Mentor in Residence

Meet the artists and arts workers offering free mentorship in 2022!

Learn more about the mentors and their offerings before clicking the register button below.



      Katia Café-Fébrissy is a bilingual award-winning Writer, Director and Playwright who tells stories on screen and on stage. Her directorial credits range from cinema verite, experimental docs and docu-drama to VR projects, corporate and institutional films to music video, episodic web series and plays.  She also writes podcast scripts, factual episodes and documentary series scripts for non-fiction television shows. 

Katia is a member of the Directors' Guild of Canada, the Playwrights Guild of Canada, the Canadian Media Guild and the Francophone Writers' Guild of Canada (SARTEC). Besides, she's an alumna of various talents labs---Berlinale EFM Doc Toolbox Lab, Hotdocs Fellowship, Academy of Women Directors, Netflix-Banff Diversity of voices, Women in the Director's Chair (WIDC) and Director's Lab North. 

Katia holds a Masters degree in Literature and Languages from the Université of Paris VIII, France and a Masters degree in Documentary Filmmaking from the Varan Doc Film Centre, France.

When she is not working as a Podcast Host, Writer or Director for hire, Katia teaches directing skills at the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto and facilitates Diversity and Inclusion workshops for Directors Guild of Canada.

Connect with Katia if you want support with:

  • Creative Writing
  • Dramaturgical Advice
  • Communication and Leadership skills
  • Directing Actor Training


 Juan M. Gonzales-Calcaneo began his career as a filmmaker; kick-starting his real appetite for storytelling. Since then, he has worked tirelessly assisting brands in finding their core identity while leading them into the growingly complex and often puzzling world of brand communications, helping them direct their message to desired, targeted audiences. He began his career working in some of the most recognized non-profit arts organizations in Canada. Juan’s dynamic career also includes a successful four-year run as a panelist on a hit MTV show, which allowed him to build strong relationships with journalists and other key media leaders and tastemakers in the country. Spearheading campaigns with brands such as Bandit Brewery and Buffer Festival, and leading publicity efforts for organizations like Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts, Jane's Walk and Hot Docs, where he currently manages the organization’s media relations, have established Juan as a creative force and a unique voice in the industry.

Connect with Juan if you want support with:

  • Media Relations
  • Media Pitches
  • Communications & Messaging Skills Improvement

 Emily Gillespie (she/her) is a mad and autistic author, disability activist, and professional daydreamer. Gillespie has a BA in Gender Equality and Social Justice and an MA in Critical Disability Studies. She earned a certificate in Creative Writing from Concordia University. She had volunteered and worked in the disability community as an activist, researcher, and facilitator for over ten years. Gillespie is also an author and performance artist. Her work explores themes of memory, identity and mental health journeys. She enjoys working in community spaces and examining individual and collective experiences as a teacher and mentor. Dancing with Ghosts (Leaping Lion Books, 2017) is her first novel. Her poetry and short-stories can be found in several journals and anthologies. She is currently drafting her second grant funded novel.

Connect with Emily if you want support with:

  • Networking
  • Accessibility & Disability Justice
  • Creative Self-Care
  • Course Planning
  • Facilitation Skills
  • Publishing

*Emily will resume accepting new registrations in October.

 Jenn Paul (she/her) is a highly creative and versatile Producer with experience in film, television, and agency environments. With a specialty in Film Production, Jenn's career spans development, production, post-production, marketing, distribution and exhibition as well as DEIB advocacy. She started her career producing a number of internationally screened short films before working as a Film Marketing and Distribution Manager, travelling across the country with Canadian films and running market test screenings for films such as MAUDIE. She also worked as the Digital Media Supervisor on CBC’s KIM’S CONVENIENCE, before working as a Unit Manager at Bell Media for CTV’s YOUR MORNING, SIDES* on MUCH, and various Branded Content projects with large brands. During her time at Bell Media she also co-founded their first and largest Diversity & Inclusion employee resource group, representing 5000+ employees in all Bell Media offices across Canada. In 2018, she produced the first Canadian-Caribbean Afrofuturist feature film, BROWN GIRL BEGINS, which has screened at 20+ cities internationally and was nominated for two CSA’s including Best Adapted Screenplay. Jenn is a passionate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion advocate, most recently being appointed as ACTRA National's Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging.

Connect with Jenn if you:

  • Are considering a career in film, television, marketing, or communications
  • Are Producing your first film and don’t know where to begin
  • Require feedback on scripts or in-progress cuts of your recent film project
  • Are a Board member or employer and want support with implementing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Advocacy in your workplace

*Jenn will be unavailable in October and will resume accepting new registrations in November.

 Konrad Skorupa works as a Cultural Development Officer, Economic Development and Culture at the City of Toronto. His primary role is to develop and implement cultural programs and projects that foster and enhance the growth of Toronto as a creative city. Currently, he works on the City of Toronto's cultural grants portfolio (operating, capital, project and Indigenous), develops cultural policy, and oversees the City of Toronto Cultural Community Space Tenancies. He is a graduate of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education with a Master's in Education and Community Development and the Graduate Professional Certificate in Cultural Sector Leadership from the University of Victoria, B.C. Konrad is committed to elevating the creative and cultural identity of the city. 

Connect with Konrad if you want support with:

  • Grant Writing
  • Project design
  • Strategic planning
  • HR
  • Accessibility
  • Volunteer Management
  • Communication Skills Improvement.

Aqua Nibii Waawaaskone (she/they) is a free spirit and allows each individual to be the guide for their own discovery and journey on mother earth. She is mixed ancestry and brings many bloodlines and heritages together in a holistic way to teach and support all beings. Aqua is particularly passionate about working with Indigenous, BIPOC, Queer, and those living with different abled bodies, as well as all marginalized communities and people who don't always feel welcomed or accepted in many of society's circles. She has a philosophy that music is the universal language of love, however she is coming to realize that all artistic expression is varying forms of love. Aqua has many years of experience mentoring people inside and outside of the artist community. This is a honor and rewarding role to play as she shares her life experience in a very truthful and powerful way. Aqua focuses on empowerment before refining skills. She understands that self-belief, worth, and radical self-love is where it all starts. She is excited to create magic with you! 

Check out her website to see more of the diverse work she does and services she offers to our community:

Connect with Aqua to get support with:
  • Art & Activism
  • Indigenizing and decolonizing art and artist practices
  • Empowering artists (working on self-belief and value), and Balancing mental health, artistic practice and expression, with culture, family, and spirituality.

*Aqua Nibii Waawaaskone has limited spots available.

 Veronica Johnny (she/they) is a two-spirit, multi-disciplinary, Cree/Métis Indigenous artist. Veronica is a member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation; and presently lives in Northern Ontario. From humble musical beginnings, Ms. Johnny has emerged as a dynamic force in the Canadian music & arts industry, working as a performer, producer, manager, promoter, writer, arts educator, workshop facilitator, speaker, entrepreneur, youth mentor, cultural knowledge keeper, and Cree language advocate. She is a singer/songwriter, contemporary Indigenous hand-drummer and also the frontwoman, vocalist, co-producer and manager of The Johnnys. Known for their high-energy performances, The Johnnys are an Indigenous-fronted, rock’n’roll band based in Ontario featuring all original music. Veronica has become a seasoned performer as both a solo artist and a member of groups, amassed studio experience on either side of the mixing console, manages several artists & facilitates various workshops for hundreds of people, each year.

Connect with Veronica if you are an Indigenous, Black, and/or a Person of Colour artist or arts educator looking for support with:

  • Self Care
  • Arts Education

*Veronica Johnny has limited spots available.



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