Senior management

Christa Dickenson
Executive Director
Francesca Accinelli
Director, Promotion and Communications
E.J. Alon
Director, Talent Fund
Patrick Bédard, CPA, CA, MBA
Director of Finance and Interim Director, Administration and Corporate Services
René Bourdages
Senior Director, Cultural Portfolio Management
Marie-Claude Lavigne
Director, Government Affairs
Stéphane Odesse, LL.B., D.Fisc.
Director, Legal Services and Access to Information, and Corporate Secretary
Stella Riggi, CRHA/CHRP
Director of Human Resources

Christa Dickenson

Executive Director

Christa Dickenson is the Executive Director of Telefilm Canada. She has over two decades of experience spanning broadcast television, technology, telecommunications and interactive digital media, having worked at CTV, CPAC, Rogers and Interactive Ontario. Ms. Dickenson possesses an un-paralleled talent for innovation coupled with a strong business acumen. With brand advocacy expertise honed over many years, she is a highly effective screen-based industries advocate and spokesperson. In addition to a professional background spanning both the creative and business sides of the broadcast, technology, telecommunications and interactive digital media industries, Ms. Dickenson has a BAH and Masters of Fine Arts in Film Studies.

Francesca Accinelli

Director, Promotion and Communications

Francesca joined Telefilm in 2006 as the Deputy Director, English Market for the Canadian Television Fund (now Canada Media Fund), by 2008 she was promoted to Director of that team and is now very excited to be the Director of National Promotions and Communications. Francesca has always been a fan of Canadian film and television and she has a great ability to build strong relationships with clients. She looks forward to working with the industry to promote our Canadian successes.

Francesca began her career as a cultural administrator and producer of theatre where she was required to manage both production and promotion of the plays. She then moved on to television production working on big budget TV series and MOWs produced for Alliance Atlantis, among other companies.

She has a B.A in Fine Arts from York University where she focused on film studies.

E.J. Alon

Director, Talent Fund

E.J. Alon brings to Telefilm a proven track-record in philanthropy with close to 20 years of experience from across multiple sectors. He is well-acquainted with the film industry, through his time at TIFF as well as at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the U.S. He has also worked for brands such as TO Live, the Luminato Festival, the Harbourfront Centre, and the Ontario Science Centre.

He is passionate about arts and culture, the transformative power of philanthropy, the importance of diversity, inclusion and community building, and is an active volunteer.

E.J. is a driven fundraiser having achieved strong results with both individual major and corporate donors. He is responsible for leading the Talent Fund and has the mandate of achieving Telefilm’s long-term financing goals.

Patrick Bédard, CPA, CA, MBA

Director of Finance and Interim Director, Administration and Corporate Services

Patrick joined Telefilm Canada in 2004 as Chief Accountant and was promoted to Controller in 2010. Prior to that, he started his career as an auditor, working primarily in the manufacturing and municipal sectors. He later joined the Office of the Auditor General of Canada where, among other achievements, he developed his expertise in the Canadian audiovisual industry.

In his current role, Patrick is responsible for finance, financial operations and financial policy compliance. He is also responsible for the administrative financial information related to the agreement with the Canada Media Fund.

He is a chartered accountant by training and has a master's degree in business administration.

René Bourdages

Senior Director, Cultural Portfolio Management

René Bourdages was appointed the NFB’s Director General, Creation and Innovation, in July 2016.

In this position, he ensures that the NFB’s leadership in creativity remains a national and international benchmark. He oversees the interactive studios in Vancouver and Montreal and both English Program and French Program (animation and documentary), in line with the specific objectives of each.

In the course of his 30-year career, Mr. Bourdages has occupied highly strategic roles in major private and public media groups, including TVA/Quebecor, where he was Executive Vice-President, Broadcasting and Operations, Astral Media, where he held the position of Executive Vice-President of Programming, Sales and Marketing, and CBC/ Radio-Canada, where he was President of the Merchandising Division.

In 2012, he founded ELEVADO Media, a consulting firm advising fund managers and production companies regarding their investments in development, funding and strategic planning in the U.S. and Canada.

Familiar with the world of production, programming and innovation, he has been a speaker and moderator for a number of years, at events such as the World Animation & VFX Summit, Digital Hollywood, the New York Media Summit and the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Mr. Bourdages holds a business and management of entertainment certificate from UCLA and a certificate in corporate governance from Université Laval in Quebec City. He has been named to Canada’s Top 40 under 40TM list.

Marie-Claude Lavigne

Director, Government Affairs

Ms. Lavigne comes to Telefilm with 20 years’ experience in strategy, public affairs, and government relations. Having worked with both the federal and provincial levels, she has gained in-depth knowledge of the structures and players within government. Over the course of her career, she was notably vice president of several public relations agencies, including Citoyen Optimum and Cohn & Wolfe, and has worked in various sectors, such as finance, economic development, as well as the cultural milieu.

Stéphane Odesse, LL.B., D.Fisc.

Director, Legal Services and Access to Information, and Corporate Secretary

Stéphane has been providing legal services to Telefilm since 1994. He was appointed Director of Legal Services in 2002.

Before joining our institution, Stéphane practiced law for many years in the areas of commercial law, corporate law and copyright law. Among other qualifications, he holds a Bachelor of Laws degree and a Specialized Graduate Diploma in Taxation.

Stéphane is a member of the Barreau du Québec and the Canadian Bar Association. He also participates in several other legal bodies, including the Association des secrétaires et chefs de contentieux du Québec, the Association des juristes pour l'avancement de la vie artistique and the Association littéraire et artistique internationale (ALAI).

Stella Riggi, CRHA/CHRP

Director of Human Resources

Stella Riggi is a human resources professional with over 25 years of experience. She joined Telefilm Canada in 1999 as the Director of Human Resources, where her responsibilities include the development and implementation of different human resource strategies across Telefilm’s offices. Her primary focus is organizational development and talent management.

A graduate of the Université de Montréal and a certified coach, Stella began her career in executive search and has held various HR positions. She has held many positions on the Boards of Directors of a number of organizations, including Les Œuvres du Cardinal Léger, the CPE communautaire NDG, Vélo-Québec Association, as well as the Foundation of Stars.