Jan entered the entertainment industry as an actor and clown. Her theatre company, Small Change, toured internationally (Paris, Tokyo, London, New York, Singapore, Adelaide…) for 8 years and became a Canadian cultural calling card. Moving into film and television, Jan was instrumental in starting Canada’s first film school, the National Screen Institute and served as its Executive Director designing and implementing its first programs including the NSI’s Features First and Drama Prize. She also founded and ran the Local Heroes International Screen Festival for 13 years. With her move to Halifax in 1997, Jan joined forces with the Atlantic Film Festival Association to research and design Strategic Partners, Canada's premier international co-production market which she ran for 15 years. In 2009, working with the Eric Pommer Institut, Jan co-designed Trans Atlantic Partners, an international co-production training programme for producers from Europe and Canada and the US. 1999-01, Jan was VP, Development for imX Communications responsible for moving forward numerous features, television and animation projects including the children’s animation series, Crafty Cow. In 2003 Jan also designed and presented Telefilm Canada’s first SPARK PLUG training program for mid-level diverse television producers of drama and comedy.
Over the past 2 decades, Jan has developed and honed one of the top Pitching and Content Development Workshops in the world. She’s presented her workshops coast to coast in Canada for most of Canada’s provincial agencies and major training facilities. Internationally she’s presented from Cartagena to the Amazon, China’s GZDoc, Mexico’s Guadalajara Film Festival, Berlin’s Talent Campus, Poland’s ScriptEast, Cannes’ Producers’ Network to Cuba’s International Film School.
Jan’s very popular pitching workshops have now expanded to Export Ready workshops for the Music Industry through the East Coast Music Association; for Romance Writers through Film & Creative Industries Nova Scotia; and the theatre community for the Magnetic North Theatre Festival.
Jan has won numerous awards for her achievements including ITV's Woman of Vision Award, WIFT-Toronto's first Crystal Award for Excellence in Training/Professional Development and the Billington Award for her contribution and leadership in the Alberta screen industry. Most recently, she received the WIFT-AT Wave Award for her contribution and support of the Atlantic screen industry. She served 3 years on the Atlantic Film Festival Board, 9 years on the Canadian Conference of the Arts Board including 2 years as national president, served on the inaugural Cultural Human Resources Council Board, the CFCN Production Fund Board, the Shaw Broadcast Fund Board,the Board of First Weekend Club and recently stepped down after serving 6 years as the Founding Chair for WIFT-Atlantic.
Among her many roles, Jan is currently on contract wit the Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA) as an international consultant as well as Head of Studies for Trans Atlantic Partners (TAP), an international programme sharing creative and business expertise and providing market access to established European and North American feature film producers interested in international co-production. She attends the world's major film festivals and markets connecting, facilitating, and acting as a catalyst for dynamic partnerships and excellence in fiction and non-fiction film production.
Trans Atlantic Partners
Intensive training and networking for film producers
Pitching Workshops for the Film and TV Industry
Pitching workshops for the Music Industry