The proven education at VFS is built on a premise that the skills students learn here must prepare them for a lifetime of personal and professional opportunity. Our mission is to ensure that students come here and, in one year, learn what they need to move directly into the industry.
As part of this mandate, we involve prominent industry professionals in the development of our programs. These advisory boards serve as lifelines to the industry, providing students with direct connections to the professional world. Advisory board members come from many of the world's top companies, and include independent thinkers and scholars from their respective fields.
Norm Bolen is currently the President and CEO of the Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA) formerly the Canadian Film and Television Production Association (CFTPA), based in Ottawa. The CMPA represents Canada's independent film, television and interactive producers.
Norm is the former Executive Vice President, Content, for Alliance Atlantis Communications. At Alliance Atlantis he had overall programming responsibility for thirteen Canadian specialty networks: Showcase, History Television, Slice, HGTV, Food Network Canada, BBC Canada, BBC Kids, Discovery Health Channel, National Geographic Channel, Independent Film Channel, Showcase Action, Showcase Diva, and Fine Living Television. Norm was also responsible for Alliance Atlantis' web based and emerging new media content and all broadcast operations.
Prior to joining Alliance Atlantis in 1997, Norm spent 21 years at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a journalist and executive. In his last position at the CBC he was the head of Network Television Current Affairs. In that role, he had overall responsibility for CBC Television's Documentary Department.
Norm is a current Board member and past Chair of the Banff World Television Festival and the Hot Docs International Documentary Festival, and a Director of the National Screen Institute, the ACTRA Fraternal Benefit Society and the Canadian Retransmission Collective. Until recently, he was also a Director of mDialog, a web-based high-resolution video distribution platform that's optimized for the iPad and the iPhone.
Courtney Colman joined Porchlight Entertainment in 2009 as the Chief Financial Officer. As CFO, Courtney is responsible for overseeing Porchlight's Finance, Accounting, Human Resources, and IT departments.
Prior to joining Porchlight, Courtney was the Executive Vice President of Finance at First Look Studios, overseeing the finance, accounting, and participation departments. First Look Studios handles the distribution for Nu Image/Millenium Films, First Look's parent company, as well as independently acquired feature films.
Prior to First Look Studios, Courtney held the position of Chief Financial Officer of Lieberman Research Worldwide, a market research company specializing in the entertainment sector, for three years. This was Courtney's one venture not directly in entertainment.
Courtney's experience prior to Lieberman was solely in the film industry, recording music industry, and the performing arts. Courtney was Vice President of Participations at Sony Pictures Entertainment, Vice President at Universal Music's Interscope label, Vice President of Film Finance at PolyGram Filmed Entertainment and Senour Vice President at Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group. Courtney's experience at PolyGram Filmed Entertainment extended over six years in three countries - Canada, the UK, and the US. Courtney received her Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Toronto, and she is a Chartered Accountant (CA) in Canada and the UK.
Joe Nickolls is fortunate to never have had to work a real job in his career. After graduating from British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), he began a career in radio doing both on-air announcing and music programming.
Starting with local radio stations 1040 Kicks and LG73, he soon moved to Z95.3 FM Radio where he was part of the initial team to "sign on" that station. He took over as Music Director in 1993 and won the Canadian Music Director of the Year award for major market radio. In 1994, he left radio to work in the music business as a marketing/promotions representative at Mercury Polydor Records.
A chance meeting in 1998 helped Joe move from music to video games, and he signed on as a Producer for Radical Entertainment to work on games like The Simpsons Hit &Run and NHL Championship 2000. Joe moved on to Electronic Arts Canada in 2002 and became embedded in the international soccer business. Million-selling titles he has worked on include FIFA 2003, Euro 2004, Champions League 2005, FIFA World Cup 2006, and FIFA Street 3. Today, Joe is the lead producer for the Grand Slam Tennis franchise for EA Sports.
Ian Noble is a Senior Producer at New York City-based Metropolitan Talent Presents, where he oversees all of the company's live entertainment activity, a position he has held since 2003. The company produces a wide range of events in New York City, throughout the northeast U.S., and across the U.S. and Canada, in venues ranging from clubs to theaters, amphitheaters, and arenas. In recent years, Metropolitan has presented a who's who of top-tier artists, including Dave Matthews Band, Simon & Garfunkel, Eric Clapton, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nine Inch Nails, Green Day, Tool, Foo Fighters, Laurie Berkner, David Gilmour, Matchbox Twenty, and Diana Krall, among numerous others.
Mr. Noble hails from Vancouver, B.C., where he started playing music in his teens as a drummer in a succession of rock groups. He began his career in the live entertainment business in 1989 and, prior to joining Metropolitan Talent Presents, worked as a Talent Buyer for some of North America's largest concert promoting companies, including Delsener Slater Enterprises in New York, Concert Productions International (CPI) in Toronto, and Perryscope Concert Productions in Vancouver. During his tenure as a Talent Buyer, he booked hundreds of shows a year with practically every top artist of the day, including Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Jane's Addiction, Smashing Pumpkins, David Bowie, and Eddie Izzard. Mr. Noble lives in Maplewood, N.J. with his wife and two sons.
Barbara Stoll has been working in the television industry since 1978, when she graduated from the UCLA Film School with an MFA in film and television production. Some of her credits as a producer include the long running comedy Roseanne on ABC, Lifetime's Oh Baby, Normal, Ohio, starring John Goodman, Linda Bloodworth's NBC series Emeril, 10 Items or Less for TBS, and the CBS series Rules of Engagement.
Her work also includes the pilots for Dog Bites Man, The News, Odd Man Out, The Chris Kattan Pilot, Grounded for Life, and Guy Island. In 2009, she produced a Mike Binder-directed pilot for Twentieth Century Fox Television titled Two Dollar Beer.