Program overview


The CMPA STAR Producer Program is a comprehensive professional development platform designed to help members advance their careers and grow their businesses. STAR is an acronym for SkillsTrainingAccess, and Resources, which the program will offer through an extensive range of development opportunities for producers at all stages of their careers.

The program is open to all CMPA members and participation requires no commitment other than being a member of the CMPA. Individuals will have the opportunity to sign up for programming and events on an individual, case-by-case basis, throughout the year.

The STAR Producer Program is made of quarterly modules featuring programming, training opportunities, and supporting materials through the following pillars:


Keynotes, webinars, or panel discussions featuring industry leaders, sharing knowledge and speaking about their career experience


Opportunities to meet and interact with fellow producers and other key stakeholders in the industry who can help you execute your next project, and expand your career opportunities, including connecting experienced producers with emerging producers to discuss early-career challenges


A robust library of supporting materials (reports, databases, webpages, articles, podcasts, etc.) for those who wish to dig deeper

CURRENT MODULE | Banking for Producers

Banking for Producers, is a three-unit training module, developed to educate producers about how to effectively work with banks to fund production projects, and to build and grow production businesses. The programming will include webinars with subject matter experts, networking and relationship building opportunities with bankers, and a suite of supporting resources.

The Banking for Producers training module has been developed with a significant emphasis on opening access and eliminating barriers for equity-seeking and sovereignty-seeking individuals when working with the banking system

For new and emerging producers, the programming will focus on demystifying the banking system and providing information about the various aspects of project financing.

For established producers, the programming will shed light on how to build strategic partnerships with banks, and provide information about corporate financing for domestic and global business growth.

  • Unit 1: Banking Basics for Producers (October 14, 12:00 pm ET/9:00 am PT)
  • Unit 2: Financing Production Projects (November 24, 12:00 pm ET/9:00 am PT)
  • Unit 3: Corporate Financing and Strategic Growth

More information about Unit 3: Corporate Financing and Strategic Growth, including networking and relationship-building opportunities and resources will follow later this fall.

Presentation | Unit 2: Financing Production Projects

Unit 2 took place on Thursday November 24, 2022, and included representatives from the media divisions of Canadian banks and lending institutions, and focused on the details of interim and project-financing.

This session included significant emphasis on opening access and eliminating barriers faced by equity-seeking and sovereignty-seeking producers when working with the banking system. This session was moderated by Michelle Wong (Head of Business Affairs, SEVEN24 Films) and Haydn Wazelle (Co-Founder & CEO, ZedDrive).

Topics covered during the webinar included:

  • Processes, timelines and required documentation for interim financing and project financing applications
  • Overview of banks’ internal risk review and approval processes
  • Summary of common pitfalls and challenges, and how to avoid them
  • Discussion around existing programs for equity-seeking and sovereignty-seeking producers; and opportunities to expand such initiatives

Participants were encouraged to participate in the discussion and had the opportunity to submit questions for the panel in advance (when registering), and to ask questions live during the session.

This discussion was aimed at early and mid-career producers, who have some experience working with financial institutions. Individuals without experience working with banks are encouraged to watch the previous Banking Basics for Producers session in advance.

Build Profile with Participating Institutions

As an opportunity to build profile with the participating financial institutions, producers will be able, when registering, to voluntarily share information about their company, production experience, and upcoming projects. This information will be shared with the participating representatives from RBC, National Bank, BMO and the Rogers Group of Funds.

To view a recording of this webinar, click below:


Michelle Wong’s production credits cross all formats, from television movies to feature length documentaries, and performing arts specials. She is currently the Head of Business Affairs at SEVEN24 Films producers of Heartland, Jann, Wynonna Earp and Family Law. She currently sits as a board member with the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), Women in View, and Creatives Empowered an Alberta based collective of artists who are Black, Indigenous & People of Colour empowering each other as an allied community. She is the lead consultant on a series of business affairs ‘learn by doing’ webinars created for the Canadian Independent Screen Fund.





Haydn Wazelle is a Vancouver-based media & entertainment producer and co-founder of He currently sits on the national boards of the Black Screen Office (BSO), the Canadian Independent Screen Fund (CISF), and the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), as well as the Motion Picture Production Industry Assoc. of BC (MPPIA).

Haydn has worked producer-side on five international co-productions, two inter-provincial co-productions, ten feature films, two TV series, four documentaries, and two video games. He is proficient in navigating the BC film & TV & Interactive digital media production space and tax credit systems.

Haydn produced the feature films ALONE (2010), HELLO DESTROYER (2016) and VIOLENTIA (2018), the CBC documentary DADS (2013), and the critically acclaimed video game EON ALTAR (2016). He is currently executive producing a stop-motion animated film for the NFB called WHEETAGO WAR (2023).

Haydn is the co-founder and CEO at ZedDrive, a web-based dailies/cuts/screeners software platform built to help media production teams seamlessly collaborate locally and remotely during all phases of a production’s life cycle. The company has managed productions across the globe, including the dailies & cuts for many Netflix, CBC, BRON, Hulu and Bell Media productions.

Presentation | Unit 1: Banking Basics for Producers

The Banking for Producers module launched on Friday, October 14, 2022, with a webinar presentation that introduced banking basics for the production industry.

The virtual session was presented by Nghia Nguyen, Vice-President of Business, Legal Affairs at WildBrain, and covered topics such as cashflow, interim financing, and the steps in a loan application process. The content of this webinar was intended for producers with little to no experience working with banks for production.

To view a recording of this webinar, click below:

Nghia D. Nguyen, Vice-President, Business and Legal Affairs, is responsible for overseeing the business and legal affairs for all development and production at WildBrain, the largest kids & family production and distribution company in Canada. Prior to joining WildBrain in January 2022, Nghia served as VP, Business and Legal Affairs at Boat Rocker for 3.5 years; and was Vice-President and General Counsel at Breakthrough Entertainment for 18 years.

Throughout his 26-year career as an in-house counsel, he has served as both corporate counsel and production lawyer on numerous television, feature film and new media projects. He has extensive experience in intellectual property, corporate/commercial law and all other elements of entertainment law. A graduate of the University of Victoria (LL.B.) and McGill University (B.Sc.), he was called to the Bars of British Columbia and Manitoba in 1996, and the Bar of Ontario in 2000, and has appeared often as a lecturer and guest speaker in the film and television industry.

Networking | Canadian Interactive Alliance virtual meet-up

On Wednesday May 4, we hosted a virtual networking event via Zoom that connected leaders working in Canada’s interactive digital media industry with the independent production sector. Presented in partnership with Interactive Ontario, the event included IDM companies from across the country who are part of The Canadian Interactive Alliance / L ‘Alliance Interactive Canadienne (CIAIC), which includes provincial associations such as DigiBC, Interactive Nova Scotia, New Media Manitoba, SaskInteractive, and others.

Executives and independent producers were connected to discuss their work and focus, and potential collaborations. The event was split into a number of 15-minute breakout sessions, followed by an open networking round.


Register here →


Coaching program

The CMPA is currently in a transitional phase of the STAR Producer Coaching Program as we design and implement a more robust, easy to use platform that will help connect established and emerging producers. Stay tuned!

The CMPA, through its STAR Producer professional development program, is launching a new mentorship initiative aimed at connecting experienced and emerging producers from across Canada. The goal of this initiative is to create a platform where seasoned producers are able to share knowledge and best practices based on their years of experience working in the production industry.

Registration for the STAR Producer Coaching is now closed. Stay tuned for future announcements.

Calling on Canada’s experienced producers: Become a STAR Producer Coach

The CMPA, through its STAR Producer professional development program, is launching a new mentorship initiative aimed at connecting experienced and emerging producers from across Canada. The goal of this initiative is to create a platform where seasoned producers are able to share knowledge and best practices based on their years of experience working in the production industry.

How does it work?

Producers with 10+ years of experience register and commit 30 minutes of their time for a call, a zoom chat, or (if this pandemic ever ends) a discussion over coffee with a producer who is early in their career. Based on experience and areas of interest identified by program participants, the CMPA will match STAR Producer Coaches (established producers) with early-career producers and send an introductory email. Emerging producers will follow up to schedule a meeting with their STAR Producer Coach.

In advance, the CMPA will work with the emerging producers who sign up for the program, to ensure they are prepared and have developed questions and objectives for the meeting with their Coach.

Why become a STAR Producer Coach?

We’ve all heard the term, “it’s not what you know, but who you know.” Well in the production industry it’s both. Volunteering to become a STAR Producer Coach is an opportunity to give back to the production community in Canada, to share the knowledge and experience you’ve built over your career, and to give your early-career colleagues a boost in what is a challenging, and increasingly globally-competitive, industry.

The past year has also raised awareness of the systemic barriers that exist in our industry. Barriers, which mean not everyone has the same opportunity to network and learn from those who are established in their production careers. Becoming a STAR Producer Coach is one small way you can help the CMPA work to eliminate such barriers.

Those who succeed in production do so through a combination of knowledge, skills and professional connections. We hope you’ll consider contributing your time for this mentorship initiative. And who knows, you may even find a new production partner at the end of it all.

Become a STAR Producer Coach →


Emerging producers

Producers who are just starting out, or are a few years into their career, are encouraged to apply to participate in the program. As part of this process, individuals will be asked to outline their career experience to-date, and areas of professional interest. Based on this information, the CMPA will work to match early-career producers with a STAR Producer Coach and send an introductory email putting Coaches and “Coachees” in touch with one another.

Emerging producers will be prompted to follow up directly to schedule a 30-minute meeting with their STAR Producer Coach. In advance, the CMPA will also provide the participants with guidance and tools so they are prepared to maximize the time with their Coach.

The CMPA will work to match all interested applicants, however space in the program is limited by the number of STAR Producers Coaches who sign up to participate. Priority will be given to CMPA members and employees of member companies.

Apply to be matched with a STAR Producer Coach →

Networking | Virtual networking roundtables with post-production and VFX companies

Dates to be announced

In early December, we will host a virtual networking event designed for CMPA members to meet with industry leaders and emerging companies in the post-production and visual effects (VFX) industries.

More information, and an opportunity to register, will be shared with members in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!


Resources | IP monetization

CMPA staff have carefully pulled together an extensive range of materials, focused on IP monetization. Use the filter by category button to search through resources from this module below. For resources from past modules, click here.

Past modules


The STAR Producer Program consists of a series of modules, offered throughout the year. To access content from past modules, please click below.


Past Modules →

FAQ / contact us


Answers to frequently asked questions can be found below. Should you have other any questions about the STAR Producer Program, or if you have suggestions for future programming, events or content, please contact Andrew Addison (Vice-President, Communications, Marketing & Membership).

Do I need to commit to a full-year?

No you do not. Individuals will have the opportunity to sign up for programming and events on an individual, case-by-case basis, throughout the year.

Do I need to be a member to get access to the program?

Although some programming will be open to non-members, many of the components of the STAR Producer Program will be available to members only.


Interested in joining the CMPA? Click here.