Meet Canada’s Funders: Who's funding, what are they funding and who is eligible.



Panel and discussion. Note that the panel will be followed by smaller meetings with individual funders. Sign ups will be available at the panel.


Christine Larsen
VWF Board of Directors

Media insider Christine is the latest addition as Co-Chair to the VWF family. Christine is a veteran media business consultant, with an extensive background at Creative BC and BC Film. For more than a decade, she has managed industry relationships for development funding, digital media strategies, broadcast and distribution. Christine is a former Executive Board member for Women in Film & Television Vancouver (WIFTV) where she served for 2 years and is the 2016 recipient of the prestigious WIFTV Wayne Black Service Award.


Nathalie Clermont
Director of Program Management, CMF

Nathalie Clermont has worked for more than twenty years in the film and television industry, with extensive experience in financing. She acts as a key advisor on CMF policies and programs, ensures consistency in service standards and the application process, and ensures that file analysis is accurate, fair, and consistent, in accordance with the CMF guidelines. Previously, Ms. Clermont was team leader of the Business Affairs Unit at the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC) for 15 years. Ms. Clermont holds a B.A. in Film, Communications, and Public Relations from the Université de Montréal.


Andra Sheffer
CEO, Independent Production Fund


The IPF invests in the production of scripted drama series created for any platform - digital or traditional television.

She was the founding Executive Director of the Bell Fund (1997-2014) which supports interactive digital media projects associated with Canadian television programs. Previously, she was the founding Executive Director of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television producing the annual Genie and Gemini Awards (now the Canadian Screen Awards). She lectures on the business of television and digital media and is the editor of publications about the business of TV and digital media production: New Media, New Business: The Producer’s Guide (2001), Create a Winning Proposal – the Handbook for New Media Producers (1999) and the co-editor of MAKING IT: The business of film and television production in Canada (1986 & 1995).

She also served as Managing Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, with the federal government as a Certification Officer setting up the original CAVCO office (and Canadian content “point” system), and at the Film Festivals Bureau promoting Canadian films internationally. She has been awarded the Digital Media Trail Blazer award by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, the Champion of Digital Innovation Tribute at Merging Media , an Award of Excellence by the Digi Awards, an Outstanding Achievement Award  from the Youth Media Alliance, and has been inducted as an Industry Builder into the Playback Hall of Fame.

She is a member of the Board of Directors of Interactive Ontario and of Women in Film and Television (WIFT-Toronto) and of SIRT (Sheridan Screen Industries Research and Training Centre).


Elizabeth Friesen, 
Executive Director, Telus Fund

Elizabeth Friesen is Executive Director of the TELUS Fund overseeing finance, administration, operations and program design.  Elizabeth is also a certified Project Management Professional and brings more than 25 years of senior leadership experience and a proven set of tools and techniques to her consulting engagements. In 2010, Elizabeth obtained a Masters Certificate in Project Management from York University and Prosci certification as a Change Management Professional. She has since managed implementation of a renewed medical education curriculum at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine, analysis of distributed education alternatives for the Province of Alberta, and the launch of a new channel for Knowledge Network.  Langara College and CMPA have also engaged Elizabeth to facilitate meetings and build consensus across complex stakeholder groups. Former senior positions include Chief Operating Officer at Telefilm Canada where Elizabeth was responsible for a +$100M portfolio of media investments. She also led English, French and International Operations, research and strategic planning, and the launch of innovative public private initiatives.


John Dippong

National Project Lead, Western Region and Ontario

John Dippong is National Project Lead – Western Region and Ontario, based in Telefilm Canada’s Vancouver office.  He is responsible for identifying and implementing regional strategies, partnerships and special initiatives, and managing Telefilm’s Promotion Program.  John was also Western Region Feature Film Executive for 12 years, where he was responsible for managing Telefilm’s portfolio of feature film development and production decisions.  Prior to joining Telefilm, John worked in feature film production and film festival organization and programming.



Christine Chiu
Analyst, CreativeBC

Christine is an analyst in the development department for the Project Development Fund, Passport to Markets and International Industry Initiatives programs.

Prior to working at Creative BC, Christine worked for ten years in the business affairs departments at various film and television production companies in Vancouver and Toronto. She also worked in film and TV distribution sales in Toronto and Hong Kong.

In her spare time, she can be found hiking, practicing yoga or watching television.


Kim Guise
Director of Local and Original Programming, Telus

Kim Guise oversees a multi-million dollar portfolio supporting BC and Alberta filmmakers and organizations. Since joining TELUS in 2013, Kim has played a key role in setting TELUS’ local content strategy and enabling TELUS to be an innovator and leader in local programming and the creative industries. Kim is passionate about enabling people from diverse backgrounds and experiences to tell stories that are meaningful to them and their communities.

Before joining TELUS, Kim spent 10 years in the western office of Telefilm Canada, a crown corporation that makes equity investments in Canadian content projects. Prior to that, Kim was a financial services lawyer at a national business law firm, with a practice that combined secured lending and entertainment law.

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Suzanne Lacey
Program Manager Bell Fund

Prior to the Bell Fund Suzanne held numerous management positions in the media industry from project management to broadcast scheduling and executive in charge of production for factual and dramatic series.  A Queen's Film graduate, Suzanne was a decision maker at the Hot Docs Industry Forum for several years and has a certificate in Digital Media from OCAD.