WIFTV Announces Diverse Mentee Selection for its Virtual Actor Career Mentorship Program

Women in Film and Television Vancouver’s established ongoing Actor Career Mentorship Program returns this year with a new cohort of diverse Vancouver actors, who will have an opportunity to grow their careers in acting despite the challenges posed by the current pandemic to the health and growth of Vancouver’s film and television industry.

Founded by its current Program Director, Krista Magnusson, the Actor Career Mentorship pairs successful mentee applicants with veteran mentor actors currently active in the local industry, to work toward the mentees’ specific acting career goals. Although a smaller applicant pool than in previous years, this year’s applicants and successful mentee cohort builds on last year’s diverse mentee group, with 25% of applicants self-identifying as a person of colour and overall 25% of selected mentees identifying as people of colour. Applicants are required to submit a detailed application, and the successful mentees are selected by a jury of industry professionals. The mentors are hand-picked by Magnusson to pair with each mentee, in response to specific mentee goals and needs.

Given the current pandemic-related restrictions, this year’s program will run completely virtually. After an initial Kick-Off meeting conducted by Magnusson, mentees will meet with their respective mentors for one hour, once a month, for six months. Mentees can expect to receive insights from their veteran mentors into relationship building, developing and sustaining long-term acting careers, creating their own projects, branding, and work/life balance.

This year’s jury included Krista Magnusson, Actor Career Mentorship Founder and Program Director/Actor (Woke, Away, The Baby-Sitters Club); Kara Eide, CSA (Two Sentence Horror Stories, Overboard, Wonder); and Elena Kirschner, Founding Agent, RED Management.

“It was exciting to participate in a program helps build community between women and mentors in the film community,” says Kirschner.

The 11 selected mentee/mentor pairings for the WIFTV Actor Career Mentorship Program 2021 (listed alphabetically, by mentee last name).

  • Serena Bickerstaff / Gabrielle Rose
  • Stephanie Jaskot / Chelah Horsdal
  • Aixa Kay / Catherine Lough-Haggquist
  • Sarah Marchand / Carly Pope
  • Andy Marie / Carmen Aguirre
  • Christina McInulty / Luvia Petersen
  • Lori Schock / Tammy Gillis
  • Erika Thompson / Jennifer Copping
  • Kyra Weston / Sonja Bennett
  • Kirsten Wight / Ali Liebert
  • Leysan Timirboulatova / Camille Sullivan

The program runs from January to July 2021, and includes the Career Strategy Goal Workshop with Aaron Hutchinson of the Actors Business Collective. Applications for the 2022 cohort are slated to open in October 2021.