Ken Finkleman, screenwriter, director, actor, producer (born 1946 in Winnipeg, Manitoba). Ken Finkleman is a maverick auteur renowned for the caustic humour, bitter irony and deadpan satire embodied by his television alter ego George Findlay, a linking character he has portrayed in seven television series. The winner of six Gemini Awards and an Emmy Award, Finkleman is best known for The Newsroom, the iconoclastic comedy series he created, wrote, produced and starred in. Popular and critically acclaimed during three runs (1996–97, 2003–04, 2004–05) and a TV movie (Escape from the Newsroom, 2002) on CBC Television and PBS, the show is regarded as one of the best media satires ever produced..
Robert Lantos, CM, film and television producer and executive (born 3 April 1949 in Budapest, Hungary). A key figure in the development of contemporary Canadian cinema, Robert Lantos is one of Canada’s most powerful producers of film and television. In the 1970s, he founded the distribution company Vivafilm and the production company RSL Productions. In the 1980s and 1990s, he was chair and CEO of Alliance Communications Corporation, Canada’s largest film and television production and distribution company, before leaving to produce films through his own Serendipity Point Films. He is a Member of the Order of Canada and the Canadian Film and Television Hall of Fame and has received numerous awards and honours, including five Genie Awards, four Gemini Awards, two Golden Reel Awards, the Air Canada Award and the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Jean-Marc Vallée, director, screenwriter, editor, producer (born 9 March 1963 in Montréal, QC). One of Canada’s most honoured filmmakers, Québécois filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée is a skillful craftsman with a knack for slick sentimentality and dramatic intensity. He is renowned for his ability to draw authentic, heartfelt performances from actors, and is best known for films about lost or damaged souls trying to find or heal themselves, such as the multiple-Genie Award-winning coming-of-age saga C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005) — widely considered one of the best Canadian films ever made — and the Hollywood dramas Dallas Buyers Club (2013), Wild (2014) and Demolition (2015). Vallée has won multiple Genie Awards and Prix Iris, two Emmy Awards, a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award and numerous international accolades.
Phil Comeau, CM, ONB, film director, screenwriter and producer (born 1956 in Saulnierville, Nova Scotia). This Acadian director’s films have received over 55 awards in Canada and abroad. They address subjects such as youth, human relationships, art, history and Acadian identity. His film Le secret de Jérôme (1994) garnered some 15 awards and is regarded as the first independent Acadian feature film produced in Canada. Comeau’s 2016 documentary feature Zachary Richard, toujours batailleur/Zachary Richard, Cajun Heart received the La Vague Léonard-Forest Award and the Audience Choice Award at the FICFA international francophone film festival in Moncton, New Brunswick and the Director’s Choice Award - Documentary Feature at the Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Louis B. Mayer, born Eliezer Mayer, studio executive (born at Minsk, Russia ca 1885; died at Los Angeles, Ca 29 Oct 1957). Louis B. Mayer's working-class family immigrated to New York when he was a small child, and in 1890 moved to Saint John, NB, where his father became a junk dealer.
Paul L'Anglais, producer (b at Québec 22 Oct 1907; d at Montréal 23 May 1982). A lawyer by training, he entered the world of radio in 1932 as a producer and director and worked there until 1957. He excelled in radio drama, radio plays and variety shows and had some 300 programs to his credit.
Donald McKellar, CM, actor, screenwriter, director (born 17 August 1963 in Toronto, ON). One of Canada’s most acclaimed and prolific stars, the multi-talented Don McKellar has enjoyed success as an actor, writer and director in film, television and theatre, often assuming multiple roles in a production. Equal parts laconic and loopy, he is best known for playing quirky, unconventional leading men and collaborating on unique, visionary independent films. He was a key player in the Toronto New Wave, collaborating with Bruce McDonald and Atom Egoyan on such films as Roadkill (1989), Highway 61 (1991), The Adjuster (1991) and Exotica (1994). He received the Prix de la Jeunesse at the Cannes Film Festival for his directorial debut, Last Night (1998), and won a Tony Award for co-writing the hit musical The Drowsy Chaperone. He is a Member of the Order of Canada and has won multiple Genie and Canadian Screen Awards.
Robert Stewart, director, writer, photographer, conservationist (born 28 December 1979 in Toronto, ON; died 31 January 2017 near Islamorada, Florida). Rob Stewart was an ecologically-minded non-fiction filmmaker, conservationist and activist who was fascinated since childhood by underwater life and photography. His environmental documentaries Sharkwater (2006) and Revolution (2012) set box office records in Canada and won numerous awards worldwide. Stewart was reported missing on 31 January 2017 while diving in the Florida Keys and was found dead after a three day search. The Canadian Screen Award for Best Science or Nature Documentary Program or Series was renamed in his honour.
William Grant Glassco, director, producer (b at Québec City 30 Aug 1935; d at Toronto 13 Sept 2004). As artistic director of Tarragon Theatre in Toronto (1971-1982) and Centre Stage (1985-1991), Bill Glassco was a major force in the development and promotion of Canadian theatre and drama.
Nell (née Helen Barham) Shipman, screenwriter, actor, director, producer, author (born in Victoria, British Columbia on 25 Oct 1892; died in Cabazon, California on 23 Jan 1970). Nell Shipman's first starring role in a major film was in the silent movie God's Country and the Woman (1916), which was an overnight success. Starring roles in 10 other films, mostly for Vitagraph, were followed by a seven-year contract offer from Samuel Goldwyn in 1917.
Léa Pool, CM, filmmaker, director, documentarian, screenwriter, producer (born 8 September 1950 in Soglio, Switzerland). Through her introspective films, Pool offers an approach to female characters that is stripped of all stereotypes. Exploring themes of love, exile and uprootedness, she attempts to draw viewers into a reflection on their own condition, through their own individuality. Often compared with the films of Marguerite Duras, Pool’s films focus on intimate emotions and attract a multigenerational audience. The recipient of many awards in Canada and abroad, Léa Pool is the first female director to win Best Film at the Gala du cinéma québécois.
Victor Sarin, cinematographer, director, producer, writer (born at Srinagar, India 1941). Vic Sarin was born in Kashmir and spent his teenage years in Australia where his father was a diplomat. After a short stint as a news cameraman in Australia, he came to Canada in 1963. He landed a job with the CBC and shot a number of its prestigious dramas during the 1980s.