Ottawa hosts ready for Prime Time players

Prime Time in Ottawa sounds like a Canadian comedy from the ’80s–like Not My Department or Learning the Ropes. Instead, it is a Canadian TV and film industry conference and schmoozefest that has been going on in the nation’s capital since those two shows were on the air. Maybe it began in response to them!
Presented by the Canadian Media Production Association, the 24th annual Prime Time in Ottawa conference takes place Feb. 19 – 21. This used to be an elite industry event but they’ve really let their standards down this year–I’ll be attending.
I’ve been asked to moderate a panel and it should be a fun one. At 11:30 Thursday at the Westin in Ottawa, where the conference takes place, I’ll be moderating a Canadian Broadcaster Programming Panel featuring five of the top TV executives in this country, all responsible for generating original content.
They are: Vanessa Case, EVP Programming and production at Blue Ant Media; Sally Catto, Executive Director, Commissioned & Scripted programming, CBC; Corrie Coe, SVP, Independent production for Bell Media; Tara Ellis, Senior Director of Original Drama Content for Shaw Media and Nataline Rodrigues, Director of Programming, Rogers Media.
That’s right, all  five are women. Getting Canadian shows on the air is evidently women’s work. Men are too busy dividing up sports rights. What a country.
Some of the other TV power players rocking this year’s PTO include Bell TV boss Kevin Crull, Shaftesbury CEO and Chair Christina Jennings and eOne President and CEO Darren Throop. CRTC Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais will also be in the house.So will Governor General David Johnstone, for heaven’s sake.
There’s even a comedy night headlined by Gerry Dee, whose CBC comedy, Mr. D, just happens to be returning next week right after the Olympics.
Like I always say, timing is everything in comedy–especially in Canadian television.
For more information on PTO, follow this link.

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