Board of Directors
Our current Board is comprised of leading professionals from small, medium and large-sized companies, producing content in all genres. They voluntarily offer guidance and advice on the Academy mandate, activities and operations.
President, Prospero Pictures
Prospero Pictures Founder and President Martin Katz is one of Canada's most prolific film and television producers. His long-time collaboration with celebrated director David Cronenberg includes the award-winning films Spider, Cosmopolis (starring Robert Pattinson, Paul Giamatti and Juliette Binoche) and A Dangerous Method (starring Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender) and continues with Maps to the Stars, starring Julianne Moore, who garnered the Best Actress prize at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival for her passionate performance.
Katz's feature film and television productions include the Academy Award® and Golden Globe multi-nominee Hotel Rwanda, written and directed by Terry George; Michael Winterbottom’s The Claim; the Gemini Award-winning music television series Spectacle: Elvis Costello With…; and Bronwen Hughes’ Stander, which the London Observer called “the greatest heist film since Reservoir Dogs.”
Katz holds degrees in law from the University of Toronto and the Université de Paris (Panthéon-Sorbonne), and has served as Professor of Law at the French-language Université de Moncton and as Special Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law at the University of Toronto. Katz is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and a Director of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship.
Executive Director of the Rogers Group of Funds
Robin Mirsky is Executive Director of the Rogers Group of Funds. Robin joined Rogers Communications in 1989 as the Project Coordinator for Rogers Telefund, the interim financing fund established by Rogers to assist in the production of high-quality Canadian programming.
Today Robin Mirsky is responsible for the Rogers Group of Funds, which includes the Rogers Telefund, the Rogers Cable Network Fund and the Rogers Documentary Fund. Collectively, these funds have provided more than $440 million in funding for Canadian independent production.
Robin also sits on a number of industry related Boards such as the Banff World Media Festival and the Canadian Film Centre. She is currently co-chair of the Board of Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival in Toronto and Vice Chair of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.
Anita McOuat, CA, CPA
Anita is a partner in the Assurance practice of PwC and works with clients within the Entertainment & Media, Technology and Private Equity industries. She has advised clients on financial accounting and reporting matters related to IFRS, US GAAP, Accounting Standards for NPOs, and ASPE. She also has expertise in auditing the effectiveness of internal controls.
Anita has managed the audits of several entities registered on Canadian and US stock exchanges, as well as smaller company audits. Current and past clients include companies focused in television and film production and distribution, broadcasting, music licensing and funding, video games, technology, and private equity. In addition, Anita has been the ballot accountant for the JUNO Awards since 2009.
Anita previously spent 2 years at PwC Boston working on the audit of a large SEC registrant, and more recently she spent 3 months working in Shanghai, China as part of an executive leadership program. She is a member of the board the Ontario Media Development Corporation, where she also sits on the Audit and Governance committees.
Anita graduated from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Commerce degree (First Class Honours), and she is a Canadian Chartered Accountant.
President & CEO, Bristow Global Media
Julie Bristow has been influencing how Canadians watch television for the past 20 years.
She has created over 1500 hours of original content, built entire entertainment divisions from scratch, innovated relevant, exciting, and lucrative ways to reach new audiences, created dynamic multi-platform partnerships internationally, and garnered multiple industry and business awards for her contributions and executive leadership.
Formerly the Executive Director of Studio and Unscripted Content for CBC, responsible for the production of Factual Entertainment, Sports (including Hockey Night In Canada
and The 2014 Sochi Olympics
), Unscripted Comedy and Specials, she recently launched Bristow Global Media. Founded in 2013, BGM creates and produces next-generation content for traditional and new media platforms, including the 7-part deep access series NHL Revealed: A Season Like No Other
, and Pressure Cooker
, a culinary competition series developed in partnership with UK chef Jamie Oliver's Fresh One Productions, and produced for the W Network.
In 2013, Julie was named one of Toronto Life's 50 Most Influential People, she received the Crystal Award for Creative Excellence from Women in Film and Television, and she was awarded the CBC President’s Award for Leadership. Recognized globally as a fresh and influential voice in the industry, Julie speaks at events around the globe, from Banff to Cannes, sharing her vision and insights with the world’s programming elite.
Julie sits on the Board with many of the most influential domestic and international media associations, and volunteers her time to charitable organizations focused on addiction and mental health.
Chairman/CEO, Comweb Corp. and William F. White International Inc.
Paul Bronfman is the Chairman/CEO of Comweb Group Inc. and William F. White International Inc. He is also Chairman of Pinewood Toronto Studios Inc.
Mr. Bronfman launched his entertainment career in the mid-1970s, working in the music business with such hit bands as Supertramp and April Wine. By the late 1970s, he transitioned to the film & TV industry and went on to hold several positions at Astral over the next decade.
Mr. Bronfman founded Comweb Corp. in 1988 and, over the years, built a group of integrated firms dedicated to providing expert production services, studio facilities, equipment and technical expertise to the Canadian and international film and television industries. Comweb’s first endeavor was to build and manage Canada’s first Hollywood-style studio, North Shore Studios in Vancouver, in partnership with well-known Hollywood writer/producer Stephen J. Cannell. North Shore Studios is the original home of the smash television series, The X-Files.
In 1989, Comweb acquired William F. White International Inc., (Whites) Canada’s oldest and largest provider of professional motion picture, television, digital media production equipment and technical services.
Comweb is also an active partner in Pinewood Toronto Studios, a world-class, state-of-the-art film and television production facility located just minutes from downtown Toronto. The studio lot includes 260,000 square feet of production facilities. Foremost among the ten stages is the 46,000 square foot Mega-Stage, one of the largest purpose-built sound stages in the world.
Comweb also owns and operates Comweb Aviation Inc., an exclusive private-jet leasing company which provides first-class, non-stop, tax-creditable charter flights from Toronto to any destination in North America.
Mr. Bronfman’s dedication to developing talent in Canada is well-known. His company sponsors numerous industry organizations across the country, including The Atlantic Film Festival, Banff World Media Festival, Hot Docs, On Screen Manitoba, Toronto International Film Festival and Vancouver International Film Festival.
Mr. Bronfman serves on numerous industry boards including The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, The Canadian Media Production Association, FilmOntario and the Ontario Media Development Corporation. He is also an active member of the Directors Guild of Canada.
In 2010, Mr. Bronfman was inducted into Playback’s Film & Television Hall of Fame honouring his 30 plus years of exemplary industry service. In 2011, Paul received the Honourable Life Member Award from the Directors Guild of Canada. That same year, he was awarded the Academy Board of Directors Tribute for Outstanding and Enduring contributions to Canadian Television at the Gemini Awards.
In 2012, Mr. Bronfman received the Canadian Society of Cinematographers President’s Award in addition to the Friend of The Industry Award from the Alberta Motion Picture Industry Association. In 2013, he was inducted into the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and was also bestowed with a Rockie Award at the Banff World Media Festival honouring Excellence in Business and Entertainment.
President & Producer, Don Carmody Productions
Don Carmody has been producing films for close to 40 years. He was vice-president of production for Canada’s Cinepix (now Lions Gate Films), where he co-produced David Cronenberg’s early shockers They Came From Within and Rabid as well as the popular comedy Meatballs. Starting his own production company in 1980, Don went on to produce the smash hits Porky’s and Porky’s II as well as the classic A Christmas Story, the Weekend At Bernie’s series, and The Late Shift which was nominated for seven Emmy Awards and three Cable Ace awards.
Recent productions include Goon with Seann William Scott, Liev Schreiber and Eugene Levy, the sequel to his hit film Silent Hill, as well as the fifth installment of his Resident Evil franchise.
Don won a Genie Award for Best Motion Picture for Polytechnique (2009). Don has earned the Academy’s annual Cineplex Golden Reel Award eight times – including most recently for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones – for the Canadian film that earns the highest domestic box office amount that year.
Don grew up in Montreal and has gone on to produce films all over the world. He currently has offices in Toronto and Los Angeles.
Executive Producer / CEO
Smiley Guy Studios / iThentic
Jonas Diamond is CEO of iThentic and a principal of Smiley Guy Studios. Jonas joined up with the Guys in 1999 and successfully arranged financing for and managed the development of Odd Job Jack. For almost 15 years, Jonas has been instrumental in growing the company’s production business as well as arranging financing for its many original properties. Jonas is Executive Producer of the award-winning animated series Odd Job Jack (52x30). The series received a Gemini, CFTPA Indie, Banff Rockie and Canada New Media Award for Best Cross Platform Project. Additional accolades for Odd Job Jack include a nomination for Best Interactive Program and Best Animated Show at the Banff Rockie Awards, Best Convergent Project by the Banff Institute as well as multiple Gemini and Canadian Comedy Award nominations.
Jonas’ producer credits include: Odd Job Jack, Space Riders, Hotbox and Bigfoot for Bell Media; Pillars of Freedom and Finding Stuff Out Online for TVO; Turbo Dogs for CBC / Qubo; The Dating Guy, Skatoony, Sons of Butcher and GeoFreakZ for Teletoon; Operation Unplugged Digital for Travel + Escape; The World of Bruce McCall for CBC; Baby Cow co-productions Warren United and SOS: SAVE OUR SKINS; as well as many other projects for various platforms. Jonas is part of the Emmy/Rockie/Digi/Canadian Screen award-winning team behind the interactive thriller GUIDESTONES. Jonas is also a board member of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.
Executive Director, Unscripted Content, CBC
Jennifer Dettman is a senior CBC executive whose leadership and bold vision have shaped what it means to be a relevant modern broadcaster in today’s media landscape.
In her role as Executive Director of Unscripted Content at CBC, Jennifer oversees Factual Entertainment, Arts and Documentary programming for television and digital platforms.
Over the course of an impressive 20 years in the industry – starting in radio and extending through television and digital – she has been the driving creative force behind many of CBC’s most successful entertainment programs, including Dragons’ Den, Canada’s Smartest Person, and Battle of the Blades as well as live events such as Canada for Haiti, Canadian Screen Awards, and The Tragically Hip: A National Celebration.
Recently, she added arts and documentary programming to her portfolio for tv and digital, successfully launching new content strategies for both including two original arts formats (Interrupt This Program and Crash Gallery) and a point-of-view documentary strand, Firsthand.
Her work has earned her three Gemini Awards, a Gracie Award and the 2011 President’s Award for excellence in programming content and leadership.
Jennifer is a respected media executive renowned for her cutting edge vision, shrewd business acumen, and for pushing the boundaries of public broadcasting, creating exciting new initiatives that both engage and entertain audiences across Canada and around the world.
Jennifer sits on a number of industry related Boards such as Hot Docs and the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.
Chief Legal Officer, Cineplex Inc.
Anne is Cineplex Inc.’s Chief Legal Officer, overseeing all legal, corporate affairs, governance and insurance matters. She has been an integral part of the Cineplex executive team during an active growth period, having directed numerous acquisitions allowing Cineplex to achieve 79% market share and expanding its core competencies outside of theatres. She has also directed a number of offerings and financings and has been heavily involved in the development of business initiatives including the creation of the SCENE Loyalty Program, the development of the Metropolitan Opera alternative programming series, the development of the Cineplex Store online DVD sales site, and the development of new captioning and descriptive technologies to make movies accessible to the deaf, deafened and visually impaired communities.
In addition to being a member of the Board of Directors for the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, she serves on the boards of the National Association of Theater Owners and the Movie Theatre Association of Canada. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Outward Bound Canada. Having led a number of expeditions for youth leadership development in remote parts of the world, Anne was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society in 2012.
Anne has been licensed to practice law since 1990 and has practiced in North Carolina, Illinois, New York and Ontario in areas of commercial and criminal litigation as well as corporate securities and entertainment. She has produced theatre both in the US and in Canada. In 2014, she was named the National Post/ZSA General Counsel of the Year in Mid-Market Excellence. Anne holds her undergraduate degree as well as a Juris Doctorate from Duke University and attended the Harvard University Kennedy School of Business for leadership studies. She also has the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors managed by the University of Toronto Rotman School of Business.
President & CEO, GMP Capital Inc.
Harris A. Fricker assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer of GMP Capital Inc. in October 2010. Prior to joining GMP in 2002, Mr. Fricker held senior roles at several leading financial institutions, including, heading up the Institutional Sales & Trading desk of another leading investment dealer and running the corporate debenture/derivatives group at a major Canadian bank. A former entrepreneur himself, his depth of experience arising from over two decades in the North American capital markets combined with his acumen as an entrepreneur provides him with a unique perspective on the global business landscape. Mr. Fricker holds a BA from Saint Francis Xavier University and a MA from Oxford University, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar.
Vice-President, Communications, Bell Media
As Vice-President, Communications for Bell Media since 2007, Mr. Henderson leads the strategic, day-to-day operations of Bell Media’s program and talent publicity, corporate communications, public affairs, community investment, and special events. He is responsible for all communications efforts for CTV and CTV Two; Bell Media’s stable of 35 entertainment, factual, sports, and news specialty channels; the company’s 106 radio stations; and multiple digital properties. A 16-year veteran of the company, Mr. Henderson is an industry innovator for communication strategies promoting original series in Canada and has overseen the publicity campaigns for some of the country’s most-watched and successful original programs, including Orphan Black, Saving Hope, Flashpoint, The Amazing Race Canada,
the Much Music Video Awards
, and The JUNO Awards
. In 2010, he helped share the story of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games
– the most-watched programming in the history of Canadian television – and was an integral part of the broadcast efforts for the London 2012 Olympic Games
Earlier in his career, Mr. Henderson was instrumental in launching Corner Gas
, the most-watched Canadian comedy series ever, and one that received seven Gemini Awards and a nomination for an International Emmy Award.
Mr. Henderson sits on the Marketing Committee for The JUNO Awards, is a director on the board of the Toronto Entertainment District BIA, and chairs the Communications Committee for the Television Bureau of Canada. He is an honours graduate of Queen’s University, as well as the Humber College Public Relations Certificate Program.
Producer, Serendipity Point Films Inc.
Robert Lantos is a distinguished producer who has made some 40 feature films, as well as an extensive range of made-for-television drama. His films, The Sweet Hereafter, Being Julia, Eastern Promises and Barney’s Version, have received Academy Award nominations. Sunshine and Eastern Promises were nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Picture, and Being Julia and Barney’s Version won the Best Actress and Best Actor Golden Globes. Ten of his films have been in the Official Cannes Selection where they have won numerous awards, including the Grand Prix for The Sweet Hereafter. His films have competed in the other prestigious festivals, winning the Silver Bear in Berlin with eXistenZ and the Leoncino d’Oro in Venice with Barney’s Version. He has won the Genie Award for Best Picture for Black Robe, The Sweet Hereafter, Sunshine and Ararat. His long-running series have won the Gemini for Best Drama Series ten times. They include Due South, North of 60, E.N.G., Counterstrike, Bordertown and Night Heat. Mr. Lantos was the co-founder of Alliance Communications Corporation (for twenty years Canada’s leading film and television production / distribution company) of which he was Chairman and CEO until he sold his controlling interest in 1998. At Alliance, he launched the specialty networks Showcase and History and their French-Canadian counterparts, Series+ and Historia. Mr. Lantos is a member of the Order of Canada.
President/CEO, Slaight Communications Inc.
Gary Slaight is President and Chief Executive Officer of Slaight Communications Inc. and Chief Executive Officer of Slaight Music. Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Slaight has been a key player in Canadian media since he joined McLaren Advertising in 1973. He was Promotion Manager at both Quality Records and at WEA Records and finished his tenure at the Toronto radio station, Q107 (’77-’87) as VP and General Manager/Program Director. Gary was CEO of Standard Radio Inc. and President/CEO Standard Broadcasting Corporation Limited from 1987 to 2007, when all the assets of Standard Radio were sold to Astral Media. Slaight Communications now holds minority equity interest in MapleMusic, Sirius Canada, GlassBox Television, RockPeaks, The Fight Network, Shop.ca, and Virgin Gaming. He also started Slaight Music which fosters Canadian Talent through a variety of strategic investments. As well, Gary oversees The Slaight Family Foundation whose mandate is to make a positive difference in people’s lives through the support of healthcare, social services, the arts and international development.
Executive Vice-President, Theatrical Distribution, Entertainment One
Mark Slone is the Executive Vice President of Theatrical Distribution at Entertainment One Films Canada. A graduate of Montreal’s McGill University, Slone started his career promoting Hollywood movies on campus for Warner Bros. Upon graduation, he joined the Publicity and Promotions team at Alliance Releasing, where he rose to Vice President of Publicity. He then joined Odeon Films to oversee Marketing and Publicity. When the reconstituted Alliance Films bought Odeon, he headed the Publicity team at the combined entity while also managing the production and acquisition of Canadian content, and government relations. In 2013, Entertainment One acquired Alliance Films and Slone was tasked with forming a Canadian Acquisitions and Production team, which he currently heads. He is a member of the executive committee of the Canadian Association of Film Distributors and Exporters; serves as a Board Director for several non-profit film organizations, including The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television; contributes to the curriculum at the National Film Institute and the Canadian Film Centre; and provides mentorship to emerging filmmakers.
President & CEO, Cargojet
As President & CEO of Cargojet—Canada’s largest cargo airline that provides a premium overnight air cargo service—Ajay Virmani has become an industry leader, owning and managing logistics companies with revenues in excess of hundreds of millions of dollars. While his interests lie in both the aviation and film industries, he is also a notable philanthropist supporting several causes and charities both nationally and internationally.
Ajay Virmani’s second love has become the Canadian film industry. He recently produced box office successes Dr. Cabbie and Breakaway under his banner First Take Entertainment Ltd. His work on previous titles include: Bollywood/ Hollywood and the Oscar-nominated, Genie-winning Deepa Mehta’s Water, as well as International Khiladi and Mr. And Mrs. Khiladi.
Philanthropic causes and charities supported by Ajay Virmani include Trillium Health Care Foundation, William Osler Health Care Foundation, Sick Kids Health Care Foundation, Food Drives for Women’s & Homeless Shelter, Support/Fund Raising for Women’s Shelters across Canada and Covenant House, ONEXONE (Matt Damon/Richard Gere), AMBI GALA (with HRH Prince Albert II of Monaco).
Current and previous Boards include York University Board and Export Development Board of Canada Board (Previous Board Member).
Managing Director, Temple Street Productions
John Young was born and raised in Loch Lomond, Scotland and graduated from the University of Dundee with an LLB (honors). He also received a Diploma in Legal Practice from Glasgow University. John Young is the Managing Director of Temple Street Productions, one of Canada’s leading television production companies; producing shows such as Being Erica, Wingin’ It, Canada’s Next Top Model and Recipe to Riches. In addition to running Temple Street’s day to day operations, John has spearheaded the company’s move into branded content and digital media, acting as the lead on deals with some of Canada’s largest brands, while forging new relationships with leading digital agencies.
Mr. Young previously served as Managing Director of OMERS Private Equity. Mr. Young is a graduate of the Directors Governance College at University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business. He is Vice Chairman of the Toronto International Film Festival Group’s Steering Committee, and in 2005 was voted as one of Canada’s top 40 under 40 in-house counsel. He enjoys sports with his family especially golf and soccer. At University he represented his country at soccer going on to spend time as a professional soccer player prior to practicing law.
Ex-Officio | Partner BT/A and CEO, Melbar Entertainment Group
Barry Avrich, Toronto, Ontario. Barry is a veteran marketing executive and acclaimed film and television director/producer. As a marketing professional Barry has led thousands of cultural marketing campaigns for clients like TIFF, Luminato, AGO, Stratford Festival, Canadian Opera Company, The Rolling Stones and film campaigns for thousands of films from The Lord of The Rings to the Twilight film series. Barry is also the author of three marketing books and winner of the 2007 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. As a film director and producer Barry is best known documentary films The Last Mogul, Unauthorized: Inside Harvey Weinstein, Showstopper: The Theatrical Life of Garth Drabinsky, and the nominated production The Tempest starring Christopher Plummer. In 2007, Barry built the Daniels Hollywood Theatre, the world’s first movie theatre in a hospital at Sick Kids. Barry is also a director of Hot Docs, and The Prince’s Charities and has previously served as a Director for TIFF, and the Canadian Opera Company.