WIFT-T names Karen Bruce as executive director

Industry veteran Bruce will exit her current role at the Canadian Academy to assume her new post this spring.

Karen BruceWomen in Film & Television – Toronto has named Karen Bruce as its new executive director, filling the shoes of long-time head Heather Webb after she stepped down in December.

Bruce, who currently serves as the Canadian Academy’s director of membership and fan engagement, will assume the position on April 4.

“With her many years of experience supporting programs that enhance and encourage the advancement of women in our industry, we are excited to see what’s next for our organization under her leadership,” said WIFT-T board chair and eOne Television president Jocelyn Hamilton in a statement.

In her current role with the Canadian Academy, Bruce oversees the revamped Apprenticeship for Women Directors. Launched in 2017 to address gender parity, the program offers emerging female directors the opportunity to shadow a working director, access to online sessions with key industry mentors and the chance to be part of Canadian Screen Week.

Last May, Netflix came on board as a principal sponsor of the program and the Academy upped the number of directors from six to eight, offering two spots for female Francophone filmmakers. This year’s cohort includes Kathleen Hepburn, Kirsten Carthew, Alicia K. Harris, Allison White, Asia Yongman, Tiffany Hsiung, Halima Ouradiri and Kristina Wagenbauer.

Prior to joining the Canadian Academy in 2013, Bruce worked at TIFF for almost 12 years as the organization’s director, Canadian initiatives. In that role, she helped develop external relationships and nurture talent through initiatives like TIFF’s Rising Stars and Talent Lab.

Bruce is also involved with various festivals and awards like the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival, The Whistler Film Festival, the CMPA’s Indiescreen awards and the Toronto Film Critics Association annual awards gala.