FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting is a non-profit watchdog group for Canadian programming in the audio-visual system. FRIENDS is not affiliated with any broadcaster or political party. An important part of FRIENDS' mission is advocacy in support of Canadian content on radio and television. Consequently, FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting is not a charitable organization and donations are not tax deductible.
Stewardship of FRIENDS' work falls to our Steering Committee. To keep operating costs to an absolute minimum, FRIENDS operates without any traditional infrastructure — there are no full-time or part-time staff and no "headquarters". The Steering Committee establishes and oversees a work plan through a combination of in-person meetings and teleconference calls. Support services are secured from independent contractors. FRIENDS enjoys the ongoing support of an Advisory Board.
Read on for more information about our spokesperson and the members of our Steering Committee and Advisory Board.
Ian Morrison is FRIENDS' spokesperson. As the former Executive Director of the Canadian Association for Adult Education (CAAE), Ian was instrumental in the creation of Friends in 1985. He is a member of FRIENDS' Steering Committee and represents FRIENDS with the media and in public presentations, such as CRTC hearings. Prior to his work with CAAE, he served as President of the Frontier College.
- Ian Morrison, chairing a candidates meeting on Canadian ownership of media during the federal by-election in Vancouver Quadra, March 7, 2008
Steering Committee Chair
Noreen Golfman is Dean of Graduate Studies and Professor of Film and English at Memorial University of Newfoundland. A founding member of the International Women's Festival, she has previously been the president of the Association of Community College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE) and vice-chairperson of the Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corporation. She also sits on the board of directors of Newfoundland's Resource Centre for the Arts and on the editorial board of Topia, a Canadian journal of cultural studies. She is the author of several essays and volumes on Canadian literary criticism, and is an editorial consultant for the scholarly journal Essays on Canadian Writing.
Anne-Marie Dekker lives in West Vancouver. Born in Indonesia, she has worked with a variety of film companies in Asia, Europe, the United States and Canada. She was a member of the team that founded and launched Vancouver's independent television station CKVU-TV under the leadership of her late husband and former Friends Steering Committee member Daryl Duke. She served CKVU-TV for many years as Executive Assistant to the Board of Directors. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Goh Ballet Vancouver Society as well as for ten years on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Society for Asian Arts, including a term as President. She has also worked as editorial director of Scarlett magazine.
Patrick Flanagan is co-founder of The Learning Bar, and maintained a position as CEO until March 2012. He has a Master’s degree in Anthropology, has studied at the University of Stockholm, Sweden, and has spent extended periods of time away from the Canadian mainstream (Northern Labrador, Costa Rica, Europe) in various capacities related to schools and adult learning. He has a passion for teaching and learning himself. Patrick is the former Youth Advocate with the Department of Public Safety in New Brunswick. He has held prior executive positions in the not-for-profit and private sectors, working with at-risk youth, social housing and labour market programs.
Michael Garvey, a chartered accountant, has served as Chair of the Boards of The Donwood Institute, the University of Waterloo, The Michener Institute of Applied Health Sciences and The Friends of Ontario Universities. He has sat on the Boards of the Canadian Association for Adult Education, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and The Canadian Club of Toronto. He is currently a Board member of the World Wildlife Fund Canada and two public companies.
Mark Goldman is a musician, composer, communications and marketing specialist who has worked in broadcasting and the cultural industries for more than 30 years. He has produced and recorded some of Canada's best talent in the fields of jazz, pop, folk, rock and classical music and has garnered awards for his work including several Canadian Music Council Awards, a Juno, a Canadian Independent Record Association Award, and one from the New York International Film Festival. He is the president of Polymedia Consultants Inc., a Montreal-based company.
Aritha van Herk is an award winning Canadian novelist whose work has been acclaimed throughout North America and Europe. She has given readings, lectures, and workshops on culture and community, literature and life, in the United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, Australia, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Austria, the Baltics, and Scandinavia. Her work has been translated into ten languages. She was born in central Alberta and studied at the University of Alberta. Among her works: Judith; The Tent Peg; No Fixed Address: An Amorous Journey; Places Far From Ellesmere; Restlessness; In Visible Ink; A Frozen Tongue; and Mavericks: An Incorrigible History of Alberta. She is a member of the Royal Society of Canada, and a Professor who teaches Canadian Literature and Creative Writing in the Department of English at the University of Calgary.
Stephen Kimber is an award-winning writer, editor and broadcaster who has written five non-fiction books, most recently Sailors, Slackers and Blind Pigs: Halifax at War (2002). His work has appeared in most major Canadian publications, including Canadian Geographic, Maclean's, The Globe and Mail and Chatelaine. He has also been a producer for CTV and a producer, writer, editor and host for several CBC television and radio programs, including Rough Cuts and Sunday Morning. He has taught journalism at the University of King's College since 1983 and has been the school's director since 1996.
Mary Pat MacKinnon is a Partner at Ascentum and leads public and stakeholder engagement initiatives. With deep experience in citizen engagement practice, public policy and government affairs, she is an integral member of the management team. Former positions include: Director, Public Involvement Network, Canadian Policy Research Network; Director, Government Affairs and Public Policy, Canadian Co-operative Association/Credit Union Central of Canada; Social Policy Consultant, Social Planning Council of Ottawa. She is an active volunteer, serving several national and local initiatives. She is a Senior Fellow with the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and has an MPA from Queens University.
Ian Morrison is FRIENDS' spokesperson.
Maggie Siggins has been a magazine writer, political columnist, television producer and professor. She won a Southam Fellowship in 1974 and began teaching journalism after winning the University of Regina's Max Bell Chair in Journalism in 1983. She was awarded the Arthur Ellis Crime Writers of Canada Award for A Canadian Tragedy: JoAnn and Colin Thatcher, which was subsequently made into the popular CBC miniseries Love and Hate. She was also awarded a Governor General's Award for her 1992 non-fiction book, Revenge of the Land, which has also been adapted for television. She has been involved with the Writers' Union of Canada, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, the Saskatchewan Writers Guild, and the Saskatchewan Motion Picture Industry Association.
David Taras is the Ralph Klein Chair in Media Studies at Mount Royal University. Dr. Taras received a PhD from the University of Toronto and is a graduate of the Legislative Internship Program at Queen's Park. He has served as an advisor to the Alberta government on national unity and as an expert advisor to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. He is the author of The Newsmakers: The Media's Influence on Canadian Politics, Power & Betrayal in the Canadian Media and co-author of The Last Word: Media Coverage of the Supreme Court of Canada. David Taras is a regular commentator on the Global TV's Morning News in Calgary, is a five-time winner of the University of Calgary Students' Union Award for Teaching Excellence and received the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005.
R.H. Thomson trained at the National Theatre School of Canada and in England and has won Genie, Gemini and Dora Mavor Moore Awards for his work in film, television and on the stage. His directing credits include productions for CanStage's Dream in High Park, Bard on the Beach in Vancouver, the Belfry Theatre, the Great Canadian Theatre Company, Theatre New Brunswick and Theatre Calgary. On television, he is recognized for his critically acclaimed roles as Dr. Frederick Banting in Glory Enough for All and as Jasper Dale in The Road to Avonlea. He is co-artistic director and co-founder of ShakespeareWorks, a theatre and education company dedicated to the works of William Shakespeare.