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Each week, Canadians face off in fierce competition: racing across the country, looking for love, and cooking up delicious, original masterpieces. Hear from the creatives behind these competitions about bringing these shows to life, shooting on location, working with non-actors, and scripting “reality.”

Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Centre for Social Innovation | 192 Spadina Ave
Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
5:30pm Registration | 6pm – 7pm Academy Talks

Free for Academy Members, $30 for Non-Members. Academy Members may bring a guest.


Maureen Riley | Independent Show Runner, Producer, Writer, and Director
Maureen Riley is a kick ass content creator with years of experience and a couple of awards under her belt. Her background in documentary storytelling, comedy producing and a talent for working with unique personalities has solidified her position as one of Canada’s leading reality tv creatives working on hit series Big Brother Canada, Battle of the Blades, Canada Sings, Undercover Boss Canada and Canada’s Next Top Model. Her experience in the field of television also spans the world of sports (CTV Sports), specials (MTV Movie Awards Red Carpet Special, MTV Goes to the Calgary Stampede), comedy (Still Standing), lifestyle (Divine Design with Candice Olson) and awards shows (Gemini Awards, Genie Awards, Juno Awards, Canadian Screen Awards).

Maureen is a member of WIFT-T and The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. Her work had been recognized by the Gemini Awards, Reelscreen Awards and the Canadian Screen Awards. She is the recipient of a Canadian Screen Award for Best Factual Series in 2017 and a Rockie Award in 2018. 

Marianne Kushmaniuk | Independent Show Runner/Producer
Marianne Kushmaniuk is a multiple award-winning Producer/Show Runner who has worked in the television industry for more than 25 years.  During that time, she has produced shows across a broad range of genres that include documentary, docu-drama and reality television for major broadcasters around the globe such as Discovery (Canada and US), History (Canada and US), National Geographic, BBC, ITV, Tele-Images Nature, NHK and several more.  Reality series she has produced include Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan and Cold Water Cowboys. In addition to her work in broadcast television, Marianne has also produced, written and designed multiple projects for digital platforms.

Mark Lysakowski | Senior Vice President, Executive Producer, Insight TV
Over the past decade at Insight, Mark has worked on a number of award-winning productions including The Amazing Race Canada – the most-watched Canadian TV show on record – on which he serves as Executive Producer and showrunner. In addition to writing, producing, and developing new formats, Mark is a member of Insight’s executive team responsible for long term strategic planning and international business development.

Before the race Mark was at the helm of all six seasons of the ratings juggernaut Canadian Idol and was instrumental in the adaptation of the worldwide Idol franchise for the Canadian marketplace.  He also worked with Food Network Canada to bring NBC Universal’s Top Chef franchise to Canada and continues to oversee the series as Executive Producer. 

In addition to the regular series work Mark is known for his original and award-winning branded content. His ability to harmonize a client’s marketing strategy with the priorities of a show’s narrative results in dynamic, memorable opportunities for some of the world’s most recognizable brands.


Tina Apostolopoulos | Production Executive, Factual and Reality, Bell Media
Tina Apostolopoulos is a Production Executive, Factual and Reality on Bell Media’s Original Programming team. In this role, Tina works with Canadian production companies on the development and production of various original unscripted series and documentaries for Bell Media’s family of channels and platforms including CTV, Crave, Bravo, and Gusto.  Currently, Tina is production executive on CTV’s hit series Masterchef Canada and upcoming Mary’s Kitchen Crush.  She is also an executive on a variety of feature documentary programming for Crave including Anthropocene, Sharkwater Extinction, Carmine Street Guitars and The Woman Who Loves Giraffes. Prior to joining Bell Media, Tina was an independent director/producer for a number of award-winning, highly-rated reality and factual entertainment series such as So You Think You Can Dance Canada (CTV),Canadian Idol (CTV), and Project Runway Canada (GLOBAL).