April 2, 2024 Toronto Region Board of Trade



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8:00am - 9:00am



Opening Remarks

9:00am — 9:15am

Speaking in this session:

Joan Jenkinson, Executive Director, Film and TV Producer

Haydn Wazelle, Producer & Software Developer // Dada Ibis Media | ZedDrive

Special Presentation:
Jully Black

9:15am — 10:00am

Renowned Canadian singer and songwriter Jully Black, accompanied by her fantastic band, kicks off the Symposium by taking the audience on an exciting journey through a performance of spoken word, song, and music to inspire and enlighten.

Speaking in this session:

Jully Black, Singer, Songwriter, Actor

Keynote Interview
Sean Cohan, President of Bell Media

10:00am — 10:30am

Join Sean Cohan, President of Bell Media, as he delivers an insightful Keynote Interview in his debut public appearance since taking on the new role. Drawing from decades of experience in the media and entertainment industry, Cohan’s Keynote Interview will explore the need for the creation of authentic content, and Canada’s evolving role in empowering diverse creatives and executives.

Speaking in this session:

Sean Cohan, President, Bell Media
Interviewer: Tyrone Edwards, Anchor, CTV’s Etalk

Networking Break

Proudly brought to you in partnership with Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA).

Canadian Media Producers Association

The New Wave of Black Content in Canada

11:00am — 11:45am

This important discussion promises to shine a light on the transformative efforts reshaping the landscape of Canadian media. In addition to celebrating some of the creators making groundbreaking strides to produce authentic Black content, it will also delve into the future of content consumption and the disruption of traditional television models.

Speaking in this session:

Marsha Greene, Showrunner
Sasha Leigh Henry, Showrunner, Director
Jennifer Holness, Writer / Director / Producer and President, Hungry Eyes Media
Floyd Kane, President, Freddie Films
Henri Pardo, Filmmaker, Black Wealth Media
Moderator: Gaëlle Essoo, Lead Editor, Now & Next | Growth & Inclusion French Market Liaison, Canada Media Fund

Interactive Session:
Using Science to Inspire Creativity

11:45am — 12:15pm

Discover a fresh approach to innovation. With a mix of mind-bending experiments and fascinating facts, join award-winning science communicator and co-host of CBC’s The Nature of Things, Anthony Morgan, as he demonstrates how to build fresh ideas within a collaborative process.

Leading in this session:

Anthony Morgan, Host, The Nature of Things | Award Winning Science Communicator


12:15pm — 1:00pm

Proudly brought to you in partnership with Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA).

Canadian Media Producers Association

Special Presentation:
The Global Influence of Black Culture

1:15pm — 1:45pm

Marc Bamuthi Joseph, spoken word artist, writer, and cultural leader joins the inaugural Symposium to discuss the global influence of Black culture and how it can be used to propel the creation of Black content.

Speaking in this session:

Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Spoken Word Artist | Writer | Cultural Leader

Global Content Commissioners

1:45pm — 2:30pm

Commissioners from Canada, Jamaica, Africa, and the United States take the Symposium stage to discuss global content commissioning, content trends, and how global collaborations are possible and necessary to lead to more authentic Black content on screens.

Speaking in this session:

Lea Marin, Director of Development, Drama, Scripted Content, CBC
Jackie Jacqueline Jackson, Jamaica Film Commissioner, JAMPRO
Wendy Parkies, Independent Consultant: Fast Channels, OTT Platforms, Streaming, Content Distribution
Narendra Reddy, Chief Operating Officer, The Africa Channel

Interactive Session:
Freestyle Social - The Collaboration Experiment

2:30pm — 3:00pm

Join award-winning science communicator and co-host of CBC’s The Nature of Things, Anthony Morgan, as he helps the audience find their blind spots in order to reimagine what’s possible with his original Freestyle Social interactive experience.

Leading in this session:

Anthony Morgan, Host, The Nature of Things | Award Winning Science Communicator

Innovative Strategies for
Producing and Creating Black Content

3:00pm — 3:45pm

In the first of a two-part experience, hear from global executives about innovative strategies for producing and creating Black content. Hailing from Brazil, the Caribbean, the United States, and Africa, this conversation will discuss practical funding options, partnerships, and new opportunities to get authentic Black stories told.

Speaking in this session:

Melissa Adeyemo, Founder and CEO, Ominira Studios
Renee Robinson, Creative Economy Strategist
John Gibson, VP, External & Multicultural Affairs, Motion Pictures Association
Lyara Oliveira, President, SPCine

Rob Maylor, CEO, Mental Telepathy Pictures

Moderator: Kofi Hope, Co-Founder, Monumental

Have YOUR Say:
Breakout Roundtables

4:00pm — 5:00pm

In the second part of this series it’s time to have your say. Join one of the breakout roundtables to engage about the innovative strategies proposed in the previous session, as well as contemplating others during the group discussions. Groups will have the opportunity to share their ideas with the larger audience at the conclusion of this important exercise.

Breakout Session Moderators

Ella Cooper, Founder, Black Women Film!
Jennifer Irons, Founder and Literary Agent, META Agency
Joel Gordon, Director, Producer, Actor, V-Formation Films
samah ali, Distributor-Film Programmer

Andy Marshall, Programming Manager, Black Screen Office

Haydn Wazelle, Producer & Software Developer // Dada Ibis Media | ZedDrive

Patricia Scarlett, Founder & CEO, Media Business Institute

Jo-Anne Liburd, Communications Consultant, JLiburd Communications

Patricia Bebia Mawa, Executive Vice President, Afroglobal

Themba Bhebhe, Co-Manager – Caribbean Film Academy, Third Horizon

Fireside Chat

5:00pm — 5:30pm

Speaking in this session:


Renowned for his versatility in the entertainment industry, O-T Fagbenle has captivated audiences through acting, writing, producing, and directing. Recognized for his roles in several high-profile series, Fagbenle’s talents have solidified his status as a sought-after actor in Hollywood. In 2022, he starred as Cameron Lautner in the Apple TV+ drama “WeCrashed,” a series inspired by the tumultuous story of WeWork. Following this, he portrayed Barack Obama in Showtime’s “The First Lady,” offering a fresh perspective on American leadership through the experiences of the First Ladies. Fagbenle is perhaps best known for his role as Luke in “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which earned him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor. His pioneering work extends to creating, writing, directing, and starring in “Maxxx,” a comedy series that was developed in Toronto, premiered on Channel 4 and was later picked up by Hulu. O-T can next be seen in the upcoming series “Presumed Innocent” for Apple TV+ opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard. 

Closing Party

5:30pm — 7:00pm

Eat, drink, dance and celebrate the inaugural BSO Symposium at the Paramount+ Closing Party!