place on December 5, 2017 at the Arcadian Court, 401 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario.

Nourish your spirit with more stories of WIFT-T and women in action:
2019 WIFT-T Showcase: Cera Ziegler (Learn to Swim)
Marni Van Dyk’s beautiful and subtle script is vividly brought to life by producer Cera Ziegler and director Thyrone Tommy, with nuanced performances by Thomas Olijade, Humberly Gonzalez and Allegra Fulton.
2019 WIFT-T Showcase: Chrisann Hessing (Turning Tables)
Rising documentary director, Chrisann Hessing's Turning Tables is a vibrant and energetic documentary that chronicles the creativity of Joshua DePerry (aka Classic Roots) as he combines Indigenous sounds and dance with modern techno and house music.
2019 WIFT-T Showcase: Rachel Cairns (Street Series)
Multi-hyphenate content creator and actress, Rachel Cairns, brings her hilarious and refreshing web series, Street Series, to our 10th annual WIFT-T Showcase.