CBC News returns to Moscow : Meet the team

After only a couple of weeks into 2016, Jennifer McGuire, General Manager and Editor in Chief of CBC News announced that CBC News would be returning to Moscow with a new pocket bureau. The team is comprised of Correspondent Susan Ormiston, Producer Corinne Seminoff and Videographer/Editor Jean-Francois Bisson. Despite the 8-hour time difference and the intensely long days these three were generous enough to carve out some time to answer our questions!

“The new bureau in Russia reflects our commitment to increasing the
global footprint of CBC News with smart, targetted investment.
By staying nimble and responsive in the face of constantly shifting news
priorities, we aim to keep our audiences connected on
the widest possible range of stories.”
– Jennifer McGuire, General Manager and Editor in Chief of CBC News and Centres

Susan Ormiston, Senior Correspondent

File_005Can you tell us a little about your new role? Our job is to cover Russia and its engagement in the world. It’s a massive country and it’s a significant challenge to get behind the Kremlin’s curtain, to decipher the realpolitik, and translate why it’s important to Canadians. In short form, I work with the team to first, think, then research, shoot, record, interview, translate, create and output stories for all CBC news programming – digital, television, radio; live and packaged news and current affairs stories.

In a bureau like this it’s full on – When it’s 4 p.m. in Moscow, it’s 8 a.m. in Toronto, and just 5 a.m. in Vancouver; CBC News Network is live, and the rest of the day’s news deadlines are just beginning to roll in. That means sometimes we work a Russian day, then a Toronto day in one, to keep the news live and updated for our Canadian deadlines.

IMG_3514In your opinion, why is it important for CBC English news to be back in Moscow? In this globally connected world, to get a true picture of the news stories which affect our lives, we need to ‘be there’. You pick up so much ‘ground truth’ on a story talking to the people who live it, the leaders who control it, and deciphering the consequences for Canada and the world.

Russia is at the nexus of many international stories; an oil dependent country currently challenged economically. It’s foreign policy reaches into Ukraine, Syria, Turkey, the Arctic, China, all areas in which Canada is involved. Canada participates in sanctions against Russia and Russia has counter banned some Canadians and goods. Overall, the assumptions held inside the country and outside need challenging. We need to better understand Russia – it’s powerful and complex.

Corinne Seminoff, Producer

Can you share a little bit about what your role is? I was the first CBC producer in Moscow and worked here for many years. So I know my way around and speak Russian fluently. My role has many facets, and demands. I am involved in the big picture editorial planning; making sure that we stay on top of all the news happening in Russia or involving Russia, finding the best interviews and telling elements to film and record. I’m looking for unpredictable stories as well, beyond ‘news of the day’, and figure out how best to approach them. I do much of the translating and troubleshooting when we go on shoots, to official events, and when we travel.

IMG_3278In your opinion, why is it important for CBC News to have a pocket bureau in Moscow? Russia is a massive country, a former superpower that plays a crucial role in our global world today. But relations between Russia and much of the western world have changed over the years leaving many questioning what is Russia’s long term path? I believe we need to be here on the ground to tell that story but also the stories about the culture and everyday lives of Russian people. Russia has been off the radar for many news agencies for a long time and I feel privileged that we have been sent here to witness and report back how Russia has changed over the years, its challenges and how that influences its interactions with Canada and the world.

Jean-Francois Bisson, Videographer & Editor

File_003Can you tell us a little about what your new role? I will be the one filming and assembling stories in Moscow; providing creative ways and fun ideas to make great enjoyable and interesting items for all Canadians. Also my challenge is to set up a pocket bureau from scratch to service technical needs for television, radio and online.

What type of preparations have you done to prepare for this new adventure? There was a lot of preparation that had to be done on the technical side of things. For example what type of equipment to bring, what type of internet would we have in our office, etc… We had the help of many other people within the CBC that helped make this possible.

We’ll be sharing more from their adventures in Moscow through our Instagram account. I’d like to thank Susan, Corinne and Jean-Francois for taking the time to give us a sneak peek into their lives!

– Sarah Lue, Social Media Advisor, Enterprise Communications

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Meet the participants of the CBC Development Workshop for Diverse Creators

CBC Development Workshop for Diverse Creators brings together eight diverse mid-level creators from the independent production community for five full-day workshops with a focus on scripted content – comedy and drama. There, they will be connected with CBC decision makers and production partners who will provide guidance as well as tools and resources to help participants develop their own pitches for original programming.

The pitches will be presented at the end of the workshop series, after which CBC will offer one participant whose project best aligns with the CBC’s programming strategy and mandate the opportunity to enter into a “development deal” which will include a bible and pilot script.

Corey Lui

Corey Liu Pic

Corey Liu

Corey Liu is a screenwriter based in Toronto. After graduating from Vancouver Film School’s Writing for TV program, he participated in Year 3 of the Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters program.

He and his writing partner Tally Knoll have been invited to attend the annual Innoversity Pitch Summit, where their campy sci-fi pitch The Winnipeg Union of Time Engineers placed first in their category and won a mentorship with Frankenstein producer Fred Fuchs.

Corey is currently working as a story coordinator and writer’s assistant for DHX media.

Gloria Kim

Gloria Ui Young Kim Headshot

Gloria Kim

Gloria Ui Young Kim is a writer/director with a degree in English Litterature from University of Toronto. She has worked at numerous magazines, most notably Maclean’s. She’s an alumni of the Canadian Film Centre’s Director’s Lab, and TIFF Talent Lab. She’s in this year’s inaugural NSI Shaw Media Diverse TV Director’s Program.

Her short film, Rock Garden: A Love Story (CBC, BRAVO, IFC) has won numerous awards including the Global Audience Award for Best Anarchy Film; Slamdance 2008 and the CBC Canadian Reflections Award. Why do I dance… has had almost a million views on Youtube since its launch in 2012. She has just completed Flamenco for CBC (Reel Asian’s Pitch Competition Winner; Canada Council and Toronto Arts Council Recipient).

Gloria is working as a director/producer/writer for Fifth Story.

Shelly Hong

Shelly Hong has studied Greek mythology and modern dance, much to the chagrin of the


Shelly Hong

Gods and her parents. This diversion then curved into the performing arts program at Humber and several years as a working actor upon graduation.

After realizing she was more interested in the workings behind the scenes, she embarked on a slightly different path behind the camera in film production. Working on hundreds of television commercials and short films in the past decade has allowed her to finally discover that writing was her true calling and passion.

Barbara Mamabolo

Barbara Mamabolo

Barbara Mamabolo

Barbara Mamabolo has been an actress in the Canadian film and television industry for over 15 years. She has completed her Master’s degree in Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto for which she was awarded the Atom Egoyan Cinema Studies Scholarship.

Most recently, she completed a short film, Stranger, an Actra Co-op production that she wrote, directed and starred in.

As a songwriter, Barbara composed and performed the single Night After Night for the feature film Suck (TIFF 2009) and wrote music for the transmedia project Anxietyville.

Katia Café Febrissey

Katia Cafe

Katia Café Febrissy

Katia Café-Febrissy (also known as “Kafé”) is a Toronto-based Bilingual Writer and Director.

She has recently completed a documentary film project produced by the National Film Board of Canada. Social Me was broadcast on Radio-Canada, CBC’s French counterpart, and screened at the 2015 International Francophone Film Festival of Acadia (FICFA).

In addition to pursuing her passion for visual storytelling, Katia is currently writing a novel with the support of the Ontario Arts Council.

Renuka Jeyapalan


Renuka Jeyapalan

Renuka Jeyapalan is a Toronto-based writer/director and a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s Director’s Lab. Renuka has an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of Toronto.

Her short film Big Girl premiered at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival where it was awarded the Best Short Film Award. Since then, Big Girl has screened at over thirty-five film festivals around the world and was nominated for a 2007 Genie Award for Best Live-Action Short Film. In 2010, Renuka was awarded the Kodak New Vision Mentorship Award by Women in Film and Television-Toronto and was mentored by director Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight, Thirteen).

In 2013, Renuka wrote and directed the short film Arranged. She has recently completed her third short film, A Bicycle Lesson, and is currently developing feature film projects.

Anar Ali

Anar Ali_photo to CBC

Anar Ali

Anar Ali is a short story writer and a novelist, and more recently, a screenwriter. Her first book, Baby Khaki’s Wings, was a finalist for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Best First Book) and the Trillium Book Award (Best Book). Her second book, The Night of Power, is forthcoming from Penguin Random House.

In 2014, she attended the Writers’ Lab at the Canadian Film Centre, where she completed her first two short films and a feature script, The Strongman of Kampala. Before becoming a professional writer, she worked for close to ten years in sales and marketing, mostly at Procter & Gamble. Anar was born in Tanzania, raised in Alberta, and currently splits her time between Toronto and Mexico.

Seneca Aaron

Seneca Aaron

Seneca Aaron

Seneca Aaron is a writer/producer based in Toronto. He wrote the 2011 film, A Family Way, starring K.C. Collins, Joanna Douglas, Billy MacLellan and Colin Mochrie. In 2015, Seneca co-founded Keep 6 Productions, with projects in film, television and music in development for 2016.




Amanda Parris (Facilitator)

Amanda Parris

Amanda Parris

Amanda Parris is a writer, actor, educator and host of the new CBC television show Exhibitionists. She also writes a weekly column for CBC Arts.

Amanda is the co-founder of the multi-award winning alternative education organization Lost Lyrics. She has also worked for a number of years as the Managing Director at the internationally renowned arts incubator The Remix Project.

Her curriculum work as a facilitator was published in 2014 in the book Rhymes to Re-Education, the first Hip Hop Education resource guide created by the Ontario Ministry of Education.


CBC would like to acknowledge and thank Manifesto for their valuable contribution in the creation and design of the 2014 pilot CBC Development Workshop for Diverse Creators.

– Jacinthe Lacombe-Cliche, Senior Writer, Corporate Communications

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Holiday charity drives: generous results across the country

Once again in 2015, CBC/Radio-Canada organised an impressive number of holiday charity drives across the country, thanks to the enormous generosity and touching loyalty of its audience. This is a golden opportunity to give back to those in need and to see the public broadcasters’ contributions in action in 70 communities.

A special thanks to CBCers from coast to coast who participated, organized or promoted these important fundraising campaigns with open hearts and contagious enthusiasm. Kudos also to those who contributed to the tremendous success of La grande guignolée des médias in Quebec and such events throughout the year.

Here’s a look at our annual holiday campaigns by the numbers:

Please note that some initiatives were excluded from these results due to the involvement of several partners, e.g. La grande guignolée des medias in Québec and other similar activities throughout the year. Whether included or not, all our efforts are celebrated.

– Marie-Ève Roy, Manager, Digital content, Enterprise Communications

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Guy Gendron named new French Services ombudsman


“I look forward to helping evolve our application of the Journalistic Standards and furthering the discussion about journalism best practices. I’ve applied these same standards in all areas of journalism over my career at Radio-Canada. I consider it a real challenge to follow in the footsteps of the many highly conscientious journalists who have preceded me as ombudsman, particularly Pierre Tourangeau and Julie Miville-Dechêne, whom I had the pleasure of working with for many years.” – Guy Gendron

I’m pleased to announce the appointment of Guy Gendron, chief editor of Le téléjournal 22h and Les coulisses du pouvoir, as French Services ombudsman. His appointment is effective March 8, 2016, which will allow for a transition before Pierre Tourangeau retires on March 31, 2016.

Guy brings over 30 years of journalistic experience at Radio-Canada to the role of ombudsman.

The existence of the ombudsman’s office demonstrates the importance that CBC/Radio-Canada places on maintaining accuracy, integrity, balance, impartiality and fairness in its journalism. Guy has the necessary skills and experience to cast an impartial eye on the work of Radio-Canada’s journalists. He’ll uphold our commitment to being transparent and accountable to Canadians.

I’m sure you’ll join me in congratulating Guy on this appointment and in wishing him well in his new position. At the same time, I’d like to thank Pierre Tourangeau for his unwavering rigour and dedication as ombudsman over the past four years.

For more information about Guy and his appointment, you can read our news release here.

– Hubert T. Lacroix, President and CEO, CBC/Radio-Canada

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