Board of Directors
Kona Goulet, Chair
Kona Goulet is the director of inclusion at BMO Financial Group. She oversees BMO’s diversity & inclusion strategies across Canada.
As a Cree Métis professional, she has lived, worked and studied in more than a dozen countries across four continents over the last twenty years. Kona’s international experience is across both the corporate and non-profit sectors with a focus on business development, and cultural change management. Previously she consulted for Indigenous Works and served as VP of external affairs for the White House Project advising Fortune 500 companies on diversity and inclusion strategies.
Kona is originally from a small Cree community in northern Saskatchewan. Kona received her executive MBA from St. Gallen University in Switzerland and Rotman School of Management in Toronto where she graduated as class valedictorian in 2013.
Melanie Hadley, Vice-Chair
Melanie is an Ojibway Woman and member of Pine Creek First Nation. Growing up in an underrepresented community, she has the unique life experience to give her the drive, ambition, and perseverance to explore the power of change through storytelling.
In her 15+ years working in the entertainment industry in Canada she has taken every opportunity to work creatively with storytellers from her own community, as well as many other unique and unheard voices in an effort to bring fresh perspectives to screens across North America.
She seldom says no to new opportunities and always wants to learn more. With an unconventional career path, Melanie has developed the skills to make and maintain connections, to support new and established talent, and to help develop and elevate stories.
Outside of her daily role at WarnerMedia, Melanie contributes to the industry by sitting on the board of directors for imagineNATIVE Film + Media Festival, National Screen Institute, and Cousin Film Collective. In all avenues she is actively connecting talent to opportunity and diversifying the pool of storytellers working in Canada.
Pauline Shirt, Cultural Advisor
Pauline Shirt was born and raised in Saddle Lake Reserve, Alberta. Pauline is greatly recognized for her commitment to the Toronto Indigenous community and for her dedication as a teacher and lecturer since the late sixties. She is a member of the Three Fires Society and the Buffalo Dance Society.
Being founder of the First Nations School and the Red Willow are just two examples of her hard work ethic and perseverance to enhance the betterment of the Toronto Indigenous community. Today, Pauline serves as a mentor to many Indigenous youth and young families as an experienced and trusted Grandmother.
She also works in all levels of government conducting opening prayers and attending meetings, making sure the Indigenous community is positively recognized as she offers a voice for her people.
Alan Bacchus, Secretary
Alan Bacchus, a graduate of Queen’s University and the Vancouver Film School, is a Toronto-based film industry professional, writer and a filmmaker. As programs manager at Bell Media’s Harold Greenberg Fund, Alan is responsible for managing the Script Development Program, the short-to-features program and other fund initiatives. Alan oversees the adjudication process and works closely with the fund’s clients to ensure the creative and administrative needs of both the fund and the individual projects are met.
Prior to the fund, Alan worked at the Canadian Film Centre, Capri Films and Norflicks Productions in a number of development and production capacities. As a filmmaker, Alan has produced and directed a number of short films.
Alan has also written for a number of film publications. His film reviews for Exclaim! magazine as well as his personal blog Daily Film Dose are another means of expression for his love of film.
Anne Pick, Board Member
Anne Pick is a highly respected award-winning documentary and factual series producer, director and story editor. Born in Australia, she worked as a print and television journalist before settling in Canada, freelancing with the CBC and then establishing her own company, Real to Reel Productions. Her early films focused on social and political issues, but over the years her slate has broadened to include history, pop culture, biography, science and natural history. Over the past four years, she has focused on feature documentaries and international co-productions.
Anne was a founding board member and former co-chair of Hot Docs, former co-chair of Documentary Organization of Canada’s Toronto Board, former vice chair of DOC National and a founding board member of the Children’s Aid Society Foundation of Ontario.
Apart from her many film awards, Anne was awarded the prestigious Hot Docs Don Haig Award in acknowledgement of her body of work, contribution to the industry and mentorship of emerging filmmakers.
Jason Edward Lewis, Board Member
Jason Edward Lewis is Professor of Design and Computation Arts at Concordia University. He is a digital media artist, poet and software designer. He founded Obx Laboratory for Experimental Media, where he directs research/creation projects using virtual environments to assist Indigenous communities in preserving, interpreting and communicating cultural histories, devising new means of creating and reading digital texts, and developing systems for creative use of mobile technology.
He is the director of the Initiative for Indigenous Futures, a seven-year SSHRC-funded partnership focused on how Indigenous communities imagine themselves seven generations from now. Lewis co-founded and co-directs the Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace research network that is investigating how Indigenous people can participate in shaping our digital media future. He also co-directs a workshop combining traditional stories and game design at the Kahnawake First Nations’ high school.
He is deeply committed to developing intriguing new forms of expression by working on conceptual, creative and technical levels simultaneously. Lewis’ creative work has been featured at the Ars Electronica Center, ISEA, SIGGRAPH, Urban Screens and Mobilefest among other venues. His writing about new media has been presented at conferences, festivals and exhibitions on four continents and his work with Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace has won multiple awards.
Darlene Naponse, Board Member
Darlene Naponse is an Anishinaabe Kwe from Atikameksheng Anishnawbek, Ontario. She was born and raised in her community and now works out of her studio located in Atikameksheng Anishnawbek. She is a writer, film director and video artist. Her film work has been viewed internationally including at Sundance Film Festival, TIFF and Berlinale.
She has worked with community leaders and elders to write and ratify the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek Gchi-Naaknigewin (Constitution). She continues her governance and First Nations land/human rights work in her community.
Darlene has built a wide range of work. She is passionate and pure as an independent artist. She retains creative control in all her films and continues to work with dedication to the protection of story, appropriation and respect to imagery, history and tradition of First Nations people.
Her work is deeply connected to her community, First Nations realities of the 21st century and Mother Earth. Darlene is honoured to listen to stories of sadness, rejoice, hope, rejection, reflection, optimism and understanding who we are as Native people living on Mother Earth.
As a storyteller, Darlene is in search of imaginative images giving truth through word, film, art and song.