Michel Roy, Telefilm Canada‘s Chair of the Board, is proud to announce the names of the five business leaders who will drive the pan-Canadian honorary committee for its new Talent Fund. The role of honorary committee members will be to raise the visibility of the private donation fund among potential donors, as well as to find inventive ways to inspire corporations to invest in Canada’s audiovisual industry.
- David Aisenstat, owner & CEO, Keg Restaurants Ltd. (British Columbia)
- Hartley Richardson, President & CEO, James Richardson & Sons, Limited (Manitoba)
- Dr. Anil Gupta, Medical Director of Clinical Cardiology, Trillium Health Centre (Ontario)
- Micheline Bouchard, Corporate Director, (Quebec)
- Mark Dobbin, Founder & President, Killick Capital Inc. (Newfoundland and Labrador)
“Within the context of today’s financing challenges for the industry, we are committed to finding innovative options to fulfill our investor role by offering the Canadian industry new tools to help it diversify its funding sources,” said Carolle Brabant, Telefilm Canada’s Executive Director. “The expertise, experience and prestige of our five inaugural honorary committee members, who hail from across the country and who represent a diversity of business sectors, will greatly strengthen the mandate of our Talent Fund. We are truly honoured to have them aboard.”
Vinay Virmani, co-writer and star of Robert Lieberman’s cross-cultural hockey hit Breakaway added: “I am proud to be one of the first donors to the Fund. Personally, working with Telefilm allowed me to realize my dream of making a film. And now I want to help give that opportunity to another Canadian talent.”
John Young, Managing Director of Temple Street Productions, is also an early contributor to the Fund. The Toronto-based company’s interest in the project complements their ongoing work as co-founders of ‘The City Life Film Project’ – a mentor-based filmmaking program for underprivileged youth. “Temple Street has been fortunate to benefit from the support provided to the production industry; we feel it’s important to play our part in giving back. There is a lot of filmmaking talent in Canada waiting to be developed and we’re excited to join Telefilm in creating new avenues of support.”
This announcement follows recent news that the private donation fund has been officially recognized by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) as a Certified Independent Production Fund, as well as has been endorsed by The Honourable Perrin Beatty, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canada’s most influential business association.
On March 2, at the Prime Time in Ottawa conference, Telefilm announced the launch of a new private donation fund consisting of two streams: one stream will provide better support to promising emerging filmmakers while the other is aimed at established filmmakers and will seek to help them achieve their full potential both in Canada and abroad.
By drawing on companies as well as on individual donors interested in supporting the production, distribution and promotion of Canadian feature films—investors who will at the same time benefit from proportional tax deductions or credits—the fund will help foster the success of Canadian cinema.
Once fully up and running, Telefilm estimates that the Fund could be endowed with an annual budget of $5 million, a significant amount that producers could use to leverage other investment dollars. The fund will also lead to the creation of some 150 jobs every year through the support of new productions.
Telefilm will administer investments from the private sector, with these investments to be covered in a separate annual report. The fund will incur management expenses of less than 5%.
Honorary Committee Member Bio Information
- David Aisenstat, owner & CEO, Keg Restaurants Ltd. (British Columbia) – Mr. Aisenstat is the owner and CEO of the Keg Steakhouse & Bar, Canada’s premier casual dining brand, as well as of a variety of other well-known restaurants. He also contributes to a number of organizations, including Action Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Canadian Youth Business Foundation.
- Hartley Richardson, C.M., O.M., President & CEO, James Richardson & Sons, Limited (Manitoba) – Mr. Richardson is the seventh family President of James Richardson & Sons, Limited, a private, family-owned Canadian corporation, established in 1857 and headquartered in Winnipeg. The Firm is involved in the international grain trade and agri-foods business, real estate, energy, financial services and investments. A graduate of the University of Manitoba, he also serves as Director of GMP Capital Inc. and Canadian Pacific Railway, and is Chairman of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives.
- Dr. Anil Gupta, Medical Director of Clinical Cardiology, Trillium Health Centre (Ontario) – Dr. Gupta is Staff Cardiologist at the Trillium Health Centre in Mississauga and Etobicoke. He is also a lecturer at the University of Toronto and the Chair of Continuing Medical Education for the Greater Toronto Area Community Cardiologists (GTACC). Anil Gupta has been a Council member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada as well as of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS).
- Micheline Bouchard, Corporate Director (Quebec) – Ms. Bouchard currently serves on the Board of Directors of TELUS Corporation, Harry Winston Diamond Corporation and PSP Investments. She is a former President and Chief Executive Officer of ART Advanced Research Technologies, and was also Global Corporate Vice-President, Enterprise Services, at the head office of Motorola Inc. in Chicago after serving as President and Chief Executive Officer of Motorola Canada in Toronto. Ms. Bouchard is a member of the Order of Canada and the National Order of Quebec.
- Mark Dobbin, Founder & President, Killick Capital Inc. (Newfoundland and Labrador) – Before founding Killick Capital Inc., Mr. Dobbin was Chairman and CEO of Vector Aerospace Corporation, a globally-recognized aviation repair and overhaul company. Prior to Vector he was employed at CHC Helicopter Corporation, the world’s largest helicopter company – serving as Senior Vice President and then as Chair of the Board of Directors (from 2006 to 2008). He is a Board member for Killick’s investee companies, which include Plasco Energy Group, Max Arts-Athletics-Wellness, Avatas Aerospace, Verafin Inc. and Greyfirst Corporation.
The honorary committee will be guided by Canadian film financing expert Sheila O’Gorman. She has been instrumental in securing millions of dollars in private funding for Canadian productions.