Shaw Rocket Fund celebrates Slaight's successful 18 years leading the Canadian children's media production sector

Chair Annabel Slaight retires; new leadership announced

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CALGARY, Feb. 27, 2017 /CNW/ - After almost two decades successfully leading the Shaw Rocket Fund as Chair of the Board of Directors, renowned media pioneer beginning with the co-founding of OWL magazine in 1976,  Annabel Slaight is retiring from the Fund.  During her tenure, Slaight oversaw the evolution of the Canadian children's production sector at home and on a global scale and the launch of the much-celebrated Shaw Rocket Prize showcasing the very best of Canadian screen-based media for kids.  

"I've had a tremendous 18 years with the Shaw Rocket Fund, seeing it grow and evolve into an important contributor and driver of Canadian children's programming. As with all great things, there comes a time to pass on the torch to encourage new thinking which is a must in today's media business, particularly in the children's sector. I have very much enjoyed my long and collaborative relationship with Agnes Augustin, President & CEO," Slaight said.

Senior broadcast executive Christine Shipton will take over for Slaight effective immediately, as announced today at the Annual General Meeting of the Shaw Rocket Fund. Shipton brings years of media experience and an expertise in Canadian content that is popular with domestic audiences and has entertainment elements for global reach and success. Slaight said the change in leadership is timely with the Fund announcing forward thinking guidelines and a new approach to investing in Canadian children's media content. Working closely with Agnes Augustin and the Shaw Rocket Fund Board, Shipton will continue the Fund's leadership role in today's evolving media business.

"It is an honour to take over this exciting post at the Shaw Rocket Fund and I look forward to being able to continue to support Canadian producers with their exceptional creative content for children, while helping them navigate through these challenging but exciting times," said Shipton.

Slaight noted Shipton's fresh perspective and passion for children's programming will encourage the industry to thrive in today's changing media environment.

Shaw Communications CEO Brad Shaw thanked Slaight for her dedication to and leadership of the Rocket Fund and welcomed Shipton into her new role. "For almost 20 years Annabel has been shining a spotlight on, and been an advocate for, the development of quality Canadian children's programming," Shaw said. "We are grateful for the legacy Annabel is leaving at the Shaw Rocket Fund, and we look forward to Christine's contributions as she builds on that foundation to advance the development of Canadian children's content."

Under Slaight's leadership, the Rocket Fund has proudly invested $193 million in over 750 high quality television and digital programs for Canadian children, families and youth that are enjoyed by children around the world.  The Fund will continue leading on behalf of the Canadian children's production sector with its international partnerships in children's media and working with regulators and governments in a variety of areas that are important to Canadian kids media including supporting the Prime Minister's Youth Council and contributing to the Canadian Content in a Digital World consultation.

Moving forward, Slaight will concentrate on her passion for the environment and championing the role of kids as the fresh hope of the future as Founding Chair of the Ontario Water Centre and its new venture ClearWater Farm on Lake Simcoe linking youth education, eco-farming, economic development and water conservation.

ABOUT ANNABEL SLAIGHT
Renowned co-founder of Owl Magazines, Books and Television, Annabel Slaight is the recipient of many prestigious awards including being named to the Order of Canada on Dec. 30, 2016. She has also received the Order of Ontario, Canadian Film and Television's Lifetime Achievement Award, the Royal Canadian Institute's Sir Sanford Fleming Award and the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA)'s 2016 lifetime achievement award. In addition to her dedication as Chair of the Shaw Rocket Fund, as Founding Chair of the Ontario Water Centre she is engaged in a number of pioneering activities to improve the health of Lake Simcoe including the revitalization of a historic lakeside farm as a centre for experiential learning.

ABOUT CHRISTINE SHIPTON
Former Senior Vice President of Content for Shaw Media, Christine Shipton is a seasoned television executive with experience in both production and broadcast organizations. Throughout her career, Christine has been responsible for developing, overseeing and managing some great Canadian programming, including Rookie Blue, Continuum, Bomb Girls, Ice Pilots NWT, Big Brother Canada and Chopped Canada. In addition to her work with the Shaw Rocket Fund, Shipton serves on the boards of directors for the National Screen Institute, Hot Docs, and the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.

ABOUT SHAW ROCKET FUND
The Shaw Rocket Fund is a forward-thinking, not-for-profit corporation that focuses on stimulating excellence in the Canadian children's production industry in Canada through equity investment and industry initiatives such as the Shaw Rocket Prize and Startoon, an online development program for animators.  The Rocket Fund is an advocate of the Canadian children's production sector maintaining an active role with regulators and governments.  Contributors to the Fund are Shaw Communications and Shaw Direct.

www.rocketfund.ca | t: @rocketfund | facebook.com/rocketfund

SOURCE Shaw Rocket Fund

For further information: Shaw Rocket Fund, Lisa Amato, Manager, Strategic Communications, lisa@rocketfund.ca; Shaw Communications Inc., Chethan Lakshman, VP, Communications and Public Relations, chethan.lakshman@sjrb.ca

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