In-person & Virtual Sessions (via Zoom) Presented by:


CASTING WITHOUT AN AGENT: Tips, Tricks, True Stories. 

A conversation between Adam Perry [Writer, Director] and Producer Mary Young Leckie [MAUDIE, HALIFAX EXPLOSION}.

Mary Young Leckie, Creative Producer

Mary Young Leckie’s over 30-year career as a creative producer is best described as a celebration of the stories of this young country, Canada.  With more than 70 hours of original premium scripted content in television and film, and most recently in live theatre, Leckie has been drawn to stories that have their roots firmed planted north of the 49​th​parallel while finding audiences for those stories around the world. 

From her 1988 feature film WHERE THE SPIRIT LIVES; the first and still the best dramatic telling of Canada’s Native Residential School story; to a hat-trick of movies about Canadian teens who changed the world (Prom Queen, Tagged, Spirit Bear); to the legendary four part series THE ARROW, the story of the greatest moment in Canadian aerospace design; to her epic disaster mini-series SHATTERED CITY; THE HALIFAX EXPLOSION, Leckie has brought Canadian stories front and centre in the conversation with powerful, emotional and engaging storytelling by some of the world’s finest writers, directors and cast. 

Adam Perry is an award winning writer and director from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. His most recent project, A Small Fortune, marks his feature film debut and has broken new grounds for the film industry on PEI. 



Join Harmony Wagner as she has a conversation with Telefilm Canada’s Melanie Hartley, Advisor — Business Development & Partnerships, and Marie-Claude Giroux, Advisor — Event Planning and Programming. Learn about having your films discovered internationally. Learn more about how Telefilm Canada can support your projects with international marketing programs, opportunities to have your film showcase at special screenings, international pavilions, and more.

Marie-Claude Giroux , Advisor – Event Planning and Programming 

After studying history and cinema, Marie-Claude Giroux worked in several national and international festivals, both in programming and promotion. She joined the ranks of Telefilm Canada in 2009 as an officer for the delivery of national and international business development initiatives. Whether as a project leader in international promotion or as an advisor, planning and programming of events, Marie-Claude has more than 15 years of experience in the promotion and development of the Quebec and Canadian audiovisual industry.

Melanie Hartley, Advisor, Business Development & Partnerships

Melanie Hartley has held several positions at Telefilm Canada since she was hired in 2002, including Deputy Director of the Quebec Feature Film unit, Regional Director of English-language production, Regional Director of Business development and Project Manager of National Promotions in Quebec. She is currently an Advisor, Business Development & Partnerships in the International Promotions team. Before joining Telefilm, she worked in distribution for over seven years touching on many aspects of this field including among others, development of marketing strategies, press relations, communications as well as international and TV sales.

Harmony Wagner

Harmony Wagner is a writer, director and producer of film , television and web projects.  Co-founder of Periscope Pictures, Harmony is currently developing a biopic feature film of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s life.


PUPPETS UP FOR THE SCREEN: Tips on performing, writing, directing, producing

Children’s Television industry giants Cheryl Wagner and Rob Mills talk performing, writing, producing and directing for puppets on screen.

Robert ‘Robbo” Mills has worked in theatre, film and television for over 40 years, mostly as a puppeteer with the Muppets [ Fraggle Rock, Labyrinth, The Jim Henson Hour, Dinosaurs & more ] as well as writing, producing, directing and performing in such shows as The Big Comfy Couch, Ruffus The Dog, Puppets Who Kill and a pant-load more.  He is a Gemini [Canadian Screen Award] and Writers Guild Award winner and has a bunch of nominations tucked away in a file cabinet somewhere.Mills served as Executive Producer for KidsCBC and, after a successful escape, continued to work as a writer and puppeteer in whatever projects he felt like spending his time on. He is also  a founding member and first president of the Independent Web Series Creators of Canada [IWCC]Now semi-retired from performing, Robbo is currently the Director of Acquisitions & Content Development for GoFlow Streaming TV. He also writes and illustrates CG-based graphic novels when he is not baking bread, making sausage and growing cannabis. Life is good.

After a long career in Canadian children’s television in Toronto, Gemini award-winning producer Cheryl Wagner returned to Atlantic Canada where her remarkable career began. Some highlights include: puppeteer on MR.DRESSUP and FRAGGLE ROCK with Jim Henson, creator and show-runner of the 100 episode EMMY award-winning THE BIG COMFY COUCH. Once back in Halifax she worked creating and developing animation series [POKO and BO ON THE GO] for and with DHX .
Now resident in Charlottetown, Cheryl’s focus is to develop and support a new generation of storytellers for the screen. She took the reins for the 2013 and 2014 Island Media Arts Festivals [IMAF], and when IMAC moved away from holding a media festival launched The Charlottetown Film Festival in 2015 for the Charlottetown Film Society as Executive Director. Embodying the ‘war cry’ of ONWARDS ANYWAYS! Cheryl is pleased as Punch the 6th Annual “little film festival of big dreams’ is actually happening. Whew.


OPEN FOR BUSINESS: Attracting out-of-province productions

Mark Sandiford moderates a conversation between Laura MacKenzie, Executive Director of Screen Nova Scotia and Rob Riselli Director of Cultural Industries Ontario North about what out-of-province productions are looking for from a destination.

Laura Mackenzie currently serves as Executive Director of Screen Nova Scotia, a film commission, industry promotion and advocacy association.

Laura has a demonstrated history of activating growth for both independent film and television producers and non-profit screen industry organizations across Canada.  Leading up to her beginnings with Screen Nova Scotia she served as an industry market director and media consultant.  During this time she held such positions as director of the Atlantic International Film Festival’s, FIN Partners, where she annually created the vision for and delivered all aspects of what is internationally known as one of the world’s preeminent international film and television co-production markets. Between 2015-2018 she served as the programming consultant for the Canadian Media Producers Association’s annual conference, Prime Time in Ottawa.  Laura is in her fourth year serving on the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council, whose mandate includes advising government on policies and making recommendations on programs to promote arts and culture.

Rob Riselli has over 35 years’ experience in the Arts & Entertainment Industry, having worked in theatre, television and film, predominately in Halifax, Sudbury, Toronto and Vancouver. Rob’s role at CION is in promoting and helping to further the infrastructure of Northern Ontario’s Film & Television Industry through industry programming and workshops. As a Camera & Lighting supplier for many years, he has a great understanding of the industry.

Rob was a founding member of Screen Nova Scotia (serving as Vice Chair), an advocacy group working for the film and television community, as well as a founding member and former chair of the Film and Advisory Committee for Film and Creative Industries Nova Scotia, and participated on many Boards including Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative and Autism Nova Scotia. Rob has participated in the development and training of many technical crew with the various unions and post-secondary schools in Northern Ontario and Atlantic Canada.

Mark Sandiford is a documentary filmmaker with over 40 years of experience in film, television and interactive media including 14 years as producer and executive producer with CBC TV. Mark spent 16 years living and working in the North beginning in the early 1980’s when Mark worked as a trainer with the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation and later as a producer of Inuktitut-language programming with CBC North.
Mark moved to Prince Edward Island in 1998 and after working as senior producer of CBC’s Compass, founded his own production company. Beachwalker Films has produced documentaries for the NFB, CTV, Discovery Channel and APTN. In 2008 Mark’s film, Qallunaat! Why White People are Funny, won the Gemini Canada Award for best reflection of Canada’s racial and cultural diversity.
Mark is currently Executive Director of CreativePEI, a not-for-profit organization that works to improve the outcomes and incomes of arts, culture and creative industry workers in PEI.