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AMPIA Spotlight

A Closer Look at Some of the Creative Talent Making Things Happen In Alberta

Kaitlan Stewart

Kaitlan Stewart |  Executive Producer, Founder · Fenix Film & Television

Kaitlan Stewart is the executive producer and founder of Fenix Film & Television, a television production company based in Alberta, Canada. ​

After cutting her teeth on the sets of CANADA’S GOT TALENT, CITYLINE and THE BACHELOR CANADA, Kaitlan spent nearly a decade working with the writing, producing and development teams of Alberta’s top-producing production companies, including Anaid Productions (THE LIQUIDATOR), Prairie Dog Film & Television (BLACKSTONE), and Mosaic Entertainment (TINY PLASTIC MEN, CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN NUTS), where she served as the VP of Development and Business Affairs.

Since founding Fenix Film & Television in 2019, Kaitlan has successfully led the company through numerous development and production deals, securing hundreds of thousands of dollars in development funding across the company’s slate of projects and millions of dollars in production funding. In 2022, Kaitlan produced the ground-breaking CBC docu-series, PUSH. Now in its second season, PUSH is the first major-network series in Canada to feature a full leading cast of people with disabilities. ONLY UP, a feature-length documentary co-produced by Kaitlan for Super Channel, premieres in January 2024.

Kaitlan recently served for two terms on the board of the Alberta Media Production Industries Association and was just 1 of 5 women across Canada selected for the 2023 Banff Spark All Star Program.


Can you please provide a brief overview of your journey in the film and TV industry?

My journey started while I was working for a small advertising agency. My boss at the time quite literally woke up one day and decided he wanted to shoot a TV pilot. We did and the result was… well …bad, but I left that experience feeling like I’d tapped into something. I did a little research and found that there was a small, but vibrant industry in Edmonton, where I lived at the time. After deliberating for a couple of years, I couldn’t shake that TV was where I was meant to be. Eventually, I went back to school to take NAIT’s Radio and Television Broadcasting program. I didn’t want to go into news but the program was quick and had an internship component. After three short semesters, I found myself interning at Anaid Productions as their office assistant which became my first job in the industry. It has been a slow and steady progression from there. Each and every experience taught me something (even if I didn’t realize it at the time). It was while working for Mosaic Entertainment that I really cut my teeth working under Eric Rebalkin and Camille Beaudoin. They were true mentors to me and, as their Development and Business Affairs Manager, I learned, for the first time in my career, how TV actually gets made. It’s why I was able to step out on my own and start my company, which I did in 2019.

What are some of your key accomplishments?

I think there have been a lot of building blocks and small accomplishments (and a number of fails) that eventually added up to something. I still remember receiving my first Project Script Development Grant from the AMF. You would have thought I won the lottery. I was so excited and was able to leverage that and other small grants into more and more development funds (like the Bell Slate Development Fund, which Fenix received in 2020). Eventually, I’d built out a pretty decent slate and got my first greenlight with a major network for the show PUSH in 2022, by far my and Fenix’s biggest accomplishment to-date.

What are your current and/or future projects?

PUSH, which is a CBC Original that follows a group of friends and wheelchair users living in Edmonton, has been the project that’s stollen most of my focus for the past two and a half years. When it was greenlit by CBC in 2022, Fenix was still just a one woman show. It was a massive undertaking to grow so quickly and take on a project of that size. I’ve been lucky to find good people to help carry the load like our Line Producer, Leah Iwaniuk, and, Associate Producer, Stephanie Duckett. Thanks to a good team, I just now feel like I have the bandwidth to take on other things.

One of the happy developments of 2023, was Ian Barr partnering with me in Fenix. Ian is someone I worked with in my Mosaic days. He’s incredibly talented and one of the smartest (and kindest) people I know. We have been busy growing Fenix’s slate on the scripted side, optioning projects from established writers across the country as well as developing projects internally.

Have there been any key moments in your career that changed your trajectory?

Getting PUSH greenlit has been the biggest game changer to-date. I’m very proud of everything we have accomplished with that show and it really put Fenix ‘on the map’ (so to speak). It will always live in my heart as such a special show for so many reasons – because it was my first, but mostly for what it represents and the people who were positively impacted by it. On a personal level, it was so meaningful to be part of something that holds such significance. Professionally speaking, it has allowed me to build my company and capacity for other projects of that scale. I will be forever grateful to everyone involved and especially to Bean Gill, the star of the show, who said yes to a newbie producer with a dream to tell important stories.