As Telefilm Canada’s Regional Feature Film Executive for the Western Region, Lauren Davis is responsible for supporting emerging talent through production and post-production investments in lower-budget feature films. Lauren joined Telefilm in 1998 after having worked as an independent producer. Over the last 15 years, she has held a number of management positions within the television, feature film and business-process management teams. Lauren is based in Telefilm’s Vancouver office.
As Senior Director of Comedy, CBC Scripted Content, Michelle Daly leads the team responsible for managing the creative development and production of CBC’s slate of comedic programming. Michelle joined the CBC as Executive in Charge of Production in 2011, and has contributed to the success of hit CBC shows Kim’s Convenience, Baroness von Sketch Show, Workin’ Moms, Schitt’s Creek and TallBoyz. Michelle is also a board member of WIFT-T.
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.
Teri Snelgrove is a Producer at the BC & Yukon Studio of the National Film Board of Canada. Prior to being appointed Producer, Teri was Associate Producer at the studio for seven years and was instrumental in the development and production of documentary and animation projects, including the short docs Highway to Heaven: A Mosaic in One Mile by Sandra Ignagni, Now Is the Time by Christopher Auchter and The Way of the Hunter by Robert Moberg. Her credits also include Marie Clements’ musical documentary The Road Forward and Baljit Sangra’s feature doc, Because We Are Girls, as well as the animated shorts The Zoo by Julia Kwan, Shop Class by Hart Snider and The Mountain of SGaana by Christopher Auchter.
Originally from Newfoundland, Teri is a graduate of the film/video program at Emily Carr University and she has lived and worked in the cultural community in Vancouver for over 30 years.
Tom works as Mongrel Media’s Director of Theatrical Releasing. Before joining Mongrel in 2001, Tom worked in various capacities with Alliance Atlantis Communications, Famous Players, and the Toronto International Film Festival Group, among other organizations. He holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business (Marketing, and Arts & Media Administration).
Erika Kumar manages Creative BC’s direct funding programs, including Domestic Industry Initiatives and the Interactive Fund. Erika is also responsible for the coordination of the MPPIA Short Film Award and the Daryl Duke & William Vince Scholarships. Erika graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from Simon Fraser University, and has an Entertainment Administration Certificate from the University of British Columbia. Prior to working at Creative BC Erika was a project coordinator for The Adbusters Media Foundation.
As co-founder and partner in Breakthrough Entertainment, an internationally recognized and award-winning studio, Ira Levy has established himself as one of the most prolific Executive Producers in the entertainment industry. Ira has forged fruitful production relationships with National and International Networks and co-production and financing partners on a variety of scripted programming including; comedy, drama and features; children’s programming, both live action and animation; and factual programming, both documentary and lifestyle. Because of these relationships, Breakthrough Films & Television leads the industry as an international producer and distributor of premium content in multiple formats and genres. In 1995 Ira became a member of the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) and was elected Chair of the Board in 2005. He continues to be actively involved as a board member and chair of several CMPA committees alongside his involvement as a board member of The Banff International Media Festival, The Youth Media Alliance, Film Ontario and The AFC (formerly The Actor’s Fund of Canada).
Kathleen Meek is Manager, Original Content, Drama and Factual for Corus Entertainment. In this capacity, she is responsible for a portfolio of original scripted and factual series for Global Television, History® Canada, Showcase and W. She is production executive on Global’s upcoming event drama, Departure, History’s hit show Vikings and new unscripted series Salvage Kings, The Wild Ones and Big Timber. She joined Corus in 2018 from Bell Media where she was Production Executive, Drama and Feature Film. She worked on various original series including CTV’s Motive, Saving Hope and The Detail; Space drama Killjoys; and HBO Canada’s Hip Hop Evolution and Sensitive Skin. She also managed the pre-licensing of Canadian feature film for Bell Media’s pay TV services, The Movie Network and HBO Canada. Prior to Bell Media, she worked for Astral where she was responsible for licensing of Canadian film and worked on original series like Call Me Fitz, Funny as Hell, Less Than Kind and Transporter as well as various feature documentaries and comedy specials. Kathleen started her career at CTV in the drama department.
Michele McMahon is a Production Executive, Original Programming for B.C. and the Territories for Bell Media. In this role, Michele is the point of contact for the local television production community (producers, directors, writers) and acts as the creative executive on projects in development and production. Michele is currently the Production Executive for Bell Media on the feature documentary The Inconvenient Indian (Crave), and the dramas Transplant (CTV) and Cardinal (CTV). She was an executive on 19-2 (BRAVO) and Motive (CTV). Cardinal, 19-2 and Motive have received multiple Canadian Screen Awards, and 19-2 was nominated for an International Emmy.
Patrice Ramsay is the Coordinator of Independent Production at Knowledge Network. She helps bring original Knowledge Network commissions to a BC audience. Recent examples include Haida Modern, Search and Rescue: North Shore and This Mountain Life. She is also responsible for the budget of all independent production at Knowledge and manages Knowledge’s Broadcaster Performance Envelope from the Canada Media Fund. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration and recently earned The Osgood Certificate in Entertainment Law from Osgood Hall Law School of York University.
Jackie Pardy is a seasoned industry professional with a wealth of experience in the pay television and specialty tv space.
As Super Channel’s Chief Content Officer, Jackie leads the company’s domestic and foreign program acquisitions for the network’s four channels (Fuse, Heart & Home, Vault and Ginx) and oversees development and production of Super Channel’s Canadian productions.
Jackie joined Super Channel in April, 2019 and previously worked at Women in Film & Television – Toronto where she was Director of Development, responsible for developing and managing strategic partnerships and sponsorships for the organization and its charitable arm, the Foundation for Women in Film & Television. Prior to this, Jackie held the position of Director, Network Content, Specialty and Pay TV at Corus Entertainment. In this role, she negotiated and managed the program rights of all acquisitions for Corus’ Pay TV, Specialty and Digital brands including Movie Central, Encore Avenue, W, CMT, ABC Spark, OWN, W Movies, Cosmopolitan TV, Sundance, YTV and Treehouse TV. Jackie also served as Director of Programming for Movie Central.
Jackie is based in Toronto where she lives with her husband and family.
Situated in the Vancouver office of the National Bank of Canada’s Creative Industries Group, Patrick is a Senior Account Manager overseeing business development and day-to-day operations within the group’s entertainment portfolio. Prior to joining the National Bank of Canada, Patrick founded a strategic advisory company providing similar services to companies at the intersection of media, entertainment and technology. His client base included foreign and domestic film and TV production companies, animation studios, music video producers as well as entertainment-focused investment funds. Patrick brings a wide range of knowledge with over a decade of experience in the capital markets, including senior roles in asset management and principal trading at Canaccord Genuity in Toronto.
Dogu Taskiran is the CEO of Stambol Studios, a Vancouver-based creative technology studio specializing in highly immersive content and experiences through Virtual and Augmented Reality. Dogu is an Expert Software Engineer and a leader with nearly 20 years of experience in high-performance interactive software applications. He started his career building various educational training applications and simulation systems in the defense industry. Following his passion for video games, he later moved to work on several award-winning AAA titles as a Lead Gameplay Programmer at Electronic Arts, and as the Studio Tech Lead and Expert Engine Programmer at Ubisoft.
His love for highly-scalable projects further led him to join Microsoft as a Senior Software Engineer, where he built core graphics components of a large systems incubation project and helped define Microsoft’s future technology stack.
Dogu later co-founded Stambol Studios to help their clients innovate by combining creativity with the power of disruptive technologies and build experiences that bridge the gap between physical and digital realities. With decades of experience in creating interactive entertainment applications, inspiring and memorable virtual experiences, Stambol is poised to change the landscape in various industries with the power of immersive technologies.
Sam Mod is the co-founder and CEO of FreshWorks Studio, a full life-cycle, design & agile development company with offices in Victoria, Vancouver, and Seattle. Using agile delivery methods, FreshWorks Studio has built over 100 applications to date including and specializing in complex projects in the digital health space as part of the mission to solve problems and create value through remarkable digital experiences. The team has grown to 70+ employees in just three short years. Sam is a 2018 30 Under 30 winner and was named Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2019 RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards.
Leslie Dixon was raised in San Francisco by loving and delightful parents. An only child, her ego was stoked by all the attention, and she was encouraged, from an early age, to be a writer. A divorce rendered her home life financially difficult. On her own from the age of 18, she worked a series of menial jobs, too terrified of debt to go to college, but her strong and bratty ego remained intact. Her love of movies led her to move to Los Angeles, where she knew no one, to try to break into the film business.
Within two years she had sold her first script (never produced), and was now a working screenwriter. All her films have been major studio productions; her first was the comedy Outrageous Fortune, starring Bette Midler and Shelley Long. The movie’s critical and commercial success jump-started Leslie’s career. Other credits include Overboard, with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, Mrs. Doubfire with Robin Williams, The Thomas Crown Affair, with Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo, Freaky Friday with Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan, the musical Hairspray, with just about everybody, and Limitless, with Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro.
For many years, she resisted telling people that her grandparents were the photographer Dorothea Lange and the southwestern artist Maynard Dixon. They were dauntingly talented ancestors, and she felt she would never measure up. Also, she did not want people to think she came from money (Maynard and Dorothea’s work now sell for huge sums at Sotheby’s); the artists actually made no real money during their lifetimes. Leslie does, however, have fabulous baby pictures.
After many years in Los Angeles, a writing job at Pixar opened her eyes to the charms of living in Berkeley, where she now resides with her husband, documentary filmmaker Tom Ropelewski. She does not miss the L.A. traffic one bit.
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