Chief Marketing Officer
An inspiring marketer whose strategic contribution led to growth and breakthrough innovation with major organizations internationally, Mark Childs understands how to build vital brands that resonate with Canadian consumers. As Samsung Electronic Canada Inc.’s first chief marketing officer, Mark leads the organization’s strategic brand and marketing initiatives, overseeing the brand marketing, retail experience, public relations, marketing communications and online/social media teams.
Prior to joining Samsung, Mark was VP of marketing at Campbell Company of Canada. His strategic leadership and insight led to Campbell soup, beverage and cracker portfolio vitality, CSR refreshed unique brand identity, and a highly engaged team. Known for his marketing foresight and passion, Mark’s time at Campbell’s soup also enabled him to participate in the company’s Canadian senior leadership and global marketing excellence team.
Recognized as a strong team leader, Mark actively cultivates marketing talent and “best practices” within the industry and with several community organizations. He has consistently contributed professionally to the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) board, the Advertising Standards Canada (ASC) Children’s Advertising Commitment committee, Enactus Canada and was creative chair at Concerned Children's Advertisers.
A role model in the LGBTA community, Mark pioneered the launch of PFLAG Canada’s 2012 awareness campaign while volunteering for the organization, winning a world-renowned Cannes Lion award for the program. Additionally, he is currently Board Advisor to Out on Bay Street, an organization which provides resources and opportunities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and ally (LGBTQA) students, young professionals and pro-LGBTQA organizations across Canada.
Originally from the U.K., Mark attended Groupe ESC Business School in Reims, France, following his studies at Queen Mary’s College in England.
CEO and Chief Creative Officer
Havas Worldwide Canada
Helen is the CEO and Chief Creative Officer at Havas Worldwide Canada and oversees the Canadian group in Toronto and Montreal. Prior to joining Havas, Helen took a hiatus from the agency world and worked as a Creative Strategist at Facebook. As part of a small group of Global Strategists at Facebook’s Creative Shop, Helen worked with world's most recognized brands and agencies to help activate their campaigns on the world’s largest social platform, as well as on Instagram.
Her passion for design, technology and integrated branding has helped shape her career for nearly two decades. An industry veteran, Helen has worked at agencies including Saatchi, Taxi, JWT, Ogilvy, and as Creative Director at Strawberryfrog in Amsterdam. At Ogilvy, Helen was on the global team for the highly recognized Dove Campaign for Real Beauty and launched the initiative in Canada, along with skincare in North America. Her work has also been recognized as business success stories in North America and Europe with clients including Toyota, Unilever, P&G, Novartis, American Express, Telus and Kraft.
Helen is an active juror for many national and international award shows including Jury Chair for the Clios (Innovation and Integrated), One Show, Communication Arts, New York Festivals, Effies, Canadian Marketing Awards, Art Directors Club of Canada, Atomic Awards, Shots.net, the Rotman Business Design Challenge, the Marketing Magazine Awards, the Ace Awards, the Globe and Mail’s Cannes Young Lions Awards and the 50th Anniversary Bessies.
Prior to her career in advertising, Helen was a Governor General award winning Architect and graduated with honours from the School of Architecture at the University of Toronto.
Geneva Film Co
James Stewart is a commercial director, ECD and founder of Geneva Film Co. in Toronto, Canada. Stewart’s work is notably in live action, VFX, stop-motion and CG animation on platforms ranging from mobile to giant screen including gesture control, projection mapping and VR.
Stewart’s award-winning storytelling as a director includes global brand such as Toyota, Lexus, Samsung and Sprint. In 2012, he produced the world’s first gesture-controlled 3D cinema game for Samsung Galaxy. His stop-motion 3D film Foxed! has screened at over 100 film festivals, winning seven awards and opened at #1 on iTunes in October 2014. Foxed! is currently in development as an animated feature film.
Stewart's 3D craft on Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams was awarded the Lumière Award for Best 3D Documentary and was called "the reinvention of the cinema medium” by The Guardian. He is the co-author of Hacker, Maker, Teacher, Thief: Advertising’s Next Generation launched at SXSW2015. Stewart was recently featured in the Directors issue of SHOOT magazine, the Innovation issue of SHOTS and he is a six-time speaker at Cannes Lions. At TED2011, he presented the TEDtalk Storytelling in the Next Dimension.
Jack Dorsey follows him on Twitter @jamesstewart3D
Director, National Promotions and Communications
Francesca joined Telefilm in 2006 as the Deputy Director, English Market for the Canadian Television Fund (now Canada Media Fund), by 2008 she was promoted to Director of that team and is now very excited to be the Director of National Promotions and Communications. Francesca has always been a fan of Canadian film and television and she has a great ability to build strong relationships with clients. Her goal is remind the Canadian audience how amazing and successful our homegrown talent is in Canada and abroad by engaging more with the super consumers of content. It is time in her mind to put the audience first and Telefilm Canada is a great place to do that.
Francesca began her career as a cultural administrator and producer of theatre where she was required to manage both production and promotion of the plays. She then moved on to television production working on big budget TV series and MOWs produced for Alliance Atlantis, among other companies.
She has a B.A in Fine Arts from York University where she focused on film studies.
Katie started as a writer in the early 90s and created some work that not ironically used the terms “world wide web” and "information super highway.” Previous to GREY, she enjoyed successful stints at Cossette Toronto, BBDO Vancouver and Toronto, Y&R San Francisco, TBWA Vancouver and was a Jr. Partner at Rethink. She had been recognized by many industry shows including: ADCC, ANDY Awards, AToMic Awards, Applied Arts, Bessies, Cannes, Clios, CA, Extras, Graphis Awards, Lotus Awards, Marketing Awards and The One Show. She is excited to judge the AToMiC Awards because random capitalization is one of her particular areas of interest.
SVP, Creative & Innovation
As Senior Vice President, Creative and Innovation, Bennett is responsible for the creative direction and innovation of the company, focusing on technology and multi-screen content including original digital and feature film projects and branded entertainment, in partnership with Shaftesbury’s brand agency, shift2. He also oversees Shaftesbury’s award-winning digital studio, Smokebomb Entertainment, in addition to marketing, research, audience engagement and merchandising and licensing strategies across all divisions.
Bennett joined Smokebomb as Creative Director in September 2008 and was promoted to Vice President, Digital Media and head of the division in June 2012 prior to being appointed to his current role in November 2015. Under Bennett’s creative direction, Smokebomb’s landmarks have included the creation of the first digital short-form scripted series in Canada to migrate to prime-time television, Backpackers, for top-five U.S. network The CW, and launching the world’s first scripted mobile App series, Totally Amp’d.
In June 2014, Shaftesbury and Smokebomb launched co-venture brand agency shift2, focused on driving consumer engagement for brands through scripted storytelling and innovative social media campaigns targeting millennials. Branded entertainment projects overseen by Bennett include the hit U by Kotex-funded series Carmilla, with 35 million views on the company’s VervegirlTV YouTube channel, which is now the largest youth YouTube channel in Canada. Other branded entertainment series include fashion-focused comedy series MsLabelled, produced in partnership with Shaw Media and Tetley; and lifestyle series I Do, funded by Cotton Incorporated.
Bennett is an Emmy award-winning leader in the global digital landscape whose unique creative vision has been appearing on screens of all sizes for almost a decade. Bennett has created and produced numerous productions and applications, with a distinct focus on blending storytelling with innovative technologies and social strategies, bringing a 360-degree approach to mainstream audience engagement.
Prior to joining Smokebomb, Bennett served as Creative Director at Xenophile Media, where he wrote and directed the International Emmy-nominated and Rose D’or-winning M.I. High: Whack the Mole! for the BBC; creative produced the International Emmy-nominated eight-million-strong player universe Total Drama Island – Totally Interactive! for TELETOON; and wrote and directed the Fallen: Alternate Reality Game, which was filmed on location around the world and won the first Prime Time Emmy award for Interactive Television in 2007.
Bennett holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Victoria. He has worked in India, the UK, the Netherlands and Canada and has had further media training with the National Film Board of Canada and the Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA).
Blue Ant Media
Vanessa Case has a long and documented history of success in creating, buying, scheduling and launching not only consumer-relevant, but consumer-engaging content, with a focus on factual and lifestyle categories. Having worked on well-established international brands such as the National Geographic Channel, HGTV and History Channel, she has brought her significant foresight of understanding “what the consumer wants” to the Blue Ant Media team.
As EVP Content for Blue Ant Media, Vanessa oversees the strategy and creation of original content that embraces a multi-platform distribution approach. A priority of this role is ensuring that Blue Ant Media establishes strategic partnerships to increase its content output appealing to a global audience. With a focus on factual entertainment, her Blue Ant Content team creates over 450 hours of original material yearly, through a combination of in-house, commissioned and international co-productions. She is also responsible for the acquisition of content across Blue Ant Media’s 10 consumer media brands and various properties.
Utilizing her strategic programming background, Vanessa has a long history of successfully launching and rebranding channels in partnership with international brands and media partners. Most recently she has launched and rebranded four channels for Blue Ant Media – Cottage Life, Smithsonian Channel, Love Nature and Blue Ant Media’s newest channel, Makeful.
VP, Marketing and Innovation
Iain Chalmers has been a leader in the CPG Marketing and Sales area for over 25 years. After cutting his teeth selling Wrigley chewing gum in Northern Ontario, Iain’s career journey took him to a number of different consumer and customer roles in Canada and the US with Unilever, Braun, Gillette, and for the past seven years at Diageo Canada.
In his current role as Vice President of Marketing and Innovation, Iain has lead his team in the strategic turnaround of a number of key brands including the iconic Crown Royal, Guinness and developed multiple campaigns that engage the consumer and drive results for such brands as Captain Morgan, Smirnoff and Baileys. With Canadian, U.S. and global experience, Iain is an expert in marketing to Canadians and a trusted authority on the differences between the Canadian and U.S. marketing landscapes. He has a strong belief that successful brand building is all about simplicity, cut-through messaging and effective of “through-the-line” programs that consumers can understand at all levels. Iain lives in Oakville with his wife and three kids and like many true Canadians looks for inspiration during long canoe trips in the wild.
The break-neck pace of change in technology and media consumption has outpaced how marketers plan their communications. As CEO of OMD Canada, Cathy Collier, is at the helm of Canada’s largest and most successful media organization. By harnessing the power of advanced analytics, marketing science, and placing client business performance at the heart of all innovation planning – Cathy has helped redefine the role and increased the value her team brings to an incredible roster of clients.
Over the course of nearly two decades with Cossette Media, Cathy focused on clients such as Nike, Coca Cola and Bell. Her leadership brought Cossette three gold Media Lions and an armful of numerous other awards, including four ‘Best in Show’ trophies at Canada’s Media Innovation Awards. She has enjoyed continued success at OMD with the agency being named Media Agency of the Year for two consecutive years.
Cathy is also very active in advancing the Canadian media industry. She is Vice Chair of Canadian Media Directors Council and Co-Chairs their annual 20/20 Vision conference, is Board Chair of numeris, Chairs the Canadian Young Media Lions competition and has judged many award shows including the Cannes Media Lions festival. Cathy also sits on the Canada Cannes board helping to inspire the Canadian media community to be recognized in Cannes.
Luc Du Sault
Partner, VP & Creative Director
Luc’s mother can tell his passion has always been finding all kinds of crazy solutions, most of them tested in her kitchen to her great dismay. With his strong will to innovate, Luc cofounded lg2 in Quebec City, one of the most beautiful and friendliest place in North America. This year, him and his partners are opening lg2 in Toronto to insure a stronger presence in Canada. Outside the industry, Luc regularly gets to speak about creativity on different business boards, schools and universities across Quebec.
SVP, Global Entertainment & Aquisitions
Maria Hale is Executive Vice President, Television, Head of Content Distribution and Pay TV, responsible for channel and content sales domestically and oversight of TV Everywhere strategies for all of Corus’ 17+ Specialty brands. In addition, Maria chairs Corus’ Digital Council and has responsibility for the company’s strategic planning. Maria also manages all aspects of Corus’ premium Pay TV businesses; Movie Central, Encore Avenue and HBO Canada, in Western Canada.
In her four years at Corus, Maria has led both the programming and distribution portfolios as VP, Television – Head of Digital and Content Distribution and VP, Television – Head of Programming and Production. Prior to Corus, she ran TV stations Citytv Toronto and GameTV, and was Vice President of Content at Telus, responsible for all content acquisitions for mobile, TV and broadband platforms. Maria began her broadcasting career at CHUM Television in charge of New Media where she led the award winning team who developed and designed digital extensions for all CHUM conventional and specialty brands. Prior to joining CHUM, Maria held various executive positions in media companies Excite, TMP Worldwide and Interactive Media Group (IMG).
Maria currently serves as a Board Member with the Banff World Media Festival and has most recently served on the Advisory Board for the NextMedia Conference. She has served as a Director on the Board of the McLuhan International Festival of the Future and the Ontario Association of Broadcasting, as well as participated as a member on the TELUS Community Board, the Canadian Association of Broadcaster’s Digital Television Committee and as a jury member for Ontario Media Development Corporation’s Pioneering Content initiative. She holds an Economics degree from Western University and an MBA from McMaster University.
A passionate and eloquent marketer, Ricardo (“Dickie”) Martin, has led teams for Unilever across Latin America, Eastern Europe, London and New York. He brings a world of award-winning experience to his current position as Vice President, Brand Building, Unilever Canada.
A native of Argentina, he has helped architect market development models around the globe that have paved the way for the introduction and growth of multiple brands into #1 positions in multiple countries.
He is an innovator at heart, who also knows when it’s best to adapt the best practices from other markets to work locally. His education includes a Master of Business Administration (The London School of Economics and Political Science/New York University/HEC Paris) and a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Management (UCA - Buenos Aires, Argentina).
Vice President, Outreach and Strategic Initiatives
Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA)
Marguerite Pigott is Vice President, Outreach and Strategic Initiatives for the Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA). She is responsible for CMPA's national digital strategy, Prime Time conference and new initiatives focused on increasing business capacity for Canadian producers. Previously, she was Super Channel's Head of Creative Development. She handled the pre-licensing of original Canadian series, feature films and documentaries, and directed a team of development executives to invest Super Channel's Development Fund. Marguerite also served as Vice President of Development and Production for Odeon Films, an Alliance Atlantis Company, for whom she Executive Produced Saint Ralph, Fubar, waydowntown and many others. For the Toronto International Film Festival, Marguerite programmed the Canadian feature film selection for the 2006 and 2007 festivals. Marguerite was also Principal of Megalomedia Inc., a consulting company focused on project development and marketability. Through Megalomedia she was Executive Story Consultant for the TV series Played (Bell Media) and Bomb Girls (Shaw, Reelz) and story edited the feature films One Week, Still Mine, My Awkward Sexual Adventure and many more. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Media Development Corporation and is Chair of the Governance Committee.
Chief Creative Officer
Ryan’s advertising career has spanned over a decade and has taken him from Goodby Silverstein in San Francisco to BBDO in Toronto to Sid Lee in Montreal. He’s been an Associate Creative Director at BBDO, and a Creative Director at Sid Lee. He’s worked on global campaigns for Adidas and Stella Artois, local campaigns for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and Super Bowl spots in the USA. He’s won a Titanium Lion for his work on Hyundai Assurance – a campaign Fast Company called one of the most memorable of the modern era – numerous One Show pencils, Cannes Lions, and has been part of a team that won Cannes Interactive Agency of the Year. His latest campaign for The Hospital for Sick Children was named Campaign of the Year by Strategy.
Ann is President of Maxus Canada, Canada’s fastest growing media agency, for 3yrs running, which she launched in 2012 for GroupM. Maxus represents some of Canada’s strongest brands and Ann has built it to an agency of 80 people with offices in Toronto and Montreal.
Ann is known as an innovative and engaged leader with 25 years of diverse media experience ranging from operations, strategic planning, buying and even selling of media. She has been in the GroupM family for over 10 years previously running Excelerator Media, as GM Managing Director. Before GroupM Ann was a partner in the Brainstorm Group, a full service communication agency, and previously spent 4 years selling OOH advertising.
Ann is a graduate of Humber College in Marketing, a graduate of the 4 year CAPP program and she serves on the board of the Canadian Media Directors Council. She is an active member of IAB, RCC and a former board member of NADbank.
EVP, Executive Creative Director
Christina Yu is the EVP, Executive Creative Director of Red Urban Canada. Although Red Urban only opened 5 years ago with Volkswagen as their first client, the agency has already garnered national and international awards including Cannes Lion, The One Show, and D&AD.
Before Red Urban, Christina was the Vice President, Creative Director at Lowe Roche, during which time the agency won Canadian Agency of the Year honours. At Lowe Roche, Christina worked on Audi, Global Stella Artois, Johnson & Johnson, Virgin Mobile, and Capital One. Before that, she was Vice President, Associate Creative Director at BBDO working on blue chip brands that include Pepsi, Frito Lay and FedEx. While at BBDO Christina was pegged as one of Canada’s “Top 30 Under 30”. She’s also been named as one of Canada’s “Marketing Icons in the Making” and Canada’s “Top 100 Thought Leaders”.
Over the years, Christina has been awarded at every major award show worldwide for clients like Stella Artois, Pepsi, FedEx, J&J, Audi, and Volkswagen. Christina has also served as a judge at Cannes, The Clios, D&AD and Communication Arts.