Mentoring Takes Centre Stage for Vancouver’s Aspiring Leading Ladies

The Actor Career Mentorship was launched in 2013 by actor, Krista Magnusson, as a way to provide women actors with advice, inspiration, and support as they work to advance their careers.

The program matches successful applicants (mentees) with working women actors (mentors) in Vancouver, who will offer guidance and help the mentees work through specific career goals they have set for themselves. Mentees will work on their individual goals, most commonly involving insight into relationship building, how to build a long-term career, developing their own projects, branding, and work/life balance as the pairs meet for one hour, once a month, for six months. Mentees will also take part in a monthly volunteer placement, outside the film industry, as a way to give back to the community.

Despite 2017 being one of the busiest years for the Vancouver Film & TV Industry, actors in Vancouver have noticed a significant increase in roles being cast in other cities with a corresponding decrease of available roles being cast in Vancouver. The USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism reported that as of 2016, female speaking roles made up only 31.4% of all speaking roles. The lack of opportunity creates additional barriers for female actors looking to get their start in the industry. Actors are entrepreneurs who work hard to create their own careers. The Actor Career Mentorship aims to help up and coming actors take their career to the next level and set them up for long-term success.

This year’s jury included Magnusson (Limitless, Lost Solace, Bloody Knuckles), Gary Harvey (Arctic Air, Murdoch Mysteries, and Robson Arms), and Karen Lam (Evangeline, Van Helsing, and Ghost Wars). From the applications, the jury chose twelve mentees. Successful applicants were those with clearly articulated career intentions and goals for the program, and that demonstrated initiative in both finding and creating their own work, and previous efforts to solve career challenges.

“It’s gratifying to see such a wealth of acting talent in our city, and I look forward to having the opportunity to work with these women as they progress through their careers,” said Lam.

The program runs from January to July 2018. The mentees have already completed the Career Strategy Goal Workshop with Aaron Hutchinson of Actors Business Collective. Applications for the 2019 cohort open in October 2018.

This year’s mentees are:

  • Annabel Maclean
  • Dale Willman
  • Doralynn Mui
  • Hayley Gray
  • Hilary Dusome
  • Julie Boersema
  • Kristina Hampton
  • Leah Beaudry
  • Mona Hassanien
  • Paige McCulloch
  • Sara Vickruck
  • Shelene Yung

This year’s mentors are:

  • April Telek
  • Brittney Wilson
  • Carly Pope
  • Catherine Lough Haggquist
  • Chelah Horsdal
  • Crystal Lowe
  • Gabrielle Rose
  • Jennifer Spence
  • Keegan Conner Tracy
  • Lisa Durupt
  • Luvia Peterson
  • Tammy Gillis

For more information or to arrange interviews with a mentor, mentee, or program coordinator Krista Magnusson, please contact