Midi Onodera, media artist, filmmaker (born 26 October 1961 in Toronto, ON). Midi Onodera is an experimental film and video artist whose work reflects her experience as a feminist, lesbian and Japanese Canadian. Working in a variety of formats, she has produced more than 25 independent short films, as well as a theatrical feature film and numerous short videos. Her work has earned national and international attention, including a Governor General’s Award for Visual and Media Arts in 2018.
Atom Egoyan (born Atom Yeghoyan), CC, FRCA, writer, director, producer, artist (born 19 July 1960 in Cairo, Egypt). Atom Egoyan is one of Canada’s most acclaimed and influential filmmakers. Cerebral and unconventional, his films are often told in a non-linear style. They typically tackle such themes as personal and communal displacement, the alienating effects of media and technology, and the lingering effects of trauma and abuse. Perhaps best known for The Adjuster, Exotica and The Sweet Hereafter, Egoyan is a rare Canadian filmmaker to achieve auteur status on an international scale. His numerous accolades include two Oscar nominations, eight Genie Awards, five major prizes at the Cannes Film Festival and a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement. In addition to cinema, he has also excelled at directing theatre and opera and is an acclaimed installation artist. He is an Companion of the Order of Canada and a Chevalier of France's Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Arla Agnes Isabella Axelsdotter Saarukka, film editor (born 28 November 1915 in Finland; died 9 May 2013 in Vancouver, BC). Arla Saare was one of Canada’s first women film editors. After working as a cutter at the National Film Board, Saare worked for CBC TV in Toronto and Vancouver. She edited acclaimed films by Allan King, Harry Rasky and Don Owen and won two Canadian Film Awards.
Erica Durance, actor, producer (born 21 June 1978 in Calgary, Alberta). An actress of French Canadian descent who merges urban sophistication with wholesome approachability, Erica Durance was raised on a turkey farm in Three Hills, Alberta by her truck driver father and librarian mother.
Rock Demers, producer (b at Sainte Cécile-de-Levard, Qué 11 Dec 1933). After studying education and audiovisual techniques, he began to work in the film industry in 1960, first in the area of distribution and second for Montréal's International Festival of Film, which he managed from 1962 to 1967.
Zacharias Kunuk, OC, filmmaker, carver, sculptor, visual artist (born 27 November 1957 in Kapuivik, Nunavut). An internationally acclaimed media maker, Zacharias Kunuk has played a crucial role in the redefinition of ethnographic filmmaking in Canada and has been at the forefront of the Inuit’s innovative use of broadcast technology. He is perhaps best known for his debut feature film, Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner), which won six Genie Awards (including Best Screenplay, Best Direction and Best Motion Picture) and was ranked the No. 1 Canadian film of all time in a 2015 poll conducted by the Toronto International Film Festival.
Kevin Sullivan, producer, writer, director (born at Toronto 28 May 1955). Kevin Sullivan is best known for producing, writing and directing the 1985 CBC TV adaptation of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, the highest-rated television drama in Canadian history. The miniseries won nine Gemini Awards, an Emmy Award and a Peabody Award. Sullivan produced three sequels, as well as the highly successful CBC TV series Road to Avonlea (1990–96), which won a Gemini and an Emmy Award, and Wind at My Back (1996–2001).
Dorothy Anne Wheeler, filmmaker, producer, director, writer (b at Edmonton 23 Sept 1946). Anne Wheeler received a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from the University of Alberta in 1967 and had some experience as an actor before making her first film in 1971. She made documentaries for the National Film Board as a freelancer in the late 1970s and joined the board's Prairie region as a staff member from 1978 to 1981. From this period dates the highly acclaimed A War Story (1981), a documentary-docudrama based on Wheeler's father's diaries as a Japanese prisoner of war.
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.
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.