The entertainment industry is not only about talent but also the ability to network. Knowing how to approach people with the intent of creating powerful bonds and solid support systems will take you a long way. With the internet facilitating the approach and tools like Linkedin giving us direct access to important names in the industry, what is the protocol to make that first contact? How do you reach out to people, and which is better? An in-person introduction or a cold email? How does one recognize and take advantage of each of those opportunities, and most importantly, what not to do when a great opportunity presents itself?


Kwende Kefentse, Executive Director, CKCU

Kwende Kefentse is the inaugural Executive Director of CKCU, Ottawa’s original independent charitable campus-community broadcaster. He has 15+ years of experience in arts, heritage, public policy, urban science, multimedia, music, and the economy. Kwende is also an external research fellow, a DJ, and the creative director of TIMEKODE, one of Canada’s most established independent club nights. His work has been featured in numerous publications and he has served on several boards locally, nationally and internationally.


Axandre Lemours, Arts Administrator & Theatre Practitioner

Born and raised in Ottawa and interested in the arts from a young age, Axandre Lemours has done fundraising, client service, and administrative work for several organizations in Ottawa and Toronto since 2015, as well as nurturing a passion for music and theatre thanks to Ottawa’s vibrant performing arts community.

Deidre J., Screenwriter & Director, Nyce Image Film

Deidre J. is a Screenwriter & Director at NyCE Image Film in Ottawa. She is the writer of 3 award winning short films and was the President of the Jury for the category Narrative Short Films at the Montreal Black Film Festival last year. She has just completed her first TV Drama Series, which will showcase some of Ottawa’s most talented actors!

Deidre has always been driven and motivated to create films that will engage or have an impact on people. She also hopes to keep pushing to see more diversity behind and in front of the camera.

Sabine Daniel, Producer & Television Host

Canadian Award-winning bilingual producer and television host, join my adventure to expand the possibilities of Canadian film, TV, & media! I shepherd quality, impactful productions that speak to this country’s cultural and linguistic diversity while pushing the industry forward. With more than 15 years of varied experience in front of and behind the camera, I'm dedicated to telling stories that reflect all Canadians and creating more opportunities for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) in television.

​ My current slate of multimedia programming includes the 8th season of my TV Rogers Ottawa interview show Suivez-Moi. For TVOkids, and I'm producing the second season of Sunny’s Quest featuring first-person stories told by Black children across Canada. My recent TV web series Piégé, a dark thriller, captured awards and critical acclaim. And newly relesed my new podcast, The Incredible Story of Afro-Canadians.

​ I know what it takes to create exciting TV and multimedia content that comes in on budget and on time. By grounding my production approach in collaborative and respectful workflows, I bring forth the best of all the diverse talent I'm fortunate to work with.

​ The entertainment and media industry is rapidly changing in many ways, from technology to culture. The possibilities exist for those bold enough to go for it! I believe your life is your story, and it must be told passionately. I have my own production company, SDMedia INC, and I'm always open to opportunities, collaborations, and projects that share my values. Maybe the next story that needs to be told is yours!

Sandrine Pechels de Saint Sardos, Film Commissioner, Ottawa Film Office

Sandrine has an extensive illustrative career in entertainment, production, co-production, creative development and distribution with impressive global relationships and deep experience in deals & negotiations in children's and family programming, 360° all covered. Sandrine is dedicated in this new role as the Ottawa Film Commissioner to promote Ottawa as an affordable boutique destination/experience for film makers, to develop Ottawa's film industry and its infrastructure, to support Ottawa's film producers, crew and talents, to choose projects that take advantage of her passion and creative skills, to use her experience in putting together dynamic co-productions, and to give her attention to all aspects of production and distribution with a human touch and an attention to diversity inclusion and going green on production.

Simba Yakibonge, Actor & Model

I was born in Montreal to a Haitian mother and a Congolese dad. I moved to Ottawa around the age of 13 and met Angie ( My agent ) when I was 19. Following her invite to be an actor I started working on my career and fell in love with the industry. I have since been in TV Commercials, billboards, Runway shows, Movies and recently the Lead in the Series 'No Regrets'.


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