From Creative to Creative Business: Starting your Indigenous Media Company

MAY 31, 2018

6:30 PM: The COMMONS, 446-401 RICHMOND ST W


6:00pm: Doors open
6:30 to 7:30pm: Discussion + Live Stream
7:30: On-site networking over drinks and snacks post event!

So you're a pro at navigating the public and arts council grants for your screen media projects, but how do you take your big project dreams with an infrastructure to access bigger funds?

imagineNATIVE iNstitute's free, on-site and live-streamed May 31st event focuses on the practicalities of starting your own creative business. Both established and emerging Indigenous production houses will give their insight and experiences of developing their current business models. From a financial practicality, members from BMO Media Financing and Business Banking divisions will join us in a lively discussion to propel your growing creative endeavours. Moderated by Daniel Northway-Frank, iNstitute Director.

In Partnership with







Laura Milliken President | CEO | Big Soul Productions


Laura J. Milliken is a media producer and President of Toronto-based Big Soul Productions Inc. Originally from the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation in Ontario, Canada, she has generated a vast body of award-winning Indigenous-themed work spanning 20 years. Her notable titles include dramatic series Moccasin Flats, animated comedy series By The Rapids and feature film Fire Song.



Nyla Innuksuk | Founder + CEO | MixTape VR

Producer of film and virtual reality content. Lover of dogs that are not my own. Hater of William H Macy (sorry, not sorry). I started NKSK Productions with just a backpack full of VR headsets and a passion that started with my first Toronto Meet-up and hasn't quit. 
Here at Mixtape VR we tell stories, and build perspective. Our focus is to creating narrative experiences in Virtual and Augmented Realities for clients who want to think outside the box. I can help you dream up ideas, and customize 360/VR experiences, which our experienced team will use to execute the vision you want to achieve. 






Brent Barclay | Senior Director, Media Finance, BMO Corporate Finance 

Brent joined Aver Media Finance (now BMO Media Finance) in late 2011. He comes from the film and television industry where he worked as an independent producer for twelve years, predominantly with Toronto-based Sienna Films, and was involved in a wide variety of feature film and television productions. Brent’s background also includes stints in film distribution for Lionsgate Films as a sales manager and advertising as an account executive, with clients including major multinational financial services companies. He holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of King’s College and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Toronto.



Shawn Cologna | Vice President Business Banking, GTD West, BMO


Shawn began his career with Bank of Montreal in 1999 and progressed through numerous branch roles before becoming a Branch Manager in 2004 spanning four separate GTD branches.  In 2011 he was the inaugural Small Business Area Manager covering the GTA, managing a team of 12 Account Managers to provide sales and service to our customers.   Shawn also has worked in the North York market prior to his current posting where he is responsible for leading a team of 11 Relationship Managers throughout the Etobicoke, Brampton, and Mississauga markets.  In January 2013 Shawn added to his B. Comm. degree by completing his EMBA at the Ivey Business School, Western University.







A limited number of spots are available on a first come, first served basis. If you’d like to attend, please email

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