Creative BC Staff Biographies
Prem Gill is Chief Executive Officer of Creative BC. The organization is designated by the Province of British Columbia to focus on uniting, sustaining and growing British Columbia’s dynamic and diverse creative sector including motion picture, music and sound recording, interactive and digital media, and magazine and book publishing.
Prem has been named one of Canada's 100 most powerful women, Vancouver Magazine’s “Power 50” and received the Community Catalyst award from the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. She brings more than 20 years of experience from the digital media and entertainment industries to her current role as CEO, where she is responsible for delivering a wide range of programs and services that will expand B.C.’s creative economy to reach its economic, social and creative potential both at home and globally.
Before Creative BC, Prem spent eight years with TELUS, most recently in the role of Director of Production & Original Programming. Her commitment to the advancement of B.C.’s creative economy can be seen through her achievements there, including the successful development and launch of the STORYHIVE program and TELUS’ Optik TV community channel.
For many years, Prem has championed Canadian creativity as a representative and spokesperson to media, industry and government at all levels. Previous roles and responsibilities have included government and regulatory affairs, independent media consultation, cross-platform marketing, communications, research, public affairs and multicultural programming.
Prem is currently on the Board of Directors of The Bell Fund, a not-for-profit organization. The Bell Fund’s mission is to support Canadian Media content makers in creating for and connecting with, audiences here and everywhere.
After working for several years in a Vancouver chartered accounting firm, Robert first joined Creative BC when it was BC Film + Media. At that time, he became part of the organization's newly forming tax credit team.
Now Creative BC's Vice President, Robert markets British Columbia internationally as a destination of choice for projects and companies seeking a world class creative industries centre in which to do business. In his role, he leads the administration of Creative BC's tax credit and granting programs, balancing attraction of international business with support for BC's domestic content creators.
During his tenure with the organization, Robert has become the expert on motion picture tax credits, originally helping to launch the BC film and television tax credit program in 1998. He went on to play an integral role in the evolution of British Columbia’s motion picture industry tax policy.
Most recently, James was in charge of business operations and acted as the corporate controller for Embassy Visual Effects, a post-production visual effects studio in Vancouver. Prior to this, he worked in the film, television and entertainment industry for many years in the areas of logistics, on-set supply, equipment sales, financing and payroll disbursement, specifically with EP Canada – including the administration of film tax credits through Canada Film Capital (now EP Canada - Incentives). As a result, James is very familiar with Creative BC!
James is also knowledgeable and experienced in the music industry, having served as the controller of a music instrument retail/wholesale business and school, and later as Director of Finance for a cross-border brokerage, which served many industries including motion picture and live music.
James possesses an MBA and is a CPA with over 17 years’ experience in finance and accounting. The majority of those years have been spent in a supervisory role. James has worked closely with IT departments in past positions and led several major implementation projects. He has also managed general administration services from office management to employee benefits.
Karin brings broad experience to this role, including expertise and education in a variety of areas that are key to her focus at Creative BC on strategic brand-building, research, knowledge and talent development. Previously, she worked with Emily Carr University of Art and Design for close to three years, most recently in the capacity of Digital Strategist and before that as their Media Relations and Communications lead. She possesses five years as an independent professional consultant, providing strategic and hands-on expertise to organizations in the areas of brand positioning, marketing and communications; human resources and employee engagement; as well as operations and organizational development.
Prior to these professional activities, Karin worked in various operational roles for Korn/Ferry International, a leading global talent management firm, for close to 10 years. Karin has a BA in Art History and possesses certificates in digital strategy and professional writing.
Karin is on the Board of Directors for the BC Centre for Ability Foundation.
As BC Film Commissioner and Director of Production Services, Marnie Gee leads BC’s film commission team to deliver provincial film commission services, from locations marketing and physical production resource support, to industry and community relations services. She works to sustain and grow ongoing opportunity and collaboration for the network of industry and government stakeholders who together contribute to the motion picture industry's success in BC. With 20+ years of experience in location and production support in the film and television industry, Marnie has worked throughout British Columbia and brings a specialized knowledge of local communities and geographical areas as well as a strong understanding of the dynamics between communities and motion picture production.
Anita Reichenback is responsible for providing confidential, administrative assistance to the CEO, Vice President, and Board of Directors of Creative BC and the BC Film Foundation. She also provides administrative support to the tax credit department.
Anita brings over 20 years of administrative experience to the organization and came to Creative BC from the former BC Film + Media.
Daniel is Creative BC's Finance Manager, responsible for financial operations and reporting, as well as supporting strategic decision-making and achieving objectives.
Daniel graduated with a BBA degree in accounting and has 10 years' experience in the finance field. Prior to joining Creative BC, Daniel worked in the VFX industry and within municipal government. In his spare time, Daniel enjoys exploring BC's beautiful landscapes.
Caitlin Keely joined the team at Creative BC in April 2018 taking on the role of Office Coordinator. Coming from a background in salon management she brings a sense of style, creativity and the ability to play many roles.
At Creative BC, Caitlin is responsible for keeping all aspects of the office running as smooth as possible. Which includes website updates, event planning, curating the monthly "Spotlight in BC Newsletter", directing all calls to the appropriate staff to ensure the public is provided with the best service suited to their needs, and maintaining a warm, friendly but also efficient office environment!
Julie Bernard, is the Manager of Production Services + Reel Green™ Partnerships at Creative BC, and was previously in the same position at the BC Film Commission for 13 years. Julie works closely with local and international producers providing service including valuable resource information and location expertise helping to market the province as a film destination.
In Julie’s 20 years of experience in the film industry as a Location Manager and Production Coordinator, working on many productions: commercials, television movies, pilots, series and feature films, she brings extensive knowledge of the film industry, having worked directly with producers, production managers, directors and the creative teams.
Julie has found working at Creative BC both gratifying and complimentary to her many years of film experience, and is passionate about the growth of BC’s Creative Industries.
Julie is responsible for the ongoing evolution of Creative BC’s engagement, support, and collaboration throughout B.C.’s economic regions. This includes facilitating investment in, and partnership with, the Regional Film Commissions.
Building strong regional ties and connections, she undertakes strategic projects, initiatives and policy work to support the sustainability and growth of the motion picture industry, as well as the broader creative industries, across all of BC.
Working internally and externally, Julie ensures that Creative BC’s programs and services reach stakeholders beyond the Lower Mainland/Southwest, and facilitates collaboration between associations, governments, industry and communities to expand the positive impacts of Creative BC’s activities.
Julie brings to the role a broad range of knowledge of motion picture production in BC which includes five years of experience in the locations department for a wide range of productions in BC. She is a graduate of the UBC Film Production Program. She also co-wrote and produced her own short film as part of the annual Crazy8 Short Film Competition.
In this role, Katharine is responsible for support and engagement with a variety of stakeholders including all levels of government, industry and community under the guidance of the BC Film Commissioner. She is responsible for a variety of projects and initiatives that support the sustainability and growth of the motion picture industry in BC as well as the management of general inquiries, physical production concerns, policy work and community relations.
Katharine’s background includes 10+ years of experience in film and television production in various positions; most recently with multiple years spent in the locations department doing episodic television. Her broad range of experience in a variety of productions and positions has enabled her to remain creative and efficient in problem solving and collaborating with the entire Provincial Film Commission team at Creative BC.
Jennifer joined the Provincial Film Commission at Creative BC in October 2019. In her role on the Industry + Community Affairs team, she serves as a first point of contact for general inquiries, works to resolve concerns raised by the community, provides collaboration for ongoing policy work and municipal outreach, and supports physical production to help keep filming viable and sustainable in British Columbia.
Jennifer previously worked in locations in Los Angeles where she managed film permits and community outreach for a number of productions. Her unique background liaising between production, government, and the community has given her a big-picture perspective of physical production and the ability to collaboratively solve problems.
Seán Hernández Cummings works closely with local and international producers by providing production services including valuable resource information and location expertise, helping to market the province as a film destination. Seán promotes British Columbia as a destination of choice for film producers by preparing customized location packages, facilitating location surveys for the creative team, tracking stage space & studio facility availability, and assessing the suitability of location files for inclusion in Creative BC’s online locations library.
Seán has significant experience and knowledge of motion picture production in British Columbia having worked as a location manager and scout for more than 30 projects including feature films, television movies and series. In addition, Seán brings a diverse background, including time in professional theatre, finance, real estate appraisal, client services, teaching, and labour unions to his more than five years with Creative BC.
As Location + Listing Consultant, Mike has the responsibility to connect incoming production companies with British Columbia’s many and varied filming locations. He conducts a creative location breakdown of film and television scripts for potential projects. He is also responsible for overseeing Creative BC’s proprietary digital library, Reel Scout, and the Locations + Listing Coordinator, managing the Coordinator’s activities and priorities, ensuring the effectiveness and quality of those services and maintenance of the Reel Scout database, and its associated services to the regional film commissions, property owners and locations professionals.
Previously, Mike worked in the Locations Department on a wide range of television series and feature films. He brings to the role more than 12 years of experience in BC’s film and television industry including positions with BC and Regional Film Offices.
Andrea Connacher joined Creative BC in February 2020 as a Locations + Listings Coordinator on the Provincial Film Commission team. Andrea is responsible for coordinating the operation and maintenance of Creative BC’s online locations library, which is one of its key vehicles for promoting British Columbia and attracting domestic and international productions to the province. Andrea ensures that the data is current and catalogued correctly and liaises with members of the public and businesses who want to add images of their property for inclusion in the locations library. She also provides training for location managers and scouts and regional film offices on its use.
Andrea brings to the role a broad range of experience and knowledge of Motion Picture Production in BC which includes 17 years of experience in the Locations Department; most recently with 8 years spent as a Location Scout/Coordinator doing episodic television. Andrea is also a graduate with honours of BCIT’s Broadcast Media & Communications: Television Program.
Smiely Khurana is the Reel Green™ Sustainability Lead at Creative BC, supporting and connecting Reel Green's expanding community of engagement through the implementation of Reel Green's strategic plan, deepening industry's expertise and use of the tools, further transforming production practices through the Clean Energy municipal collaboration, and work to help industry transition to a circular economy.
With a background in film and marketing, Smiely has worked on a number of productions in several different positions such as producer’s assistant, accounting, digital marketing and film promotion, and most recently as a sustainability coordinator. Throughout the years, Smiely’s passion and involvement in environmental sustainability has allowed her to lead discussions, workshops and keynotes in university film programs, at the Sustainable Production Forum, and host a successful podcast focused on environmental sustainability.
Jill Reilly is the manager of the tax credit team at Creative BC and provides direction and oversight to the department in the administration of the Film Incentive BC and Production Services Tax Credits. She has had extensive experience with the provincial tax credit system, having been a business analyst at Creative BC and, before that, BC Film + Media for many years. Prior to working in the tax credit department, Jill worked at the Union of B.C. Performers / ACTRA.
Jill has a degree in Economics from the University of Manitoba and in Law from the University of Toronto. In her spare time, she enjoys running, biking and cheering on her beloved Winnipeg Jets.
Biljana Radovic analyzes applications to Film Incentive BC and the Production Services Tax Credit, including production budgets, distribution and financing agreements and other documentation, in order to determine eligibility in accordance with the program legislation and regulations.
Biljana is a published playwright and academic writer; a former editor in chief and accredited film critic at the international film festivals VENICE (2005), MILAN (2005), TIFF (2004), FEST (2004) etc.
Prior to joining Creative BC in 2019, Biljana was a Business Affairs and Production Associate at Omnifilm Entertainment and had over a decade long career in Business Affairs in Motion Picture, Indie Film Distribution, Screenwriting for Endemol’s format driven TV shows, and Theatre Production.
Biljana’s academic competencies are Post Baccalaureate diploma: North American Business Management (2016. Capilano University, North Vancouver), Master’s degree: Production of Dramatic Arts and Media - Film and TV (2008. University of Arts, Belgrade), and Bachelor’s degree: Dramaturgy (2005. Academy of Arts, Belgrade).
- Joanne Chow is a Business Analyst for the Creative BC Motion Picture Tax Credit team. She processes applications for the Motion Picture Tax Credit programs: Film Incentive BC and Production Services Tax Credit, while providing expertise and service to local and international producers.Prior to joining Creative BC in 2019, Joanne worked as a software engineer in California for many years. Joanne is a Jill of many trades with excellent crafting skills, a degree in Computer Engineering from the University of British Columbia and a diploma in Film and TV writing from Vancouver Film School.
Lea Chambers joined the tax credits department to support the implementation of Creative BC’s new pre-certification process for PSTC tax credits. Lea also assists the tax team more broadly in delivering provincial film, television, digital animation and visual effects tax credits for British Columbia.
For the three years prior to this role, Lea was responsible for processing payment requests at Creative BC and had the pleasure of taking on special projects like impact report photography.
Graduating from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Mathematics, Lea’s educational background is in maths, business, and economics. Outside of the office, these days, Lea can be found writing, reading, and photographing.
Mathew began his career in film locations in his native Wales, spending a decade working for the Wales Screen Commission, attracting and providing support to productions of all shapes and sizes. His locations talents eventually led him to Vancouver by way of Los Angeles where for a number of years he helped facilitate international productions on behalf of the UK Film Council from their Hollywood office.
Now at Creative BC, Mathew’s primary responsibilities lie within the Development Team where he oversees a number of programs including the Project Development Fund, and other partnership programs with external organizations supporting film and TV development.
Mathew has a Master’s degree in history, and is also a graduate of the Documentary Film Production program at Langara College. A short film he produced and shot as part of the program was selected for screening at DOXA (Vancouver Documentary Film Festival) and at other festivals in Canada and the UK.
Janine Steele is an experienced producer, production manager and arts administrator working at the confluence of linear filmmaking and digital media. Most recently as Director of Operations, Digital at the National Film Board of Canada, she managed the team behind their online platforms, NFB.ca and the NFB Films App.
Before that Janine was Operations Manager for their Vancouver based English Digital Studio, where she produced or project managed pioneering interactive documentaries like Far Away From Far Away, Seven Digital Deadly Sins, Bear 71 and Welcome to Pine Point. Her work has received dozens of awards including a Cannes Cyber Lion, FWA Site of the Year and several Webby Awards.
Janine is excited to be returning to Creative BC. Under the former BC Film shingle, she was responsible for the design and release of the first interactive media funds, as well as oversaw the industry renowned Slate Development Fund and Passport to Markets programs.
Brenda is the manager of the new Music Team, and brings more than 15 years of experience in Canada’s music industry. Most recently, she was at CiTR, UBC’s radio station, where she held the position of Station Manager and was the Publisher of Discorder magazine. In this role, she was responsible for strategic planning, stakeholder relations, fundraising, grant writing, finances and human resources, leading a team of 20 employees and 250+ volunteers to create local programming with a mandate to support local, Canadian and niche music.
Brenda has a degree in music performance, as well as an MBA in Arts and Media from York University. She has organized festivals and community events, and chaired the boards of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival and the National Campus and Community Radio Association. Outside of work, Brenda enjoys festivals, hosting a local music and food radio program on CiTR, biking around town and playing croquet in the park.
Gina Loes joined Creative BC in December 2016 as Program Analyst in the music department. Gina is responsible for the Career Development program and supports artists applying for recording, marketing and music video production grants.
Gina has her BA in Music from The University of British Columbia. Her primary music project was writing and performing with Vancouver band, The Ruffled Feathers. Gina worked in music publishing administration with Nettwerk Music Group, and has also held positions in fundraising, grant writing, sync licensing, and digital marketing. Outside of work, Gina studies flamenco dance, Spanish and Italian language, and has been making ceramics for over a decade.
Kaitlyn Reining joined Creative BC in December 2016 as a Program Analyst for the Music Team. She is responsible for advising applicants and assisting with program analysis as part of the Music team.
Kaitlyn graduated from the Producing and Engineering program at Harris Institute for the Arts. Prior to working at Creative BC, Kaitlyn got her start in the music industry at Arts & Crafts in Toronto, and moved on to a Project Manager role at local indie label, Light Organ Records, where she managed the day-to-day career development for signed artists. Outside of work, Kaitlyn enjoys going to shows, riding her bike, and being a tortured Blue Jays fan.
Giselle joined the Creative BC team as Music Coordinator in March 2021. She has diverse experiences in the arts and culture industry, working on music festivals such as Small World Music and Ashkenaz Festival in Toronto, writing for Spill Magazine, and providing digital show support with Side Door.
As a graduate from Berklee’s Master of Arts program in Global Entertainment Business, Giselle has developed a continuous interest in music programming and artistic initiatives, as well as community development. Outside of work, Giselle songwrites, records, and performs with her latin soul band Gisun. She can also be found rock climbing mountains, cycling, and attending (virtual) concerts!