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b2B Industry Night – Careers in Arts & Culture

November 16 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Thinking about a career in arts & culture? Curious as to how to plan your path forward and connect your current studies with a job after graduation? Join us on Thursday, November 16, 2017, when alumni and students will mix and mingle for a very special b2B.

Careers in Arts & Culture span many areas and offer a variety of career options after graduation. The skills you gain from your Arts & Science degree can be transferred into many opportunities in these fields. This networking reception will be a great opportunity to make these connections and speak with multiple alumni who graduated from the Faculty of Arts & Science and have gone on to pursue a career in arts & culture, as well as with fellow U of T students who are also considering this path.



  • David Basskin, President, David Basskin Consulting Ltd.
  • Greg Bolton, Creative Director, Jam3
  • Stephanie Burdzy, Assistant Registrar, TMS Collections Information Specialist, Art Gallery of Ontario
  • Ann Y.K. Choi, Author and Educator, Freelance Writer, York Region District School Board
  • James Cullingham, Educator, Filmmaker and Journalist
  • Vanessa Dylyn, President and Executive Producer, Matter of Fact Media Inc.
  • Mark Matich, Freelance Filmmaking and Writing
  • Farah Merani, Actor and Filmmaker
  • Vanessa Miraples, Archival Project Assistant, Project Records and Information Coordinator, UofT
  • Michael Frankfort, Intermediate Science Teacher, Barbara Reid Public School
  • Tanya Hoshi, Studio Coordinator, Shopify
  • David Plant, Executive Director, Trinity Square Video
  • Luisa Alvarez Restrepo, Senior Coordinator Festival Programming, Toronto International Film Festival
  • Ana Sani, actor, voice actor and writer
  • Emily Springgay, Director of Operations, The Shift Collab
  • Ann Walmsley, Writer and Journalist
  • Shoshana Wasser, Communications Coordinator, Ontario Arts Council

Alumni Biographies

David Basskin, President, David Basskin Consulting Ltd.

I have practiced Entertainment Law for more than 35 years. I received my B.A. from the University of Toronto (1974), my LL.B. (1977) and LL.M. (1999) from Osgoode Hall Law School and my M.B.A. from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto (2003). I was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1979 and served as a Law Clerk to the Chief Justice of the High Court of Ontario in 1980.

From 1981 to 1988, I was Corporate Secretary and Legal Counsel to CTV Television Network Ltd. and worked as an in-house lawyer at film and television producer Nelvana Ltd. in 1988 and 1989.

I was President and CEO of the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd. (CMRRA) from 1989 to 2003. CMRRA is Canada’s largest music licensing agency, representing songwriters and music publishers for the licensing of their songs to record and internet music companies, film producers and broadcasters. During this period, I was also Legal Counsel to the Canadian Music Publishers Association, and was closely involved in the process of Copyright Law reform.

Since 2003, I have been a consultant on issues related to copyright, music licensing and technology. I taught Canadian Business Law at Ryerson University in the winter of 2015, at Humber College from Fall 2015 to Summer 2016 and at George Brown College in 2016 and 2017. I am planning to enter a Ph.D. program next year at U. of T.

I have been involved with music for most of my life, as a classical and jazz musician. Since 2007, I have been the creator and host of “Stolen Moments”, heard every Friday from 10 PM to 1 AM on JAZZ.FM91, Canada’s only all-jazz radio station.


Greg Bolton, Creative director, Jam3

Greg is a seasoned integrated marketer, communicator and creative leader with deep expertise in problem solving and bringing big ideas to life. He’s worked in a wide variety of marketing and communications disciplines, including original content start-ups, digital design and production, and traditional advertising.

Greg has held creative leadership roles for both Canadian and global clients at Organic, Teehan+Lax, Juniper Park, Leo Burnett, and Edelman. Clients have included Nike, Quaker, Levis, Jeep, Dodge, Molson, Sprint, John Hancock, Telus, Procter and Gamble, and many others.

He now serves as Creative Director for Jam3, recognized as one of the world’s finest digital production and design studios, and a member of the FWA Hall of Fame.


Stephanie Burdzy, Assistant Registrar, TMS Collections Information Specialist, Art Gallery of Ontario

After graduating from U of T with a B.A. in Art History, Visual Studies, and Material Culture Studies in 2014, I pursued my M.A. in Art History and Curatorial Studies at York University. Funded by scholarships, grants, and teaching and research assistantships, my studies considered the persistent legacy of the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century belief in the power of art to constitute and communicate a national culture, both real and imagined. Specifically, my master’s research examined the social and artistic conditions that gave rise to the phenomenon of professionalization in the arts and crafts, looking to the Canadian National Exhibition as a site of a women’s fugitive visual culture from 1879 to 1980.

After spending a number of years volunteering in the permanent collection and library of the Textile Museum of Canada, I began working at the Art Gallery of Ontario as a Curatorial Intern of Modern and Contemporary Art. I returned to the AGO in the role of Collections Information Assistant throughout my studies, accepting contract positions in 2015 and 2016. After completing my master’s degree in September 2016, I focused on independent scholarly projects and assisted with two titles published by the Art Canada Institute, where I am employed as an Image Research Associate. In January 2017, I rejoined the Exhibitions and Collections team at the AGO, in the role of Assistant Registrar, TMS Collections Information Specialist. My work building the database and conducting research on the permanent collection supports a variety of projects that depend on accurate data, such as exhibitions, publications, and acquisitions.


Ann Y.K. Choi, Author and Educator, Freelance Writer, York Region District School Board

Ann attended the University of Toronto where she studied English and Sociology (1992), and Education (2001). She is also a graduate of the Humber School for Writers (2009), the Creative Writing Certificate Program at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies (2012), and National University’s Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing (2016).

Published by Simon & Schuster Canada, her debut novel, Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety, was a 2016 Toronto Book Award finalist and one of CBC Books’ “12 Best Canadian Debut Novels of 2016”.  Her essays and poems have appeared in several literary magazines and online publications. Ann is also an educator with the York Region District School Board, working primarily with students who have academic and social-emotional needs. Some of her previous jobs include working as an Early Childhood Educator (ECE) and editor.


James Cullingham, Educator, Filmmaker and Journalist

James Cullingham is an educator, award winning documentary filmmaker, a writer and broadcaster. He is a journalism professor at Seneca College in Toronto. His documentaries concerning social justice, politics, history and popular culture have been screened around the world. Cullingham has been published by Canada’s leading newspapers and magazines. His journalism research is currently focused on threats to freedom of speech and journalists in México. His current documentary film project concerns saxophonist and impresario Jim Galloway, co-founder of The Toronto Jazz Festival. He received his doctorate in Canadian and Latin American History from Toronto’s York University in 2014.


Vanessa Dylyn, President and Executive Producer, Matter of Fact Media Inc.


A successful producer of award-winning high-concept films, Vanessa’s recent credits include Into the Inferno, a Werner Herzog documentary about man’s relationship with volcanoes for Netflix; the international co-production The Woman Who Joined the Taliban, for the CBC, and Leslie Caron– the Reluctant Star, an arts documentary on the career of the star of An American in Paris, for ARTE and TVO.

Now in production are The Divided Brain for the CBC’s Documentary Channel, a two-hour project with the renowned psychiatrist Dr. Iain McGilchrist, author of The Master and His Emissary as well as Undercover Jihadi for TVO, an international film featuring Mubin Shaikh, a reformed Jihadi whose court testimony sent eleven Jihadists to prison.

She is developing Did Marco Polo Reach America? a forensic historical mystery, a co-production with France. As well as the series Beast Hunters of Rome, for Germany’s state channel, ZDF.

Also underway is a dramatic mini-series, Charles Dickens and the House of Fallen Women, produced by Back Alley Film Productions, for Muse Entertainment. Among her recent credits are The Musical Brain, featuring Sting and other stars like Feist, and

Michael Buble, which was a highly popular award-winning film for CTV and National Geographic International. It was a thrilling revolutionary investigation into how the brain reveals why music is so important to us. The Mystery of San Nicandro, a feature-length film for CBC’s Documentary channel was a fascinating story of mass conversion to Judaism in Italy. Vanessa’s documentary Fixing My Brain, the story of Barbara Arrowsmith who re-wired her own brain, was one of the highest-rated films in the history of CBC’s The Lens.

Other credits include development producer on the ARTE documentary Prokofiev: The Unfinished Diary, winner of the prestigious Czech Crystal Award at the Golden Prague Festival in 2009. And producer of the documentary, Made in Canada: the Italian Way on the Italo-Canadian entrepreneurial spirit for OMNI Television.

Previous to her television career, Vanessa was an actor and theatre producer who adapted works for the stage, including several novels of the Booker Prize winner, Julian Barnes.

Vanessa holds graduate degrees from the University of Toronto and is fluent in Italian and French.


Mark Matich, Freelance Filmmaking and Writing

Following my graduation from U of T’s Cinema Studies Institute in 2015, I continued to study film independently through a series of self-initiated projects, including the completion of a critical assessment of fifty combat films (i.e. war movies) that I had started just prior to entering U of T. I gained admission into UCLA’s (University of California at Los Angeles) Cinema and Media Studies program in April 2016 and received my Master’s Degree in Cinema and Media Studies from UCLA in June 2017.


Farah Merani, Actor and Filmmaker

Actor/Filmmaker Farah Merani is a graduate of the Drama Centre London and the University College Drama program. She has performed in Canada and the US, throughout Europe and in Russia. Recent TV and film credits include: Shadowhunters, Nikita, Lost Girl, Covert Affairs, V Morgan is Dead and The Listner. Farah also starred in the World Premiers of Little Pretty and the Exceptional at Factory Theatre and earned an Honourable Mention for Best Performance for her worn in the 2016 Summerworks hit, Trompe le Mort. In addition, to being an actor, she has produced dozens of films with her company, Lifegaurd Productions. currently, she has a digital series in development with Fullscreen and also has several TV series at various stages of development.

She is one of the co-founders of Women on Screen, a for-purpose organisation encouraging a more dynamic and inclusive representation of women in the entertainment industry. Farah also serves as the Actra Toronto Diversity Committee co-chair, advocating for a better working environment and more professional opportunities for Physically and Culturally Diverse Actors. She has contributed and particiapted regularly on professional panels and conferences, speaking specifically to diversity and gender issues in the film industry.

Her film work has screen on international festival circuit, including TIFF, the Austin Film Festival, the Atlantic Film Festival, WIFT Toronto, the Reel World Film Festival, Garden State International Film Festival and the Cleveland International Film Festival.



Vanessa Miraples, Archival Project Assistant, Project Records and Information Coordinator, UofT

After completing my undergraduate degree with majors in English and the Study of Religion, I went on to complete a Masters of Information degree in Archives and Records Management at the Faculty of Information. I have always been captivated by the preservation of recorded history, and with the MI degree, I am able to do just that. Currently, I am working on two projects for the University. At the University Planning Design and Construction, I am part of a team that is responsible for managing the University’s architectural records. This includes the appraisal of drawings, logging drawings into an inventory, rehousing them for storage, retrieving them for users, as well as developing policies related to their management which touch on subjects like copyright and access. In two departments in the Faculty of Medicine, I consult offices on the use and organization of digital storage space, create retention schedules for their operational records, and ensure that records which contain historical value for the University are identified, and preserved.


Michael Frankfort, Intermediate Science Teacher, Barbara Reid Public School

Michael has been a full-time teacher for the York Region District School Board for the past sixteen years and has an extensive background in Mathematics, Science, Literacy, The Arts, Technology and Environmental Education and Sustainability. Michael recently completed a Master’s of Education degree from York University in the areas of Mathematics and Science pedagogy, Environmental Education and Sustainability, Technology, manipulative in the classroom and social justice. He has also completed a Montessori Elementary Teacher Diploma programme and has an undergraduate Honours of Science degree in the areas of Human Biology and Anthropology from the University of Toronto.

Michael has had the opportunity to develop and lead a workshop for teacher candidates on Social Justice and Mathematics at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, an animation workshop for elementary and secondary teachers through YRDSB and is scheduled to present at the OAME Math Conference later this year. During his graduate work, he had the unique opportunity to collaborate on a research paper with other York University graduate students under our academic advisor. The resulting article was published in the climate change edition of the Journal for Activist Science and Technology Education in 2011. As a group, they researched and discussed current responses to the ecological climate crisis by different educational organizations.

Michael is currently a Grade 7/8 homeroom teacher with Science, Mathematics, Literacy, Drama and Dance on my timetable, as well as working with primary and junior students. He has an extensive background in elementary Science as well as the cross-curricular connections to other subject areas. He also has additional qualifications for Science and Mathematics Intermediate and Senior. Michael is the teacher lead for his school’s TECO TEAM (Technology and Eco), which incorporates the Eco-Schools, Student Tech Crew, Student Engineering Team, Student Tech Support and our school’s connection with the local high school with regards to Eco-Activities and events. Most recently, his students finalized and edited their very first documentary film that was entered into the Water Docs film festival through Learning for a Sustainable Future and EcoLogos. They are looking forward to attending the film festival in a few weeks as well as entering their film into future festivals.

Michael is an active member in my community, in and outside of his teaching. He is the President of his condominium board, and sits on the board of directors for the Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra, is a committee for the Markham Village Music Festival, a curriculum coordinator for the Science Teachers’ Association of Ontario (STAO) and an advisor for Mackenzie Health’s Patient and Family Advisor Council (PFAC). Michael is also a member of an all teacher rock band called ‘So What’, an avid science-fiction geek (volunteers at numerous comicons) and has an interest in photography and perspectives.


Tanya Hoshi, Studio Coordinator, Shopify

Tanya Hoshi received her Honours Bachelor’s degree in Cinema Studies at University of Toronto (2013) and received film production training in Sheridan College’s Advanced Television and Film Program (2014). Upon graduating from her studies, Tanya was selected to be a part of CMPA’s competitive Screen-Based Production Program, which she completed while working at Blue Ice Pictures. She then took on the role of Researcher and Production Coordinator at Mercury Films, where she worked on the documentary Black Code (TIFF 2016). Tanya is currently slated to direct her web series funded by the Independent Production Fund and producing a BravoFACTUAL documentary. She is also the Studio Coordinator at Shopify, where she coordinates national and international film shoots for Shopify Studios.


David Plant, Executive Director, Trinity Square Video

Started in broadcasting, moved into film and television in the public sector, was recruited to California in computer animation and visual effects, returned to Canada in telecommunications, consulted internationally on the future of media and business development, returned to arts administration, production and emerging technology in media. Member of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television and TIFF Industry, Board of Directors  – Media Arts Network of Toronto.


Luisa Alvarez Restrepo, Senior Coordinator Festival Programming, Toronto International Film Festival

Luisa graduated with a double major in Art History and Renaissance Studies. During her undergrad she was very involved with extracurricular at the college and university level. It was her experience gained through extracurricular that played an important role in taking the first steps in her career.


Ana Sani, actor, voice actor and writer

Ana Sani is an actor, voice actor and writer who graduated with a degree in Political Science and Theatre from the University of Toronto.

She is currently voicing a lead character in Nickelodeon and Corus Entertainment’s, Mysticons which released September, 2017. Her other voice over credits include, Yuko in Mia and Me, which has aired in over 30 countries internationally including Nick Jr and Netflix. She was featured in the film, The 7th Dwarf, by notable director, Boris Aljinovic, where she played Little Red Riding Hood and provided additional voices. The 7th Dwarf ran a cinema circuit in over 12 countries internationally including Germany, India and Singapore. Ana has also voiced the role of Kol in Kol’s World which aired on Pet TV in Ontario. Video game and commercial credits include Rainstorm Rivals, Dead Zone, Royal Bank of Canada and York University.

Her film and TV credits include Odd Squad: The Movie, directed by J.J. Johnson and Pure Pwnage: Teh Movie, with director Geoff Lapaire. She was recently cast and wrote on the series In Real Life, which aired on Bell Fibe One and is directed by Bobby Del Rio. She played the lead in Dowry, a feature film by Jag Parmar, which won the Best Film award at the Delhi International Film Festival.

When she’s not acting or writing, she’s probably huddled up in a blanket, stuffing her face with spicy hummus and playing video games.


Emily Springgay, Director of Operations, The Shift Collab

Emily Springgay is the Director of Operations at The Shift Collab, a mental health practice that offers therapy to individuals, couples, and groups, along with events, workshops, and programs catered to millennials and young professionals. In her role, Emily works with a team of administrative staff, social workers, and a roster of speakers. She manages the day-to-day operations for the Shift clinic and Shift speaking agency, monitors sales performances and processes, and oversees outreach, marketing, and customer service. Emily has previously worked in administration, event planning, and marketing for the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto and for the Toronto Raptors. She received her MA in Religious Studies and Jewish Studies from the University of Toronto (2010) and her BA in Religious Studies and Art History from York University (2007). In her spare time, Emily also works as a freelance makeup artist and writes on makeup and mental health.


Ann Walmsley, Writer and Journalist


Ann Walmsley is the author of The Prison Book Club and a magazine journalist whose work has appeared in The Globe and Mail Report on Business Magazine, Maclean’s and many other publications. She is the recipient of four National Magazine Awards, a Canadian Business Journalism Award and two International Regional Magazine awards. The Prison Book Club is her first book. It won the 2016 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction and was longlisted for the 2016 RBC Taylor Prize and the 2016 BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction.

Born in Picton, Ontario, Walmsley graduated with a degree in English literature from Trinity College at the University of Toronto, before pursuing a career in journalism as a magazine writer, book reviewer and editor. During her writing career, she has lived in Toronto, Paris, Westport CT, Dallas and London.

Intrigued by her parents’ membership in a local literary society called Tennyson Club, she founded her first book club at age nine. Since then, she has been a member of five other book clubs in Canada and the U.K. But it wasn’t until a friend invited her in 2010 to help with book selection for a prison book club that she found the material for a book that she herself would write.


Shoshana Wasser, Communications Coordinator, Ontario Arts Council

Shoshana Wasser graduated from the University of Toronto in 2010 with an Honours Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Book & Media Studies and minoring in Psychology and History. During her studies, she worked as Arts & Entertainment Editor at The Varsity newspaper and interned at Eye Weekly magazine and the Luminato festival.

Through the Book & Media Studies program, Shoshana was awarded the Francess Halpenny Internship at University of Toronto Press, which led to full-time position in the publisher’s marketing department. In 2012, she completed a postgraduate Certificate in Publicity and Public Relations at U of T’s School of Continuing Studies. Since 2013, Shoshana has been a Communications Coordinator at the Ontario Arts Council, where her work involves stakeholder relations, corporate communications, and events management.


November 16
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Categories:


Hart House – Music Room
7 Hart House Circle
Toronto, Canada
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