Board of Directors
Francesca Accinelli - Chair
Francesca Accinelli serves as the Director, National Promotion and Communications at Telefilm Canada. Ms. Accinelli joined Telefilm in 2006 as Deputy Director, English Market, for the Canadian Television Fund (now the Canada Media Fund), and was subsequently appointed director of the unit in 2008.
Prior to joining Telefilm, Ms. Accinelli worked as a cultural administrator and theatre producer before moving on to television production, where she worked on big-budget TV series and TV movies produced for Alliance Atlantis, among other production companies.
Passionate about Canadian television and film, she has in-depth knowledge of the industry and is skilled at establishing business relationships with industry representatives. She firmly believes that the promotion of Canadian film and talent is a priority.
Sandra Whiting is a speaker who delivers her message through the power of storytelling. She does this by sharing her hundreds of stories that can be drawn on to suit any circumstance; she also uses her life experiences, and practical examples from all walks of life. Her motto is Yes We All Can and her goal is to make sure that every member of her audience adapts that attitude before she is finished with them.
In her diverse career Sandra has worked as a TV host, storyteller, newspaper columnist, cultural programmer, animator, event planner and entrepreneur. She is proud that she conceived and got the Jamaican Consulate many distinguished individuals and many volunteers to work on a project that took two years of planning and execution and celebrated in Canada, Jamaica’s fiftieth year of independence.
Sandra has a unique ability to co-ordinate complicated projects seamlessly among multidisciplined and culturally diverse groups. She has been involved in the management of many culturally diverse community programs such as Carnivallisima, Luminateau and Kuumba (annual Black History Month programme). She was also the Cultural Arts programmer for Harbourfront Centre in Toronto and the Managing Editor of Excellence Magazine for Women
Some organizations with which she has worked, include: The Jamaica Canadian Association; Factory Theatre; Mariposa in the Schools; Empire Club of Canada; Royal Bank Small Business Advisory Committee; Member: Canada Council Dance Advisory Board; Juror: Ontario Arts Councilmember: Canadian Broadcast Standards Council; Board member: Metropolitan Convention Centre Fundraising Chair: YWCA; Board Member: Caribbean Cultural Committee; Past President: Obsidian Theatre & Black Business and Professional Association.
She is currently the president of PACE Canada.
Joy Bullen has been involved with a variety of social service and arts
organizations for the past 17 years, working with institutions, such as the
Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, Sharon Temple National Historic Museum,
United Way, The Nathaniel Dett Chorale, the Government of Ontario (The
Bicentenary Commemorative exhibit), and The Toronto Black Film Festival, her
focus has been to participate in the important task of building healthy
communities. She helped these organizations to reach new heights and achieve
their goals through a combination of fundraising, project management,
strategic planning, board review, relationship building and short term
management. Since 2015, she has focused on securing corporate Sponsorships
and local charity partners, to present excelling Black musicians to
communities across Canada during Black History Month.
PAST BOARD MEMBERS
From growing up as a child in rural Jamaica,to moving to Stratford, Ontario as a high school student, to raising her family in Guelph,Ontario, Marva Wisdom has built a life on passion, social justice, and inclusivity. Marva Wisdom is a community leader who blends her personal and professional passions to help her clients and community build on the strengths of a strong and collaborative team.
A highly respected and sought after facilitator and speaker, Marva, through her company, Wisdom Consulting, provides clients with the tools and courage they need to facilitate meaningful growth through leadership, effective engagement, diversity and inclusivity.
Currently, Marva is the Director for the Black Experience Project, a study initiated by the Environics Institute with partners, Ryerson University and the Atkinson Charitable Foundation. Is the founding Chair of the Guelph Black Heritage Foundation whose aim is to acquire and restore an historic British Methodist Episcopal Church, associated with the Underground Railroad of Southwestern Ontario.
A dedicated volunteer, Marva chaired the 2010 and 2011 United Way campaign for Guelph-Wellington where she led the team that raised nearly $5M for social services in her community, setting records for funds raised in 2010 and 2011 – a leading campaign in all of Canada.
Her community contributions also include: Board of Directors-Rotary Club, trustee for the MacDonald Stewart Art Centre, vice chair of the Guelph YM-YWCA board and founding chair of the Guelph Chapter – Institute for Canadian Citizenship and member of her community’s Leadership Advisory Group. Nationally, she serves as vice chair of the Canadian Centre for Diversity and is a member of the National Diversity Task Force for YWCA Canada.
Known as one of Canada’s greatest voices, award-winning jazz vocalist Molly Johnson is a mother, singer-songwriter, artist and philanthropist who has grown to become a Canadian icon in the jazz scene worldwide. Molly’s luscious interpretations of jazz and blues standards speak to an emotional depth that few vocalists in any genre have ever reached.
Molly has released six albums under her name, including Lucky (2008), The Molly Johnson Songbook (2011), and Meaning To Tell Ya (2018) . In 2009, Molly won a Juno Award for Best Vocal Jazz Album for her fourth full-length, career milestone album Lucky and also received the 2009 National Jazz Award for Best Female Vocalist.
Molly has performed throughout Canada, the United States, and France and alongside renowned artists including Tom Cochrane, Blue Rodeo, Tom Jones, Jackie Richardson, Anne Murray, Stéphane Grappelli, Peter Appleyard and more. Molly has also graced the stage performing for some of the world’s most prominent icons including the Prince and late Princess of Wales on the Royal Yacht Britannia, as well as Nelson Mandela and legendary producer and trumpeter Quincy Jones.
Molly is also the sister of Clark Johnson , Ron Johnson and Tabby Johnson.
Dedicated to supporting communities in need, Molly established the Kumbaya Foundation and Festival in 1992, raising awareness and funds for people living with HIV/AIDS, and continues to work with several other charitable organizations each year. Molly has been awarded the Queen’s Jubilee medal, and in 2008, was honoured with becoming an Officer of The Order Of Canada (O.C.). This rare distinction was given to Molly to recognize her philanthropic work for a variety of causes and for her international contributions to the arts.
Molly was the voice of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Radio 2 Weekend Morning program where she eased listeners into their weekend with great Canadian songs, and stories about musicians and the people of Canada, from coast to coast. The Canadian music icon’s latest release, the Juno nominated, Because of Billie (2014) is a celebration of the music of Billie Holiday. Billie Holiday’s journey inspires Johnson not only as an artist, but as a model citizen.Paying homage to Holiday’s childhood struggles, Johnson will donate a portion of album sales to the Boys & Girls Clubs.
Molly is also the founder of the Kensington Market Jazz Festival.
Paul Scotland is a Barrister and Solicitor working in the Toronto area. The chief area of focus in his practice is Adults and Young Offenders in relation to the Criminal Code and Youth Criminal Justice Act. Paul previously worked in the Crown Law Office, as a Roster/Per Diem Assistant Crown Attorney. He did his training at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, Common Law Section.
A compassionate and highly-skilled conflict resolution professional, Michelle’s expertise was developed in both courtrooms and boardrooms, handling a variety of substantive matters from technically complicated tax issues to complex human rights issues.
She has repeatedly and strategically found opportunities to work within existing systems to improve efficiencies by identifying and addressing inequities. Her ability to forge trusting relationships while working on seemingly intractable, polarized issues sets her apart.
As the principal of Farrell Law & Mediation, Michelle’s mediation talents and legal expertise provide individuals, families and businesses with focused support to address conflict at an early stage and reach equitable and enduring resolutions. Clients are empowered by Michelle’s approach through improved communication skills that support better relationships at work, school and home and contribute to healthier more cooperative communities.
Michelle’s creative, informed approach reflects her ongoing commitment to equal participation, meaningful collaboration and her strong belief in positive political and social development.
News anchor Dwight Drummond is the co-host of CBC News Toronto at 5, 5:30 and 6 p.m. weeknights on CBC Television. Dwight has been covering news in Toronto as an anchor and reporter for over two decades, previously as the crime specialist for CityNews and co-host of Citynews@Five on CityTV.
An Ontario Scholar and graduate of Ryerson University’s Radio and Television Arts program, Dwight has done “just about every job there is to do in a newsroom” as he worked his way up through the industry.
Known for his exclusives, he’s broken local stories that have gone national and has reported from the U.S., Caribbean and Africa. He had the lead story on CityNews’ Gemini win for best newscast, and a top story for City’s Edward R. Murrow win for best newscast.
Dwight has also received a number awards for his police reporting and awards and commendations for his community work. He was honoured with the Men of Excellence Award, the Distinguished Men of Honour Award and the African Canadian Achievement Award for excellence in media. Dwight is a sought after motivational speaker and MC.
Barbara Boyden is a television and film Producer/Director/Writer. Since a residency at The Banff Centre, she has been writing Creative Non-fiction.Barbara’s award-winning one-hour documentaries include Those Roos Boys (Canadian film pioneers), The Believers a series on spiritual leaders featuring George Fox & the Quakers, and A Diary Between Friends (Canadians take in stranded Americans 9/11/01).
Barbara was an International Emmy finalist for the 12-hour UNICEF Day she produced and directed.A few of Barbara’s television series are Trouble In Mind (mental health disorders), many TVOntario children’s series, and Divine Restoration (documentaries of more than 50 African-American & Black Canadian churches, their congregations and their neighbours.)
As a parent, Barbara founded and incorporated a not-for-profit day care in Givins/Shaw Public School. She was President for six years. It was a volunteer position that gave her on site experiences involving licensing by two government bodies and legal, liability and accounting issues. The teachers she hired are amazing and for many children, the day care was, or is, the only stable thing in their lives.
Barbara was also a Board Member of Trinity-Belwoods Community Centre — an eye opening educational experience in politics and mediation and community activism.