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.

Lola Plaku


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.

Sebastien Ebacher
 SPEAKER FRAMESSebastian Ebacher

Sebastien has been a Producer for Ubisoft Montreal for the last 11 years, working on AAA video game productions such as Splinter Cell, The Division and Rainbow Six.

He recently founded the company arnoovo, an immersive technology and production company, with the ambition of being a pioneer and world leader in the live vr-oadcasting industry. They recently did the live vroadcast of the Finals of the World Junior Hockey Championship, the first major event in Canada to be live broadcast in virtual reality.

For the last 14 years, he has been active in many aspects of the game industry, starting as a video game and multimedia industry analyst for the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. In 2004, he also acted as the CEO of Artmedia Studios, a video game and web design studio. Sebastien holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Montreal, specializing in Information Economy.

Emma Hartley

Emma Hartley

Emma Hartley has been developing dramatic scripted content for 15 years.

Starting her career in London, Emma held the position of Head of Development for Vertigo Films, where she worked across a large slate of independent, genre-led feature films. Early on, she found her passion for working with distinctive new voices and developed such debut features as: Gareth Edwards’ Monsters (who went on to direct Godzilla and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), The Killing Gene by writer Clive Bradley and director Tom Shankland (who respectively and recently wrote Icelandic noir Trapped and series directed The Missing) and on Bronson worked with Nicolas Winding Refn. (Drive, The Neon Demon) on his English-language debut.

Currently the Director of Development for Muse Entertainment Canada, Emma works across talent tracking, project selection, development and packaging for a slate of TV projects aimed at a global audience. Emma has recently earned development credits on shows such as Bomb Girls (Global), After Camelot (Reelz) and Bellevue (CBC).

Douglas Nyback

Douglas Nyback

Douglas Nyback is an actor/writer/producer and co-founder of Monolith Pictures. A graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York, Douglas is an award winning screenwriter, story editor and script advisor with four screenplays in various stages of development and pre-production. He is also the Head Resident Coach and Artistic Associate at Armstrong Acting Studios in Toronto.

In addition to his experience a producer, screenwriter and acting coach, Douglas brings an extensive resume to the table as a performer. He recently wrapped the first season of the Ben Affleck/Matt Damon produced CBS/SyFy series “Incorporated”, as well as leading rolls in the feature films “Skin” and “The Dancing Dogs of Dombrova”. He recently had guest starring and recurring roles on Hell on Wheels, Defiance, Reign, Murdoch Mysteries, Haven, Copper, Warehouse 13 and The Firm. Some of his feature film credits include HBO’s Kit Kittredge: An American Girl and Jim Sheridan’s Dream House. He is also an established theatre performer with roles in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and the Odyssey at the official Shakespearean Theatre of Maine and Picasso at the Lapin Agile at the Manchester Theatre of Connecticut.

Michael Hollett


Michael Hollett

Michael Hollett co-founded Toronto’s NOW Magazine, North America’s largest alternative newsweekly in 1981 and he co-founded that city’s North by Northeast (NXNE) music and technology festival and conference in 1995, one of the biggest in Canada, with partners from Austin’s SXSW.

NXNE has become one of the most important music festivals in the world, growing dramatically over its almost quarter of a century. It remains an essential event for discovering new music as well as gaining an international reputation for showcasing some of the world’s top emerging bands in spectacular setting.

Hollett was NOW’s editor/publisher for over 35 years until he resigned in July, 2016 to focus on NXNE fulltime. As editor/publisher, Hollett helped shaped NOW’s editorial vision as well as leading it on the business side. He regularly wrote for the magazine, especially on music, politics and culture.

He has travelled the world for stories and to attend music festivals. His interview subjects include: Robert Plant, Neil Young, Yoko Ono, Woody Harrelson, The Tragically Hip, Suzanne Vega, Blue Rodeo, Robbie Robertson, Norman Mailer, Gay Talese, Frank McCourt, Gill Scott Heron, Joni Mitchell, James Brown and many more including up and coming musicians and, municipal, provincial and national politicians.. He has covered dozens of municipal, federal and provincial elections, traveled to Austin, Texas with Toronto mayors Rob Ford and John Tory and covered the Olympics in Beijing in 2008.

Hollett remains a key player on the Toronto, Canadian and international music scene and has been a founding board member of Music Canada Live, an advocacy group for the Canadian live music industry, since 2014. He has helped the City of Toronto’s Music City initiative and has been critical in connecting the official and ad hoc music communities of Toronto and Austin, Texas as well as those in other cities.

He was also a board member of the Association of Alterative Newsmedia (AAN) from 2009 until 2016.


Samantha Slattery

SPEAKER FRAMES.psdsamantha

Samantha Slattery is the Owner and Principal at Capital Presents, a music festival and entertainment production company, specializing in the strategic, legal and administrative elements of live music events.

Sam is also the Founder and Executive Director of Women in Music Canada, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering gender equality in the Canadian music industry.

Sam’s music industry experience has focused primarily on promoting, working for 15+ years producing music festivals throughout North America and the UK, including Coachella Music Festival (US), Reading & Leeds Festival (UK), Homeland Festival (UK), Stagecoach Music Festival (US) Virgin Music Festival (CAN), to name a few.  In addition, Sam also spent a number of years as a manager at Nettwerk Management’s UK office, working for major label multi-platinum artist. Though based in Toronto, she continues to spend significant time in the US and UK with international clients.

David Henriquez


David Henriquez is a marketing and advertising professional working in the tech field. Currently, he is working in Ad Operations managing Canada’s ad space on the free tier of the Spotify music platform. Being a data junkie at heart, David held a similar position at VICE Canada managing multiple sites under the company such as VICE News, Noisey and Munchies. One of David’s few passion projects at the moment is working with Spotify’s data analytics and seeing how music and data provide a more personalized user experiences. Outside of work, David is driven by design and architecture, producing music, DJing and being an amateur chef at home. To leave you with something, here are David’s top music recommendations and what you’ll find him listening to: “Fresh Finds” playlist, “Awaken, My Love!” album by Childish Gambino, Bonobo and Canada’s very own KAYTRANADA.


Blair Renaud


Blair Renaud is everywhere in VR. Founding three VR start-ups in the last two years, including IRIS VR (a VR game studio); Quantum Capture (creating photo-realistic digital humans); and Occupied VR, one of Canada’s leading VR client service companies. He is currently is working on multiple VR titles for the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, Sony Morpheus, and the HTC Vive. Titles range from his Cyberpunk adventure game Technolust, to experiences based on the works of director David Cronenberg in co-production with the CFC.


Blair Renaud


Blair Renaud is everywhere in VR. Founding three VR start-ups in the last two years, including IRIS VR (a VR game studio); Quantum Capture (creating photo-realistic digital humans); and Occupied VR, one of Canada’s leading VR client service companies. He is currently is working on multiple VR titles for the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, Sony Morpheus, and the HTC Vive. Titles range from his Cyberpunk adventure game Technolust, to experiences based on the works of director David Cronenberg in co-production with the CFC.


Jeremy von Hollen

SPEAKER FRAMES.psdJeremy Von Hollen

In his ten-year career in the music industry, Jeremy has worked as a music supervisor, notably on the Canadian TV series Degrassi: The Next Generation, as well as in the royalties department at Sony Music Canada. He has always been an advocate of copyright laws, fairness and Canadian music prosperity. Jeremy has always championed the indie musician and artist, advising and helping whenever he could.

Jeremy is the international accounts administrator at Re:Sound in Toronto, Canada. Re:Sound is the Canadian not-for-profit music licensing company dedicated to obtaining fair compensation for artists and record companies for their performance rights. Jeremy works with international bilateral agreements ensuring cooperation and Canadian representation in many territories worldwide.

Jeremy is tied intrinsically to the arts, from his hobbies in amateur astrophotography, singing and drawing, to his love of live country, orchestral music and art galleries. He looks forward to the growing digital and international artistic collaboration movements expanding throughout the world.

Pixie Black


Pixie has enjoyed a dynamic and exciting career in film and television for over 27 years.  She is currently Cineflix’s Head of Production Talent.  As Head of Talent for Canada and the US, Pixie is responsible for overseeing the recruitment of key creative personnel including directors, producers and writers for Cineflix’s emerging production division which includes hit shows like The Property Brothers, American Pickers and Mayday.

Pixie’s forged strong connections with TV professionals across North America in all aspects of the entertainment business.  She’s watched the industry evolve from traditional broadcast based formats to the ever-evolving world of digital. Pixie believes that we’re in a time of rapid innovation and that digital platforms, distribution and OTT are the future for content consumers and content creators.




STACEY is a Toronto based musician & songwriter, Founder of the Toronto Women in Music collective, and a Senior User Experience Designer at Huge Inc. She has had her songs published in various television series including Lucifer, Orphan Black, Degrassi and more. STACEY is about to release her sophomore EP, ‘First Move’, this Spring. As the founder and leader of Toronto Women in Music, she books private speaking events for the membership (now over 1000), and also throws several public showcases per year, with the help of a small core team.

Creative inspiration : Human Emotions

Personal fun fact : She holds a degree in Industrial Engineering & a minor in Bioengineering from the University of Toronto

Future of music :  I believe more artists will be empowered to create & succeed on a DIY level. As for how people consume music, your guess is as good as mine! Now that streaming is here in full force, I can’t imagine anything that makes music more accessible.

Sacha Miller

SPEAKER FRAMES.psdSacha Miller

Sacha Miller is the founder of Work Late Inc., a music marketing and publicity company specializing in music festivals and events. She currently works with WayHome, Boots & Hearts, Canadian Music Week, Festival d’été and M for Montreal. With over 10 years of experience in the industry, she has been invited to speak on a number of panels including SXSW, POP Montreal, M for Montreal. She looks forward to the upcoming discussion at #REC17.

Paul Mcgrath


Paul Mcgrath is the Director of Digital Content at CBC.  In this role he’s focused on getting the best content to the largest audiences for drama, comedy, lifestyle, kids, parents and other genres.

He’s also heavily involved in CBC’s digital strategy, the CBC’s Creator Network, and the CBC’s presence on Facebook and YouTube.

Ashley Lewis


Ashley Lewis is a Maker and Youth Tech Educator. Her first leap into making started with The Obama Board, a keyboard that swaps the sound of the note with a word from Barack Obama’s inauguration speech. The project was featured at the Detroit Maker Faire for 20,000 people, won Make Magazine Editor’s Choice and was highlighted on Barack Obama’s official website.

Lewis spent the next year leading the ground­-up development of Girls Learning Code, a company aimed to encourage more young women to learn technological skills to help close the gender gap in the field. She has designed educational coding and robotics content for the TIFF Bell Lightbox. For the past two years Ashley has acted as production lead for the feature art installation at the TIFF DigiPlaySpace, Canada’s largest interactive festival for kids.

Ashley’s previous roles have included Digital Media Production at TVO, web content for Mozilla and event hosting for NASA Space Apps, to name a few. Lewis has been featured as a Tech Activist in Metro News and has highlighted diverse tech education as a keynote speaker on numerous occasions for audiences at TEDx, FITC, International Women’s Day and Maker Faire.

In 2014 she was profiled in Reader’s Digest for Spark Makers, her maker culture meets girl guides start up. Spark Makers was also featured at Google Geek Street’s youth tech festival and has travelled as far as Johannesburg, South Africa to teach at the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival. Lewis also currently works at Ryerson University, aiding students in the exploration of art through code, laser cutting and 3D printing.  In 2016 Ashley was listed in the Top 100 Black Women to Watch in Canada. She feels honoured to have had the opportunity to help more than 2,000 youth learn how to code to date.

Mary Lewis


Mary Lewis is a writer, director, actress, and teacher.

Mary’s film When Ponds Freeze Over made history in Canada by winning the best film award in all of TIFF, AIFF, and VIFF in the same year, as well as close to a dozen other national and international awards including a Canadian Genie in 1999. She wrote, directed, produced, and animated.  It explores a unique animation-live action hybrid that was further explored in other winning films such as Come Into My Parlour and The Sparky Book.

Mary was the recipient of the Newfoundland and Labrador Artist of the Year Award in 1999.  She received a Gemini in 2000 for Clothesline Patch, which she directed. Her films have been awarded Best Short Film awards in Toronto, Vancouver, Atlantic, Cinequest, Dawson City, Chicago, and Laguna Beach International Film Festivals, Columbus, Yorkton, and Excellence in Screenwriting at Flicks International Film Festivals.

Mary has acted professionally since childhood. She has appeared on radio, stage and screen in Canada and abroad. She trained at the National Theatre School, the Canadian Film Centre, studied at Le Petit Seminaire de Quebec, Memorial University of Newfoundland, and York University. Mary was born in Uganda, raised in Newfoundland and she now divides her time between Toronto and St. John’s.  She is a member of ACTRA, and the Writer’s Guild of Canada.

Taku Dazai - Walter Klassen

Walter Klassen FX

Taku graduated from the Interdisciplinary program from OCAD in 1997. Then spent the next 20 years at Walter Klassen FX which was founded in 1988 by mechanical engineer Walter Klassen, with origins in the props and special effects industry, the shop has worked on leading films and television shows while expanding into a product line of bespoke camera stabilizing equipment and accessories. With work as innovative and creative as the crew who work there, Walter Klassen FX is a landmark institution in the Toronto film and camera equipment industry.

Some of Walter Klassen’s list of projects include Mad Max, Suicide Squad, Star Trek Beyond & Many more…

Tom Goudie


Tom Goudie brings a unique blend of creative marketing, strategy and planning to any boardroom table by combining 12 years as a partner at one of North America’s leading commercial audio production company combined with 15 years, front and center at five of Toronto’s premiere advertising agencies. He also has a Specialist in Economics from the University of Toronto.

Tom has won hundreds of awards worldwide for his work in radio, television, outdoor and print. Including One Show, Marketing, Communications Arts, London International Awards and Cannes credits. 

His experience touches virtually every major service and packaged good category. Including beer, technology, retail, banking and automotive. Hand-picked by Pirate to direct, write and help manage their creative department, Tom’s depth of experience has grown exponentially over the past decade and he has become a much sought-after commercial audio director.

Comfortable working in all areas of marketing, Tom continues to write and advise a very selective group of direct clients and continues to be hired by leading multinational agencies for project work as well.

Combo Bravo


Jon Riera and Connor Illsley met 6 years ago at Sheridan studying film. After years of collaborating on projects they formed Combo Bravo, a technology driven production house with a focus on narrative storytelling, specializing in virtual reality and 360 video. Jon, is an established director of short film, music video and commercials. Connor is an editor, sound designer, and post production Jedi. Together they focus on bringing great stories to life with cutting edge immersive  technology. Last year they travelled to Uganda, China, Germany, Ethiopia and all over Canada working with charities, brands, and agencies.

As Sheridan film students Jon Riera and Connor Illsley formed Combo Bravo after years of working on projects together. Their focuses are in technology driven production with a focus on narrative storytelling, specializing in virtual reality and 360 video.