Fireside Chat with the Canada Media Fund

Speaker: Rod Butler
Moderator: Duana Taha
Date: Sunday, May 5
Time: 3:15pm – 4:00pm
Venue: Ada Slaight Hall

Join us for a fireside chat with the CMF’s Rod Butler and writer Duana Taha, to discuss the new Early Stage Development Program which marks the first time writers will have the chance to access development money directly, without a producer or broadcaster attached. The session will conclude with a Q&A with the audience.

Rod Butler

Rod Butler

Director, Programs and Policy, Canada Media Fund

As Director, Programs and Policy at the Canada Media Fund, Rod is responsible for developing CMF policy and analyzing and advising on legal and regulatory issues that impact the CMF. 

Prior to joining the CMF, Rod worked at the Writers Guild of Canada and Entertainment One. 

A trained lawyer, Rod obtained his Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from Queen’s University and his Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) degree in Media, Information and Technoculture from Western University.

Duana Taha

Duana Taha


Duana Taha is a Canadian television writer whose credits include hit programs DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION and LOST & FOUND STUDIOS. She is the creator and executive producer of the popular new YouTube series UPSTAIRS AMY, and the tween digital series EMERALD CODE.  

Duana is the author of the bestselling book The Name Therapist, which was nominated for a 2016 Evergreen award. She has been quoted on names in The New Yorker, The Globe And Mail, The Observer, and appeared on programs across the country discussing the culture of first names. In 2016 her TEDx talk about names was featured on 

Duana is a founding contributor on, where she expounds on the intersections of television, feminism, "Hamilton” and more, and writes the popular name column 'Duana Names'. Duana is also one of the hosts of the hit podcast Show Your Work, where she and Elaine Lui discuss the work behind the magic of Hollywood. Find her on Twitter – @duanaelise