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 up of six modules that reflect the lifecycle of a production project: Pre-Development, Development, Pre-Production, Production, Post-Production, and IP Commercialization.

Each of the modules will run for approximately two months and will feature 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


Connecting experienced and emerging producers, to facilitate short one-on-one discussions focused on early-career challenges and production-focused queries


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

Pre-Development (Module 1): Identifying and acquiring IP

The Pre-Development module, which will launch the STAR Producer Program, will focus on topics related to identifying and acquiring intellectual property for a production project.

Presentation | Sweat & Hustle: Damon D’Oliveira on optioning books for the screen

December 16, 2020 – 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET / 10:00 am to 11:00 am PT

Our kickoff event featured an “in conversation” webinar with Damon D’Oliveira (Conquering Lion Pictures), discussing his experience optioning books such as Lawrence Hill’s Book of Negroes and David Chariandy’s novel, Brother. The discussion focused on how to option a book for a production project, and how to approach the adaptation project once it has been acquired.

Damon was joined by veteran publisher Barbara Howsen, and the discussion will be moderated by Ontario Creates’ Erin Creasey.

Networking | Producers & Podcasters: Digital speed dating event

As the global podcasting industry booms, podcasts have become a growing source of IP for screen adaptations. On the week of January 18, 2021, the CMPA facilitated a digital speed dating event to connect CMPA members with podcasters to discuss potential collaborations and business opportunities.

We were happy to welcome the following executives from Canada’s leading podcasting companies:

CBC Podcasts
Arif Noorani – Executive Producer & Co-Founder
Geoff Turner– Managing Producer
Christopher Oke – Senior Producer
Tina Verma – Producer

Chris “Dunner” Duncombe – Director of Podcasting & Streaming
Dila Velazquez – Manager of Content & Audience Development

Indian & Cowboy
Ryan McMahon – Chief Creative Producer

Kelly & Kelly
Chris Kelly – Partner & Creative Director
Lauren Bercovitch – Head of Production

Mentorship | 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 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. The deadline for application to participate in the program is Monday, March 29, 2021.

Apply to be matched with a STAR Producer Coach →


We have scoured high and low for a wide range of helpful materials, focused on identifying, acquiring and adapting IP for the screen. Check out the STAR Producer Program resources page, to access these and other resources:

STAR Producer Program resources→

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. 

What are the expectations for mentors?

The mentorship pillar of the STAR Producer Program is an opportunity for experienced producers to give back to the production community, sharing their experience and expertise with emerging producers, who are early in their careers.


To encourage participation, the time commitment required from mentors volunteers is minimal. Volunteers will only need to make themselves available for between 30-60 to participate in short 15-minute phone conversations or zoom meetings with emerging producers. Emerging producers will be asked to provide a short agenda to their mentor in advance, and come prepared with 3-5 questions they would like to ask during the call.


For more information, or to volunteer as a mentor please contact Sarolta Csete (Director, Development & Corporate Affairs).

Is the STAR Producer Program’s mentorship pillar connect in any way to the CMPA National Mentorship Program?

No, The CMPA National Mentorship Program is a separate program, which coordinates job placement opportunities at leading production companies for aspiring producers. More information about this program can be found here.