The Alberta Media Production Industries Association (AMPIA) is governed by a 15 member volunteer Board elected each year at an Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Board of Directors
Chair -Joe Novak
Joe Novak is an Executive Producer, founder, and owner of Bow River Productions, a Calgary-based television production company. He is also President of Robots and Pencils Media, specializing in digital content and software platform creation. A graduate of Concordia University and the London School of Economics and Political Science, Joe began his career with CBC Radio and then CBC Television where he was Director of Network Regional Programming for Arts and Entertainment. He came to Alberta as CBC’s Regional Director, then decided to become an independent producer, and co-founded his own company, Joe Media Group, which has won many international, national, and provincial awards for journalistic and programming excellence (he sold his interest in the company to spend more time with his parents).
Joe’s many years of journalistic and arts and entertainment programming experience has him today developing and producing dramatic, documentary, variety, performance, and lifestyle shows as well as digital online content. He has traveled extensively across Canada and throughout Europe consulting for broadcasters and independent producers. He is responsible for many innovative shows such David Paperney’s Oscar Award nominated documentary “The Broadcast Tapes of Dr. Peter” (HBO) and here in Alberta was the Executive Producer for many award winning projects such as the movie “The Secret of the Nutcracker”, the dance performance special “Joni Mitchell’s The Fiddle and the Drum”, and network documentaries such as “The Battle for Baghdad”, “Hunting the Predators”, “Battle for the Arctic”, “Tasered” and “Dream Makers”. He teaches at Red Deer College and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and is on the Board of Directors of the Calgary International Film Festival and Lougheed House.
Vice Chair – North – Michael Jorgensen
Michael is an Emmy® award-winning filmmaker and network storytelling consultant in both the fiction and nonfiction genres. As a producer, writer and director his films have earned him more than 80 international, national and regional awards. During the late 80’s and early 90’s, Michael garnered five titles as WCNPA Television Photojournalist of the Year. In 1992, Michael was one of the first journalists into war-torn Somalia prior to the UN-sanctioned “Operation Restore Hope.” Since then, Michael has acted as a network storytelling consultant and helped launch the world’s first weekly science program, Discovery Channel’s “Daily Planet.” Michael is the only a filmmaker in history to be granted access inside a classified U.S. Department of Defense weapons competition. Battle of the X-Planes earned Michael his first Emmy® for best long form news and current affairs documentary. He has produced, written and directed numerous primetime specials for National Geographic, Discovery Channel, History, PBS, ZDF Germany and Arte France. Some of his network credits include Gemini®-nominated Secrets of the Dinosaur Mummy, Hunt for the Mad Trapper, Hitler’s Stealth Fighter, Lost Nuke and Mars Rising. Michael has been a judge for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Emmy’s ® since 2010. Michael recently produced, wrote and directed the documentary feature, Unclaimed. Michael also sits on the board of the Alberta Media Industries Association and is a member of the Canadian Media Producers Association and the Producers Guild of America.
Vice President – South
– Tom Cox
Tom Cox is a veteran film and television producer whose work spans twenty-four years and includes feature films, dramatic series, mini-series, television movies and documentaries. Tom’s programs have garnered dozens of Canadian and international awards. Tom’s recent executive producer credits include Wild Roses and Heartland for CBC, Mayerthorpe for CTV and Burn Up for BBC and Global. His recent co-producing credits include television movies for ABC Family, Lifetime, Hallmark, TNT and CBS, as well as feature films for Warner Bros, Yari Pictures and Focus Features. Tom is an executive board member of the Alberta Motion Picture Industry Association and Chair of the AMPIA Producers Committee. He is the past Chair of the National Screen Institute Board of Directors. Tom is finishing his first term as a CFTPA board member, and is active on the Industrial Relations and Broadcast Relations committees. He is committed to ensuring that every region of Canada supports a vibrant and sustainable environment for content development and production through strong independent companies creating projects for domestic and international markets.
– Helen Schmidt”
Helen Schmidt has been a member of the Anaïd team in Edmonton since 1995 where she oversees all aspects of business affairs and accounting for the production company. She is responsible for production financing, budgeting and cost control as well as overall corporate operations and has served as Executive Producer on X-Weighted, Family Restaurant, and The Rig. Helen is distinguished in the field of accounting by her advanced understanding of Canadian film financing and its related issues. Helen and her business affairs team have enabled Anaïd Productions to earn an impressive reputation with investors, broadcasters and distributors alike. A Certified Management Accountant, Helen Schmidt started her accounting career with the Alberta Government, then moved to private industry for several years prior to joining Anaïd. Helen is active in her local community and has used her financial acumen to benefit numerous non-profit organizations by serving on committees and volunteer boards.
Secretary – Norm Bishop
Norm Bishop was born and raised in Edmonton and would go on to receive his B.A. in 1977 and his LL.B. in 1980 from the University of Alberta. Norman’s practice specializes in intellectual property, franchising, commercial leasing and entertainment, and he is a registered Trade Mark Agent for Canada and the U.S. In addition, he is an Associate Member of the Patent and Trade Mark Institute of
Canada. Norman is an enthusiastic supporter of the arts, and has served as a director for the Northern Light Theatre and the Edmonton Art Gallery. Currently, he sits on the Board of Directors of the Alberta Motion Picture Industries Association. Norman is best known for his love of playing rock and roll, and for his total lack of interest in the game of golf. He also enjoys hiking and skiing with his wife and three children.
Freelance Productions Ltd. has been serving the communication needs of Canada’s foremost broadcast and corporate clients for over 25 years. At the helm is the Award winning David Benson, a veteran television Producer, Director, and Writer whose documentary production credits include The Rig (Seasons I & II), Lights… Camera.. Alberta, Behind the Screen, Chasing the Sun (Season I), Island of Faith, Adoption Stories, and Canadians in Kentucky.David has worked with a range of television broadcast clients including, CTV, Alliance Atlantis, National Geographic, OLN, Rogers Sportsnet, TSN, ESPN and TBS, just to name a few. He also has a rich and diverse background of directing and cinematography for sports programs including segments for several Winter and Summer Olympic Games, the 1996 World Figure Skating Championships and the 2003 Heritage Classic Hockey Game.With this experience, Freelance Productions also brings a team with depth in business and legal affairs, production, and post-production, which enables the ability to produce and facilitate quality, fact-based programming for broadcasters worldwide.
Camille Beaudoin – Coming Soon
Linda Callaghan – Coming Soon
Neil has been in the movie industry for over three decades. He has spent his time in the fields of distribution & exhibition with Sony Releasing – formerly Columbia Pictures – and Cineplex Odeon Films, and is currently the COO/Partner of Landmark Cinemas of Canada Inc., the third largest Canadian exhibition chain, based in Calgary, serving Western Canada. His passion for the movies began while watching Saturday matinees at his hometown’s single screen cinema. Neil also serves on the boards of the Motion Picture Theatre Association of Canada, the Calgary International Film Festival and the Motion Picture Pioneers of Canada. His passions and joy are found in his family and on the big screen.
Amy Darling – Coming Soon
Larry Day – Coming Soon
Mike Frislev is co-founder & Chairman of Calgary based Nomadic Pictures along with Chad Oakes. Since its inception in 1995 Nomadic has completed over 30 productions including the movies “Snowbound”, “The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie”, “The Legend of Butch & Sundance”, “Lies My Mother Told Me” and “Trapped Ashes”. Nomadic also produced the miniseries “Broken Trail”, starring Robert Duvall, and the reality series “Hooked Up”. In 2009, Nomadic produced the 1960’s period feature film “45 RPM” and in 2010 the Western feature film “The Last Rites of Ransom Pride”, starring Kris Kristoffersson. Nomadic’s latest success story is a new Western series called “Hell on Wheels”, which has been picked up by AMC, which also produced the series “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad”. Nomadic has been the proud recipient of numerous awards, as well as several Rosie Awards. Michael is an active participant in the local and international film communities, sitting on various film boards and producer based committees. He has served on the AMPIA Board since 2007.
Janice Harrington – Coming Soon
Ron E. Scott is an award winning producer, director, and writer with over eighteen years of industry experience. Having founded Prairie Dog Film + Television in 1993, he has since become a leading figure in the world of independent television production. Most recently, Ron acted as executive producer, writer, and director for a second season on the groundbreaking, Gemini Award-winning series Blackstone. Under Ron’s leadership, Prairie Dog Film + Television has amassed an extensive list of innovative programming that spans all genres, having produced over 160 episodes of television for APTN, ABC, CBC, CBC Bold, City TV, CTV, Global, ION, Showcase, and in several international broadcast markets including the US, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, Eastern & Western Europe and South Africa.
Ron is a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta, AMPIA, the Aboriginal Filmmakers Program at the NFB, the CMPA, and the ACCT. He has also served as a consultant with the Banff Television Festival, Telefilm Canada, and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. Scott volunteers regularly at many conferences and seminars including Dreamspeakers, the BDC, the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, Industry Canada (ABC), NAIT, YC events, and the imagineNATIVE Film festival.
Mike Shields crafts music with precision and intelligence. His melodies have grace, passion and hooks galore built around compelling lyrics. Part of his job is to record and perform these songs to a loyal following.Mike also gets to score television shows and major feature films like Ginger Snaps, 100 Days in the Jungle, and Crazy Canucks. He gets to work with talented directors and create a mood for the audience, making the moving pictures even more memorable. When he’s not doing that, Mike is composing and performing jingles and music tracks for some of the most successful advertising campaigns in the country. He’s helped sell you Fords, Toyotas and clothes from Mark’s Work Wearhouse.Mike has been a musician all his life, studying classical piano at the age of five. Raised by two music teachers, there was not shortage of knowledge and inspiration in his home.
In 1995, Mike released his debut CD,Grace Motel. Two singles charted nationally and his award-wining videos aired on CMT, MuchMusic and other shows like the Country Beat on CBC. Mike’s television performances for the record included the Dini Petty Show, Global TV, City TV and many others. His second CD, Stranger Than Fiction was released across the country in 1999 to critical acclaim.
In addition to writing and performing his own songs, Mike started Jet Music Inc. that year and became the music director for Sync Spot Digital Audio Post in Calgary. Recently he has opened Jet Music Canada and become a partner in SoundProof (a commercial music company) in Toronto. Since the release of his last record, the film bug has bitten hard and Mike’s been scoring many feature film scores, television programs, and commercials – and winning several awards along the way. While busier than ever with that side of his career and spare time is hard to come by, he’s back at writing his own material and hard at work on his own screenplay – about, what else?, music.
Executive Director – Bill Evans
Bill Evans is the former Director of Programming at the Whistler Film Festival, and the former Director of Showcases and Senior Manager of Film Training Programs at the National Screen Institute – Canada. Bill also served as Festival Director of the NSI Film Exchange in Winnipeg and the Local Heroes Film Festival in Edmonton. Bill is an award-winning events producer and has a broad range of programming experience including Edmonton’s Metro Cinema, the Vancouver International Film Festival and the Calgary International Film Festival. A native of Edmonton, Bill studied Film Studies at the University of Alberta and Film Production at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.