Clare Brown, Treasurer
Clare is currently CFO of Pinewood Studios, a major film and television studio complex in Toronto and the largest of its kind in Canada. Before that, Clare was CFO of MindBeacon Group. MindBeacon is an innovator in the delivery of mental health care through both its clinics and the BEACON platform which provides treatment through digitally delivered therapist supported Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Prior to joining MindBeacon, Clare was Senior VP Finance, TV with Bell Media. She was a key member of the transaction team for both acquisitions and divestures, supporting regulatory processes, financial reporting and integration activities. Clare is a CPA (CA) and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University
Denise Cooper is a lawyer and strategic business advisor to publicly traded and privately held companies and leaders in the Canadian and international media and technology space, as well as venture-funded startups. Her expertise is in the areas of corporate/commercial, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, privacy, film and television licensing, production and distribution, employment and intellectual property law, and she was recognized by L’expert in 2005 when she received the Top 40 Under 40 In-house Counsel Award. Prior to entering private practice, Denise was Vice President and General Counsel for Virgin Mobile Canada. Prior to that, she spent 14 years at CHUM Limited, where she served as Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. In addition to sitting as a director on the Bell Fund, Denise is currently a director of Interactive Ontario. Denise received her Bachelor of Laws Degree (J.D.) from Osgoode Hall at York University (Toronto) and a Master of Law Degree (LL.M.) from Columbia University (New York). She is a member of both the Ontario and New York State Bars.
Josée Daignault, Vice-Chair
As a lawyer who holds an accreditation from the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD), an MBA and a diploma of doctoral studies in international economic law from Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris), Josée Daignault assists entrepreneurs in the growth and transfer of businesses. With her background in executive management and finance, she has been building her career path for more than 25 years as an entrepreneurial manager, notably in the media, entertainment and information technology industries. Her diligence and natural leadership were recognized in 2005, with the Prix Relève Excellence du Réseau HEC, and in 2004 by the Réseau des Femmes d’affaires du Québec. Guided by the success of her judicious strategic interventions, she contributed to catapulting KOTV among the top-ranking television production companies and launched its print arm, KO Média, and collaborated in the establishment of the Véro & Louis Foundation. Prior to that, she was head of operations at Attraction Média as well as at Just For Laughs Group, and she worked with the president of the Quebecor Fund. She is a partner of Cult Nation Inc. and is Chair of the board of the Maison Théâtre
Prem Gill is Chief Executive Officer of Creative BC, the organization designated by the Province of British Columbia to unite, sustain and grow British Columbia’s dynamic and diverse creative sector, including motion picture, music and sound recording, interactive and digital media, and magazine and book publishing. Bringing more than 20 years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industries, Prem has been named one of Canada's 100 most powerful women, Vancouver Magazine’s “Power 50” and received the Community Catalyst award from the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. For many years, Prem has championed Canadian creativity as a representative and spokesperson to media, industry and government at all levels. As CEO of Creative BC, Prem is responsible for delivering a wide range of programs and services that will expand B.C.’s creative economy to reach its economic, social and creative potential both at home and globally.
Lenore is Senior Legal Counsel at BCE Inc., Canada’s largest communications company. In this role, she provides regulatory and copyright advice for both its media (Bell Media) and broadcast distribution (Bell TV) divisions. Lenore joined BCE following its acquisition of CTVglobemedia in 2011 and was previously at CHUM Limited prior to its purchase by CTVglobemedia in 2007. In addition to sitting as a director of the Bell Fund, Lenore is a director of the Canadian Association of Broadcaster, recently serving as its Chair, and is also the current Chair of the Radio Starmaker Fund. Lenore holds a Bachelor of Arts (1992) and a Bachelor of Laws (1996) from the University of Western Ontario.
Brad Pelman is an executive producer, advisor, consultant and filmed content distribution expert with over 27 years of experience. In his career, while he has worked for major corporations such as Sony Pictures Entertainment, Lionsgate Entertainment, and Astral Media (now Bell Media Inc.), his most remarkable achievements were rooted in the world of independent content creation and distribution. Pelman launched Maple Pictures in 2005 from the Canadian assets of Lionsgate Entertainment which were purchased through a private equity transaction and sold to Alliance Films in 2011. Since then, in partnership with Kilburn Media of Los Angeles, Pelman acquired and operated The Fremantle Corporation, an international sales company with a library of over 3000 hours of content for sale to broadcasters and digital platforms around the world. Pelman is currently on the board of The National Screen Institute in Winnipeg, dedicated to training the next generation of Canada’s content creators, with a specific focus on Indigenous storytelling. Pelman has served on many advisory boards and is regularly called upon to share his experience with peers at conferences and festivals such as Banff Television Festival, Telefilm Canada Feature Film Advisory Board, Ontario Media Development Corp, Toronto Film Festival, Hot Docs and CMPA PrimeTime in Ottawa, Canada.
Naveen Prasad, Chair
Naveen Prasad is a media executive and content producer. He is the Co-Founder of Impossible Objects, a film and television production company he launched in 2017. He also served as the President of the VICE Media Group in Canada, having stepped down in 2020. Prior to VICE, Prasad was the EVP & GM of Elevation Pictures. He was also previously the SVP of Television & Digital at both eOne and Alliance Films. Prasad's producing credits include Executive Producer of the Netflix Original series BETWEEN, as well as RIVER, which won Best First Feature Film at the 2016 Canadian Screen Awards. He also Executive Produced the documentary LONG TIME RUNNING which had a Gala Presentation at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. While at Vice, he also Executive Produced the critically acclaimed DARK SIDE OF THE RING, the CBC original series GOOD PEOPLE, the Crave original feature RAT PARK, WAR CONTINUED for CGTN, and the upcoming OutTV/FUSE Networks original CLOTHES MINDED. In addition to currently chairing The Bell Fund, Prasad served as a past board member for Hollywood Suite, CAFDE, and the Reelworld Film Festival. Prasad also makes time for various other industry advisory activities including sitting on both the CMF’s Industry Roundtable and Ontario Creates’ Screen Advisory Committee. He has also worked in ad hoc advisory capacities with The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, Fin Partners’ co-production market, and The Banff Media Festival. In 2015 he was invited to speak to the Canadian House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to discuss the future of media and Canadian content.
Pierre Rodrigue has worked in the broad sector of culture and communications for nearly 40 years, and is recognized both for his experience as a manager and for his reputation as part of several professional and social networks. An attorney by training, he has run companies that market cultural products and has also held a number of positions in radio, television, digital media and telecommunications. Since September 2015, he has been the main representative for BCE-Bell with French-speaking elected officials at the federal, provincial and major municipal levels, as well as with chambers of commerce and community and business leaders in Quebec. Pierre Rodrigue has sat on the board of directors of several charitable organizations in the cultural sector. He is currently chairman of the board of Musicaction and Maison St-Gabriel and is a board member of the Fondation 24 heures Tremblant [Tremblant’s 24-hour race]. He is also a Corporate Director. Lastly, he is a founding partner of The Orpailleur vineyard.
Johanne has more than 25 years of experience in the broadcasting sector, and more specifically in television. She has had a successful career at Astral Media, where she held various senior management positions. She began as Vice President, Finance and Administration. She also held the position of Senior Vice President, Finance, Business and Operations with responsibility for Finance, Human Resources, Legal and Regulatory Affairs, Information Technology, Commercial Routing and broadcast technical services. In 2002, she was promoted to Senior Vice-President, Commercial Affairs and General Manager, thus involving her more in the strategic development and operations on the Quebec television market for eight specialty services (Canal D, Canal Vie , Vrak.TV, Séries +, Historia, Musique Plus and Musimax) and both Super Écran and Cinépop pay television services. Johanne holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration - (Finance) as well as a Master's degree in Business Administration - MBA from Université de Sherbrooke. She has served on numerous boards of directors, including the Rendez-vous du cinéma du Québec, the Harold Greenberg Fund, the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, the Canadian Satellite Users Association and the Research Foundation from the Université de Sherbrooke. Johanne was also a founding member of Quebec Cinéma. She also sits on the Board of Directors of Accessible Media Inc.