As Canadian television is finding more success in other markets, the international spotlight is increasingly shining on our homegrown talent. Hear about the business of broadcasting from the industry’s luminaries.
Featuring Mary Walsh (This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Hatching, Matching and Dispatching), Jordan Canning (Schitt’s Creek), Sherren Lee (Hudson and Rex), Yael Staav (Baroness von Sketch Show) and moderator Krissy Holmes (CBC NL).
Mary Walsh created and starred in This Hour Has 22 Minutes, CBC’s wildly popular take on current affairs. The series earned her many of her numerous Gemini awards and showcased her dynamic range of characters, including the flagrantly outspoken ‘Marg Delahunty’.
Walsh wrote, produced and starred in the Gemini award-winning Hatching, Matching and Dispatching, which returned to CBC in 2017 as a feature length presentation called A Christmas Fury, with Walsh and the original cast reprising their roles. In 2017 she released her debut novel, a Canadian best-seller, Crying For The Moon.
Outside of the film, TV and theatre world, Mary is an outspoken advocate for mental health and addiction awareness as a spokesperson for Bell Let’s Talk.
She is a staunch supporter of the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health in Ottawa, she also lends her time and voice to the CNIB, St. Joseph’s Hospital and CAMH. Among her many awards and doctorates, Mary is the recipient of the Order of Canada, the Governor General’s Lifetime Achievement Award in the Performing Arts, and the CSA’s Earle Grey Award for lifetime achievement in television acting.
Jordan Canning has directed more than a dozen short films that have played at festivals all over the world, including Tribeca, TIFF and Interfilm Berlin. She directed all twenty-three episodes of the award-winning web series Space Riders: Division Earth. The show won the 2014 Canadian Screen Award for Best Digital Series and four Canadian Comedy Awards, including Best Director. She has directed on numerous television series, including hour-long dramas - Saving Hope, The Detail, Burden of Truth, Nurses - and half-hour comedies - This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Baroness Von Sketch Show (IFC), Little Dog and the Emmy-nominated Schitt’s Creek. In 2019, she and her co-director took home the Canadian Screen Award for Best Direction in a Sketch/Variety show for their work on Baroness Von Sketch Show season 3. Her first feature, We Were Wolves, premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Her second feature, Suck It Up, premiered at Slamdance 2017 and won Best Feature Film at the B3 Frankfurt Biennale. Her third feature, an omnibus film called Ordinary Days, won Best Director at the 2018 Canadian Film Festival. In early 2019 she was awarded the inaugural round of funding for the Prism Prize MVP Project Grant for a music video with Tim Baker titled Dance. She is also collaborating on an animated short film for the National Film Board, with award-winning artist Howie Shia, called Four North A. Her latest feature film, Oddly Flowers, is moving towards production this coming winter.
Named as The Hollywood Reporter’s 2018 Canada’s Rising Stars, Sherren’s a 2014 alumna of the CFC Directors’ Lab and was selected as one of Women In View’s Five in Focus’ Directors in 2017. She is the award-winning director of short film Benjamin (2015) and web series Someone Not There (2014). Her latest short, The Things You Think I’m Thinking (2017) has screened at over seventy film festivals across the globe, has won eleven awards including the Oscar-qualifying Grand Jury Prize for Best International Narrative Short Film at Outfest 2018 and continues its festival run. Sherren is also a proficient episodic director; her credits include Shaftesbury’s Murdoch Mysteries (CBC) and Hudson and Rex (CityTV), Back Alley and Muse Entertainment’s Coroner (CBC), Sinking Ship Entertainment’s Odd Squad (PBS, TVO) and Dino Dana (Amazon, TVO and Yoopa).
A combined passion for film and music led first led Yael to photography and then naturally to directing music videos for many of Canada’s exploding indie bands. Her music video work gained her attention of advertising executives and commercial work followed soon after.
She won her first Yong Guns Medal right out of the gate and won a Bronze Lion at the Cannes advertising fest in 2005, making her the first Canadian woman to win a medal in Cannes.
The rest of the world was introduced to Yael on the strength of the Cannes Grand Prix-winning Dove “Evolution”, an online film that deconstructed, frame by frame, the beauty myth.
Her first foray in to narrative short films Sam’s Formalwear premiered at the Toronto Film Fest. Her 2nd film, Yael’s poignant and emotional interpretation of Dallas Clayton’s celebrate storybook, An Awesome Book of Love, which garnered immediate attention with 300,000 views out of the gate and a Vimeo ‘Staff pick’ to follow.
Directing the second season of Baroness Von Sketch (CBC/IFC) was Yael’s debut as a TV director and both the Canadian Screen Directing award and the 2018 DGC award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Comedy Series were to follow.
She has just wrapped 3 episodes for CBC’s Workin’ Moms and is continuing to tell many shorter stories in advertising-land.