Keynotes

Edward Greenspon
President and CEO of the Public Policy Forum, a non-profit Canadian thinktank, Edward Greenspon worked as founding editor of globeandmail.com and Editor-in-Chief of the Globe & Mail and in numerous prominent media roles, over the past 30 years from the Lloydminster Times to Bloomberg News. He is the co-author of two books on Canadian politics. In 2017, he authored The Shattered Mirror on news, democracy and trust, followed by Democracy Divided: Countering Disinformation and Hate in the Digital Public Sphere, co-authored with Taylor Owen. Democracy Divided offered policy options that respond to the policy challenges from digital platforms. Under Greenspon, the Public Policy Forum has produced a number of important studies, including its recent Commission on Democratic Expression chaired by former Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice Beverly McLachlan and its January 2021 report, Harms Reduction: a six-step program to protect democratic expression online.

Joan Jenkinson
Joan is the inaugural Executive Director of the Black Screen Office where she works to support Black Canadians in developing talent, accessing funding, and in assuming decision-making roles in television, film and digital media. She fosters relationships with federal funding agencies, broadcasters and distributors to eliminate anti-Black racism in the screen industries. Joan is a founding Partner/Producer at Artemis Pictures which is focused on developing and producing high-end scripted content for television and the cinema, for international audiences. Joan was Vice-President of Independent Production for ZoomerMedia Limited, Television Division. She commissioned, developed and executive produced hundreds of hours of award-winning creative content in all genres for VisionTV. Joan spearheaded VisionTV’s ground-breaking DiverseTV/NSI initiative which produced award-winning comedy and drama programs and earned her a Visionary Award from the ReelWorld Film Festival. For five years, Joan served as Executive Director of Women in Film and Television - Toronto (WIFT-T), where she established professional development training and networking opportunities for women in screen-based media.

Sharon McGowan
Sharon McGowan is a founding member and past president of Women in Film and Television Vancouver and serves on the board of directors as Co-Chair of its Advocacy Committee. She is well known for her leadership in the movement for gender equity in the Canadian film and television industry and her advocacy work has included decades of analysis and lobbying of Canadian funding agencies, regulators, and unions to increase equity and diversity. She serves on the Telefilm Canada Gender Parity Working Group and is a founding member of the newly formed WIFT Canada Coalition. Sharon’s background is as an award-winning documentary writer and director and as an independent producer of internationally recognized feature films. Sharon is also a committed industry educator. She has an MFA in Film Studies and is an Associate Professor at UBC where she served for several years as Chair of the Film Production Program and Associate Head of the Department of Theatre and Film. She has also served as a mentor and workshop leader for many national industry organizations and training programs.

Susan Brinton
Susan Brinton has decades of experience in film and television policy and analysis in Canada, and is nationally respected as an expert and spokesperson in this area. Her background includes senior management roles in the Canadian private broadcasting sector and federal public funding agencies. Susan has been a policy consultant and led producer-focused international export development initiatives for the Canadian Media Producers Association and other industry organizations. As Co-Chair of the Advocacy Committee for Women in Film and Television Vancouver (WIFTV), Susan has been a vital leader in many of its successful advocacy initiatives. She is a founding member of WIFT Canada and is currently the Vice President of WIFT International. Susan is also a member of the Women in Production Steering Committee for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). Susan holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree and a Master’s degree in Communications, is the author of numerous industry reports and publications and has lectured on creative industry policy for both Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia.

Jesse Wente
Jesse Wente is an Anishinaabe writer, broadcaster, speaker and arts leader. Born and raised in Toronto, his family comes from Chicago and Genaabaajing Anishinaabek and he is a member of the Serpent River First Nation. Jesse is best known for more than two decades spent as a columnist for CBC Radio's Metro Morning. Jesse was with the Toronto International Film Festival for 11 years, the last seven as the director of film programmes at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. An outspoken advocate for Indigenous rights and First Nations, Métis and Inuit art, he has spoken at the International Forum of Indigenous Peoples, Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, the Canadian Arts Summit, the Cultural Summit of the Americas, and numerous Universities and Colleges. Jesse has served on the board of directors of the Toronto Arts Council, The ImagineNative Film and Media Festival and Native Earth Performing Arts. In summer 2020 he was appointed Chair of the Canada Council for the Arts, the only First Nations person to ever hold the position. Jesse is currently finishing his first book for Penguin Random House Canada. Jesse was named the first Executive Director of the Indigenous Screen Office in February 2018. Playback Magazine named Jesse the trailblazer of the year for 2020, and he was also included on Maclean's Magazine's Power List for 2020 and Toronto Life's list of the most influential Torontonians of 2020.

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