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The Keys To Success


The Ryerson Entertainment Conference is the bridge between commerce and the creative industries. It’s REC’s vision to highlight the business potential in the entertainment, communications and media industries. This one of a kind conference has specifically been designed to welcome students from all programs and faculties who wish to pursue any career in the entertainment industry. This two-day conference includes team-building activities, industry workshops, networking events and keynote speaker presentations led by top industry professionals. We want you to have fun, be creative and learn not only from our conference but from the friends you’ll meet and your own experiences!

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David Zitzerman


David Zitzerman is a partner and head of the Entertainment Law Group at Goodmans.  His practice focuses on the film, television and interactive industries in Canada and the United States.  Clients include independent producers, Canadian networks, Hollywood studios, U.S. cable services, European broadcasters, film and TV distributors, publishers, game companies, talent guilds and agencies, writers and performers.  David is recognized as a leading entertainment lawyer by Lexpert and The Best Lawyers in Canada (2010 Toronto Entertainment Lawyer of the Year) and for media by Euromoney’s Best of the Best and the World’s Leading Technology, Media & Telecommunications Lawyers.  David regularly lectures on entertainment and media law at a number of educational institutions and associations and speaks at Canadian, U.S. and international entertainment-related seminars.  He is an Adjunct Professor teaching entertainment law at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. He has published a number of articles in entertainment law journals and is a co-author of “Entertainment Law in Canada” published by LexisNexis.   David is a director and member of Executive/Finance Committee of the Canadian Film Centre and is on the Program Advisory Committee of the Ryerson School of Radio & Television Arts and the Canadian Women in Communications Digital Convergence Executive Program.  He is a member of Film Ontario, the Canadian Media Production Association, the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, the Canadian Association of Recording Artists and the Toronto International Film Festival Fundraising Committee.

Alison Uttley


Alison is a marketer, educator, consultant, and community leader. She specializes in the arts sector and is currently the Associate Director of Marketing at Luminato, having previously worked in marketing and communications at TIFF and Canadian Stage. As a consultant, Alison helps women launch their companies and teaches marketing at George Brown College’s School of Continuing Education. Alison is passionate about driving social change too. She is a Branch Director at Why Should I Care? where she hosts monthly conversations about topical political issues with the goal of inspiring greater civic engagement. She was shortlisted for Marketing magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 in Canada in 2015.

Eric Alper


Eric Alper is the Director of Media Relations for eOne Music Canada, and the host of SiriusXM’s ThatEricAlper show. He’s also CTV’s music correspondent and a regular contributor to CBC Radio, AM 640 in Toronto, Country 92.9 in Chatham-Kent, and CJBK AM in London among others. He’s also been named to Billboard Magazine, Paste Magazine and The National Post’s best on social media. With over 840,000 followers on Twitter and over 20,000 fans on Facebook while ThatEricAlper now receives over 125,000 hits a week, he is one of the country’s authority on music.  Through eOne, Eric has handled the PR for such artists as Bob Geldof, Randy Bachman, The Cult, Ringo Starr, Slash, The Wiggles, Bush, Steve Earle, Snoop Dogg, The Smashing Pumpkins, Ray Charles, Little Steven, Sinead O’Connor, Sesame Street among hundreds of others over his 20 years in the music industry.

Marianas Trench



Since their 2006 debut, Fix Me, the Vancouver, BC-based four piece have had two Certified Platinum-selling records (Masterpiece Theatre, Ever After), chart topping hits including ‘Fallout,’ ‘Haven’t Had Enough,’ and ‘Stutter,’ garnered multiple SOCAN and MMVA Awards, number 1 videos on MuchMusic, and JUNO nominations, and won the 2013 JUNO Award for Group of the Year.

Over time Marianas Trench have toured relentlessly in Canada and globally; headlining tours in Australia and New Zealand, and the US. They’ve also headlined events at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, as well as in the Philippines and South Korea.

Dr. Irene S. Berkowitz


Dr. Irene S. Berkowitz is an MBA Instructor in Ryerson’s Ted Rogers School of Management. Berkowitz emerged, in 2014, as a national thought leader on Canadian TV in the digital era, based on her testimony at CRTC’s Let’s Talk TV, and is personally recognized, twice, in CRTC’s key decision on content, The Way Forward of March 2015. Her perspectives are frequently requested in print, online, TV and radio, such as The Globe and Mail, Playback, The Wire Report, Yahoo Finance, BNN, Sirius XM, CFRB, CJOB, and CBC News. Berkowitz’s frame-breaking doctoral research on content innovation, which interviewed Canadian A-list Hollywood showrunners in Hollywood, has been called trailblazing. Her policy work is informed by award- winning industry experience as a TV development executive and content creator. In addition to a PhD from Ryerson University, Berkowitz holds an MA from University of Chicago, a BA from Cornell University – and can’t wait to up her innovation game this May, with a week on the Google campus in Mountain View, California, at Singularity University’s Executive Program, where a goal is to ride in driverless car.

Liam Killeen


Liam Killeen started in the music industry drumming for pop-punk band Not By Choice in 2002. The band released their first single Standing All Alone (Linus/Warner) and hit the road for a year and a half. The band won their first MuchMusic Video Award in 2003 for their single Now That You Are Leaving, and also appeared on two editions of MuchMusic’s Big Shiny Tunes compilations. Not By Choice released two albums, enjoyed two top-ten singles, and toured internationally with Sum 41, Simple Plan, Avril Lavigne, and many other acts. 
Liam joined the management team at Coalition Music in early 2009. Currently he manages USS (Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker), Zubin Thakkar, The Proud Sons, and Greig Nori. He strives to find new and exciting opportunities to build the careers of his artists in the ever-changing industry. 
Liam has also been dedicated to educating emerging artists and artist managers with regards to treating their art as a business via Canada’s Music Incubators Artist Manager program and Bootcamps.
Laura Kennedy

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Laura is a member of the Canadian Public Relations Society and has worked in the industry in both agency and corporate roles. Prior to joining Republic Live, the producers of the Boots and Hearts Music Festival, Laura was the Director of Public Relations for Primary Health Care Services from 2008 – 20012 after returning to Canada from Ireland where she had lived for close to a decade and managed her own PR firm. LK PR in Cork Ireland specialized in media relations, event management, promotions and guerilla marketing and included clients such as Aiken Promotions, Mustang Jeans, Mercier Press, Pfizer and Subway. Prior to opening LK PR, Laura worked for global PR firms in Cork and Toronto where she developed integrated strategies for accounts including Vodafone, Corona Extra, Cork Midsummer Festival, Coca-Cola, Timex, Guess, Levi’s, Johnnie Walker, Altoid Mints and many more.

Laura’s work with Republic Live and Aiken Promotions relates specifically to concerts and music festivals and she has been fortunate enough to work on some very exciting events with some of the most talented artists around the world.

Suzanne Keppler

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Suzanne Keppler has worked with the Canada Media Fund for 13 years, reporting on funded projects and project financing. Her expertise is in statistical analysis of policy decisions. Suzanne also provides advice to consultants studying media industry trends. Canada Media Fund is right in the heart of a changing industry through its funding support and Suzanne tells the data stories.

Sharon Barnes

Sharon moved to Canada from Jamaica in 2003, and has since received her CPA, CGA and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA). She has held previous positions as Senior Accountant of Maersk Canada Inc and Senior Financial Analyst at The Regional Municipality of Peel. Sharonhas held volunteer roles with Circle K International and Kiwanis International and more recently with the United Achievers Community Services Inc as well as CPA Ontario. On her limited spare time, Sharon does her ‘Natural Remedies to Keep Healthy’ blog.

Sharon Barnes


Lola began writing as a journalist for in early 2005. Shortly after she became writing director for the site where she managed a team of approximately 14 writers and contributors, assigned content and edited the interviews. To date, Lola has contributed to several other publications and has had two published columns “Ask Lola” in Swagg News Magazine and “On the Go With Lola” in CreamWorld Magazine. She also contributed to from 2008-2009 and was the first to introduce to the public award winning artists The Dream, B.O.B. and Yelawolf. From her early beginnings until today, Lola has interviewed the likes of The Black Eyed Peas, T.I., 50 Cent, Fabolous, Rick Ross, Chamillionaire, The Dream, B.O.B., Yelawolf, Dead Prez and many several others. 

In early 2009, Lola started her own media marketing company, Lola Media Group with as the online marketing arm. As a marketing company, ILUVLOLA works with a wide variety of artists in increasing their online presence and bridging the gap between the artist and the fan, with a focus on delivering new content and building relationships between the two. Creating private events, exclusive Meet and Greets and autograph signings, intimate shows and especially live performances are some of the most important aspects of catering to an artists’ growing fan base. Planning and co-ordinating concerts in the past with performers like Big Sean, Rich Hil, A$AP Rocky, French Montana, Chief Keef, Trinidad James, Fat Trel, A$AP Ferg and more, the key is a grassroots approach working 1 on 1 with the artist to create anticipation therefore building the right branding behind each event.

Currently Lola Media Group is working with several clients on a consulting basis offering the highest level of artist management, event planning and branding initiatives.