I am incredibly excited to be taking the helm of the Academy following in the footsteps of the indomitable and legendary Helga Stephenson, and I look forward to working with you.
As you may know, I am returning to Canada after almost twenty years in New York City where I worked in theater, cable television, film and digital media. From my perspective as an expat returning to Canada, this industry has a great deal to celebrate. These include a news and documentary tradition that still manages to hold true to a journalistic through-line despite a massive global turn towards edutainment; continued unmatched creative excellence in children’s and youth programming; our long tradition of groundbreaking comedic writing and production; and the innovative work Canadian organizations and creators are doing in the interactive and virtual reality space.
In the scripted world of TV and film, our industry is changing at a rapid pace, with old models transforming before our eyes. And lest we bemoan this change, we should remember that it was a Canadian, Marshall McLuhan, who predicted that the medium would become the message. If we look past the immediate panic, we can see that with change comes the freedom to refocus on the craft of storytelling; to experiment with different revenue models, and to help to define excellence in storytelling regardless of the platform. This will not be an easy journey, but it is one I believe we should embrace and respond to as artists and business innovators.
In a world increasingly overwhelmed by content, celebrating excellence becomes even more important. It is in that spirit that I look forward to working with you to celebrate Canada’s brightest voices and the craftspeople and companies that bring our stories to the world.
Thank you for being a part of the movement!