Board of Trustees

The NFB Board of Trustees usually consists of eight members: the Government Film Commissioner, who is also Chairperson, the Executive Director of Telefilm Canada, and six other members appointed by the Governor in Council. The Board currently consists of seven members.

Claude Joli-Coeur has been Commissioner since November 2014, while Sophie De Champlain has been serving as Acting Secretary to the Board of Trustees since December 2015.

Claude Joli-Coeur_MG_5125_PAA141126-B_ONF CroppedClaude Joli-Coeur
Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson, National Film Board of Canada

Claude Joli-Coeur, an influential figure in the film and audiovisual industry for over 30 years, is the 16th Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson of the National Film Board of Canada.

Mr. Joli-Coeur has been at the NFB for more than 12 years. As Assistant Commissioner (2007 to 2014), he headed Government Relations and Strategic Planning as well as Business Affairs and Legal Services. Until recently, he served as Acting Commissioner, a position he had previously held in 2007.

Mr. Joli-Coeur earned a law degree from the Université de Montréal and has been a member of the Quebec Bar since 1979. He practised law with the firms of Langlois Drouin and Lafleur Brown in Montreal from 1979 to 1985 and was legal counsel at Telefilm Canada from 1985 to 1987.

As an entertainment law specialist in the private sector, Mr. Joli-Coeur signed several international co-production agreements between Canada and a number of European countries, including France, the United Kingdom and Germany. From 1987 to 1995, he worked for Astral Entertainment Group, a film financing and distribution company, first as Director of Business Affairs and subsequently as Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs. In 1995, he was appointed Vice President, Legal and International Affairs, at Coscient Group (Motion International), a position he held for five years. From 2000 to 2002, he served as Vice President, Legal and Business Affairs, and Secretary at TVA International Inc., as well as Vice President, Business Affairs, at Zone 3 Inc. before joining the NFB.


Cheryl Ashton

General Manager, Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers

Cheryl Ashton was appointed General Manager of Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers in 2014, after having held the position of Festival Director of the Gimli Film Festival since 2011. In 2009, she accepted a two-year term as Film Commissioner of the Nunavut Film Development Corporation. From 2002 to 2008 she was the Managing Director of CCINC, a co-production company, and from 1998 to 2002, the Executive Director of the National Screen Institute. Prior to that, Ms. Ashton was Executive Director of MMPIA, now known as On Screen Manitoba, the province’s professional association for the film and television and media industry.


a_marylynn CroppedMary-Lynn Charlton

President and Founder, Martin Charlton Communications

A native of Saskatchewan, Mary-Lynn Charlton began her career working for newspapers in Alberta. She was also a writer for the CBC and a New York company where she worked on PBS documentaries and advertising campaigns for the Estée Lauder cosmetics company.

In 1984, she returned to Saskatchewan to serve as a communications official for the Government of Saskatchewan. In 1989, she established Charlton Communications, and on March 1, 2010, two of Saskatchewan’s most respected voices in communications and public relations—Paul Martin Communications and Charlton Communications— joined forces to create Martin Charlton Communications, the largest public relations company in Saskatchewan and one of the largest in Western Canada.

From 2000 to 2006, Ms. Charlton was a member of the board of the Saskatchewan Film and Video Development Corporation (SaskFilm), the province’s film commission and funding agency. She also served on the board of a private Western Canadian business for six years and on the board of Luther College, a private high school and liberal arts college at the University of Regina.

Ms. Charlton has been a member of the NFB Board of Trustees since 2008 and currently serves as its Vice-Chair.



Anita Patil Huberman

CEO, Surrey Board of Trade

Anita Patil Huberman is the CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade. She has been with the SBOT for 21 years, and now guides a 21-member Board of Directors to support a growing list of businesses, initiatives and government policies through an economic lens. Since becoming CEO eight years ago, she has worked tirelessly to deliver on the following promise: the Surrey Board of Trade exists to make the community a better place in which to live, work and do business. She has developed several unique award programs that celebrate community, volunteerism, leadership, family and health, including the Top 25 under 25 Awards, the Leadership Surrey Business Series, the International Trade Initiatives and Awards, the Youth Leaders of Today program, and the Surrey Innovation Awards.

Under her direction, the SBOT has produced numerous high-profile policy papers and presented them to different levels of government, advocating for more and stronger services and childcare support for Surrey families, seeking government support of both K-12 and post-secondary education in Surrey, and supporting increases in the B.C. minimum wage.

Ms. Huberman was nominated for the 2013 YWCA Women of Distinction Award and, in 2011, was selected as one of Business in Vancouver’s Forty Under 40 winners. She has also been appointed to the Metro Vancouver Transit Police Chief’s Community Council, the Dean’s Advisory Board at SFU’s Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology, and the SFU India Advisory Council. She is Co-Chair, City of Surrey Labour Integration Program (Welcoming Communities Initiative), and recently became the first Indo-Canadian woman to be appointed an Honorary Captain in the Royal Canadian Navy.


HeadshotJHH4Janet Hueglin Hartwick
President and Consultant, Soilleirich Communications Group

Janet Hueglin Hartwick is the President of Soilleirich Communications Group, a consultancy in Hamilton, Ontario, that specializes in communications leadership and corporate communications. Prior to starting her own business, she spent nearly 15 years working in the government and non-profit sectors. She has professional experience in the areas of governance, issues management and marketing communications, among others. Ms. Hueglin Hartwick is the recipient of 12 national awards for her work in corporate communications, advertising and government relations. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in History from Queen’s University.


Louis Puddister

Management Consultant

Louis Puddister is a management consultant and long-time community leader based in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. His professional experience spans corporate, board-governed and entrepreneurial environments within heavy industry, marketing and communications, environmental and financial services sectors. His consulting work ranges from business development to government relations to human resources management. His extensive business background is complemented by a broad range of community-leadership roles supporting children’s charities, disaster relief and crime prevention. Mr. Puddister has been recognized as an honorary life member of both Rotary International and Junior Chamber International (Jaycees). He holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree (B. Comm.) from Memorial University and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Dalhousie University.

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Carolle Brabant
Executive Director, Telefilm Canada

A 20-year veteran of Telefilm Canada, Carolle Brabant contributes a unique mix of financial acumen and artistic vision. Ms. Brabant joined Telefilm as an auditor in 1990. She had previously worked as a CA at Samson Bélair Deloitte Touche in Chicoutimi after completing studies at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. Her Telefilm career has advanced steadily: she was appointed director of finance and administration in 2003 and served as acting executive director for six months in 2004. Her in-depth knowledge of public and private funding has considerably strengthened Telefilm’s efforts to build audiences and industry capacity. Ms. Brabant spearheaded Telefilm’s new role as administrator of the Canadian Television Fund, and continues to oversee Telefilm’s work with the newly created Canada Media Fund.