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The Writers Guild of Canada has named veteran labor negotiator Victoria Shen as its new executive director.
As the first person of color to hold the post, Shen replaces longtime WGC executive director and president Maureen Parker as head of the national guild representing around 2,500 homegrown screenwriters.
Before joining the WGC, Shen was director of national industrial relations and counsel at the Canadian Media Producers Association, representing local indie film and TV producers that at times are called on to hammer out major labor deals on behalf of American producers shooting in Canada.
She also worked as a special advisor at the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists, representing domestic performers.
“I’m thrilled to be part of the Writers Guild of Canada. I look forward to working closely with our talented members, and other leaders and creators in our industry, to ensure that Canadian stories and storytellers continue to have pride of place in our country and around the world,” Shen said in a statement.
She joins the WGC amid an industry reckoning for the Canadian film and television industry as it attempts to drive more diversity and inclusion and root out systemic racism that has long stood in the way of meaningful career advancement for people from under-represented communities.
Shen will also represent local screenwriters as they battle for work in a domestic industry increasingly being dominated by U.S. studios and streamers in the domestic TV viewing and production arenas.
“A proven leader and a champion of inclusion and diversity, the WGC is excited to have Victoria lead us into the future. She exemplifies all the qualities that we need at this time of change and challenge in the Canadian film and television industry. We are confident Victoria will be a tremendous asset to the guild, our membership and the industry at large,” WGC President Alex Levine said in a statement.
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