WHO WE ARE
REEL CANADA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to introduce students to the power and diversity of Canadian film and engage them in a conversation about what it means to be Canadian.
WHAT WE DO
Now entering our 8th season, we help teachers and students across Canada organize festivals of Canadian film in their schools, and integrate Canadian film into the classroom.
An initiative of members of our national film and television industry, REEL CANADA is a one-day travelling film festival that moves from school to school, bringing Canadian films to Canadian students. Over the past seven successful seasons we’ve developed a variety of delivery models that allow us to create events at any school regardless of size, location or resources.
Our festivals and educational resources are geared toward high school grades 9 through 12, and ESL students of all ages.
If you want to bring Canadian film into your school, we can help you do it. Best of all, we provide our services FREE OF CHARGE.
HOW WE DO IT
If you’d like to organize a Canadian film festival at your school, contact us. From a single class to an entire school, we can help you put on an event of any size or scope. The catalogue you hold in your hands is your key to the wealth of Canadian films we offer. Check it out, then email us at email@example.com.
Our lesson plans, assignments, games and quizzes can assist you in bringing this important part of our culture to your students. Lesson plans for grade levels 9-12 and a variety of subject areas are available. Just visit www.reelcanada.com/teachers or contact us.
Executive Director, Jack Blum
Artistic Director, Sharon Corder
Administrative Director, Deanna Wong
Festivals Manager, Kate Selleck
Senior Production Coordinator, Mark Meeks
Production Coordinator, Ravi Srinivasan
Office Administrator, Alison Zemell
Creative Consultant, Katarina Gligorijevic
Social Media Coordinator, Dorice Tepley
Programmer, Stacey Donen
British Columbia: Sue Biely, Deanne Esdale
Manitoba: Terri Cherniack
Programmer Emeritus, Marc Glassman
REEL CANADA Board member Atom Egoyan with guests Jerry Ciccoritti and Nicholas Campbell at Marshall McLuhan Catholic Secondary School.
REEL CANADA is an initiative of members of our national film and television industry, designed to bring Canadian films into Canadian classrooms. It is endorsed and supported by our National Honourary Patron, the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, a Board of Directors and an Advisory Committee that includes some of our most prominent filmmakers and producers - Atom Egoyan, David Cronenberg, Norman Jewison, Robert Lantos, Don McKellar, Sarah Polley, Jean-Marc Vallée and many others have all put their personal endorsement on this vital project.
Essentially, REEL CANADA is a day-long traveling film festival that moves from one school to another.
Each event includes films chosen by the students themselves from a curated program of features, documentaries, animated programs and shorts. Special guest speakers such as actors, directors and other prominent personalities present the films and take part in Q&A’s with the students.
Our mission is to expose Canadian high school students to Canadian film in a dynamic and participatory way in order to nurture a sense of Canadian identity through culture and build a larger domestic audience for Canadian film.
REEL CANADA is committed in its work to being:
INSPIRATIONAL: will inspire pride in the achievements of Canadian filmmakers and in our national culture, among young people, educators, the filmmaking community, and all who come into contact with the program.
COLLABORATIVE: REEL CANADA will work with educators to tailor the program to specific community needs and sensibilities, and will partner with as broad a range of industry stakeholders as possible.
INNOVATIVE: REEL CANADA shall continue to develop new and innovative ways to bring transformative and dynamic experiences with Canadian film into our education system.
DIVERSE: REEL CANADA’s programs shall provide opportunities for all young people across Canada to participate in a cultural dialogue that reflects the diversity of Canadian life.
ACCESSIBLE: REEL CANADA’s programs shall be equally accessible to students throughout Canada.
REEL CANADA Advisory Board member Colm Feore with some volunteers at Parkdale Collegiate Institute.
REEL CANADA delivers programming through three different models. These models have evolved in response to the needs of educators and in an effort to reach out to new communities. Our delivery models allow schools to get involved with REEL CANADA regardless of location and available resources. At one end of the spectrum, a teacher may be able to rally the entire school and teaching body for a full service festival, while another teacher may wish to screen a single Canadian film in the classroom and incorporate our corresponding education unit.
Model A: Full Service Festival
Our Full Service Festival is our original, full day festival mounted at individual schools. These festivals replicate the excitement of a film festival by transforming school spaces into high quality screening venues.
A version of this Full Service Festival is what we will present in Pemberton in December 2010. With technical support provided by Rocky Mountain Sound, we will transform the school gym into a movie theatre, screening one film in the morning and one in the afternoon.
For a community and a school the size of Pemberton, a single-venue event is adequate to create a large amount of excitement and buzz.
Model B: Out of the Classroom and into the Theatre or “Cineplex Days”
With the assistance of the Whistler Film Festival in securing the Maurice Young Millennium Place, REEL CANADA is hosting a festival day in December where multiple participating schools can send students on a field trip basis.
As schools can opt to bring individual classes without necessarily involving the whole school, this model offers great flexibility and is popular with teachers.
This model also allows us to reach a wide audience, introducing our festival to a broader group of schools than we would be able to reach through one Full Service Festival.
As participating theatres are fully equipped to screen DVDs, REEL CANADA doesn’t incur additional equipment costs. This makes it a cost effective model, as expenses are lowered without compromising the quality of the screenings.
Model C: Do-It-Yourself Festival
With Do-It Yourself (DIY) Festivals, REEL CANADA encourages schools to come up with their own concept of what their school’s festival might look like. This allows schools to adapt the program to fit their needs and resources and allows students to take more ownership over planning and executing the event.
A version of this model is what REEL CANADA facilitated in Squamish in December 2009 and Kimberley in May 2010. The school’s own equipment is used to screen the films, with REEL CANADA providing access to our catalogue and DVDs of the films, as well as facilitators to introduce the screenings and lead discussion with students. In the 2010/2011 season, REEL CANADA is facilitating DIY festivals in Squamish, Kimberley and Surrey.
Brian Henry and the stars of Allan Kings EMPz 4 Life at Jarvis Collegiate Institute
With this initiative we are addressing a very serious crisis in our cultural life in Canada.
Canada faces unique challenges in creating and maintaining a viable cultural identity. Movies and television from foreign countries, the U.S. in particular, are ubiquitous and overwhelming. The stories that we consume are increasingly stories told by, and about, others. At a time when screen-based media is at its peak of influence, Canadians are threatened by the prospect of invisibility.
Most dangerously, the points of Canadian identification for young people are becoming fewer and fewer. Without an awareness of Canada as a distinct and sovereign nation, succeeding generations may find it more and more difficult to defend our unique social and political values.
REEL CANADA is an attempt to counteract these trends by creating future audiences and instilling in young people a sense of pride in Canadian cinema, as well as some understanding of Canada’s place in the world with regards to what is, in the 21st Century, the dominant cultural medium.
As our program grows into new communities across the country in future years, we believe we can not only increase audiences for our films and help move our education system forward into the modern currency of screen based media, but also, most crucially, nurture a sense of cultural identification among young Canadians.
By telling Canadian audiences Canadian stories - we can build a stronger and prouder Canada.
Reg Bronskill, Board President
Reg Bronskill began his career in theatre design and his set, costume and lighting designs were showcased in plays, musicals and operas across North America. He currently enjoys a successful and dynamic career in the North American entertainment business markets, producing live events, international sports spectaculars, digital animation, interactive media and experiential marketing programs. As the Chairman and CEO of The Bronskill Group, Reg oversees the strategic direction & operations of four companies, BaAM Productions, BPBZ, Inc, InViVo Communications, Inc and Spongelab. Recognized for Reg’s strategic visioning, product development and marketing expertise, his company’s clients include major sports organizations such as Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, National Football League, Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners, Kansas City Royals, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, as well as global corporations such as Abbott Laboratories, AstraZeneca, Novartis, Biogen Idec, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Centocor, Janssen Therapeutics, Kimberly-Clark, Medtronic, Pfizer, McGraw-Hill and SMART Technology.
Curtis Barlow, Board Treasurer
Curtis Barlow began his professional career in the arts in 1977 as executive director of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT). In 1986, he was appointed cultural counsellor to the United Kingdom at the Canadian High Commission in London, and director of the Canada House Cultural Centre. From1990-1996, he served as Canadian cultural counsellor to the United States, and from 1996 to 2001, was executive director and CEO of the Confederation Centre of the Arts. From 2001 to 2003, he served as director of the Arts and Cultural Industries Promotion Division at the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in Ottawa. Curtis Barlow was appointed deputy secretary (Policy, Program and Protocol) to the Governor General of Canada in March 2003. He became CEO of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship in 2007 and in 2011 completed a two-year term as executive director of the Fort York Foundation. Since 2007, Barlow has served on the boards of directors of the Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation.
Board member Atom Egoyan with Advisory Board
member Geoff Pevere.
Atom Egoyan has produced a significant body of work in film, television, and theatre. He has won 42 awards and been nominated for 35 others at film festivals around the world. He was the recipient of the Grand Prix and International Critics Awards from the Cannes Film Festival and has been nominated for two Academy Awards. His films have been presented in major retrospectives around the world and a number of books have been written about his work. Egoyan’s installations have been exhibited at museums and galleries in Canada and abroad, including the Venice Biennale.
Veronica Tennant, C.C.
Veronica Tennant, as Prima Ballerina with The National Ballet of Canada, danced with such luminaries as Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov. In her second career, she has garnered considerable acclaim as a filmmaker, writer, producer/director, with her works winning several awards, including the prestigious International Emmy Award. Her most recent bravoFACT short, Something’s Coming!, will be telecast in 2013 by CBC and screened theatrically in CINEPLEX theatres across the country as part of their ‘Live Broadcasts’ programming. Inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2001, Tennant also created CWOF film tributes on Cirque du Soleil, Roberta Bondar, Sarah Polley and Mordecai Richler, and has served as a UNICEF Ambassador since 1995. Among her honours; Canada Council’s Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts and The Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement . In 2004, she was elevated to the rank of Companion of the Order of Canada, the country’s highest honour.
Denise Bolduc has an extensive background with international, multi-disciplinary arts events & festivals, as an artistic director, producer, coordinator, administrator, facilitator and presenter. Over her 20+ years of experience, she has worked with numerous organizations, including the Banff Centre for the Arts, Native Women in the Arts, the Harbourfront Centre, National Indigenous Media Collective, the Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, the ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, and others. Bolduc received the Aboriginal Businesswoman of the Year award in 2009.
Liz Shorten has been working to build capacity in the film, television and digital media sectors for the past 20 years. Shorten has held senior positions at the Ontario Film Development Corporation, British Columbia Film, CBC Television and Mediaskillset Consulting. She is currently Managing Vice-President, Operations and Member Services at the Canadian Media Production Association, BC Producers' Branch. In her role at the CMPA-BC, Shorten advocates for BC companies, creates policies and strategies to assist in industry growth, and organizes industry development initiatives. She sits on the National Board of Directors of the Cultural Human Resources Council, REEL CANADA and is president of Women in View. In BC, Shorten is Secretary/Treasurer for the Crazy8s Film Society, a member of the Screen Based HR Sector Council, is active in the Motion Picture Production Industry Association as Co-Chair of its Education and Training Committee and member of its Executive and Government Affairs Committees, and is a member of the Advocacy Committee of Women in Film and Television Vancouver. She sits on the Film Industry Advisory Committees of Capilano University and Praxis/Simon Fraser University. Shorten is recipient of the Women in Film and Television “Wayne Black Service Award” in honour of her "behind-the scenes" work in support of the film and television industry in BC.
National Honourary Patron
Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson
Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson with Harbord C.I. Vice Principal Susana Arnott and a student volunteer.
Founding Patron David Miller, 63rd Mayor of Toronto, with a student from RH King Academy
Advisory Board member Paul Gross at York
The REEL CANADA gang at Templeton H.S. in Vancouver, B.C.
Advisory board member Deepa Mehta with students at Mississauga's Woodlands School
We’d like to thank the following people for giving their time, sharing their knowledge, insights and stories with our students, and truly making our last five seasons an unforgettable experience.
Short filmmakers Adam Brodie and Dave
Derewlany at Canada Square
Our guests and facilitators:
Pontypool director Bruce McDonald and
One Week director Michael McGowan at
Hon. Ken Dryden
Bollywood/Hollywood and Water star Lisa Ray
at Marshall McLuhan CHS
Mayor David Miller
Daniel Keith Morrison
Sonja Smits at Parkdale C.I.
Hon. Kathleen Wynne
Guests Patrick Sharangabo, Ron Lea and Luke Kirby with REEL CANADA Artistic Director Sharon Corder and Executive Director Jack Blum (far right) at Emery C.I.
REEL CANADA is a registered charity. For all donations over $10 a charitable tax receipt will be issued.