The COGECO Program Development Fund has two offices, in Toronto and Montréal, and is administered by the management of the Independent Production Fund.

Andra Sheffer, Chief Executive Office (Toronto Office)

Andra Sheffer is the CEO of two private funds supporting the Canadian digital media, television and film industries: the Independent Production Fund which invests in drama series created for digital platforms; and the COGECO Program Development Fund for the development and production of television drama.

She was the founding Executive Director of the Bell Fund (1997-2014) which supports interactive digital media projects associated with Canadian television programs. Previously, she was the founding Executive Director of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television producing the annual Genie and Gemini Awards (now the Canadian Screen Awards). She lectures on the business of television and digital media and is the editor of publications about the business of TV and digital media production: New Media, New Business: The Producer’s Guide (2001), Create a Winning Proposal – the Handbook for New Media Producers (1999) and the co-editor of MAKING IT: The business of film and television production in Canada (1986 & 1995).

She also served as Managing Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, with the federal government as a Certification Officer setting up the original CAVCO office (and Canadian content “point” system), and at the Film Festivals Bureau promoting Canadian films internationally. She has been awarded the Digital Media Trail Blazer award by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, the Champion of Digital Innovation Tribute at Merging Media , an Award of Achievement by the Digi Awards and has been inducted as an Industry Builder into the Playback Hall of Fame.

Claire Dion, Associate Director (Montréal Office)
From 1980 to 1987 Claire Dion held positions at the Institut québécois du cinéma, the SGCQ and SOGIC, now SODEC, as script advisor and Director of Developement and Production. Since 1987 she has served as editor of a healthcare business periodical; she was responsible for teaching a scriptwriting course for television at the Université du Québec; she acted as associate producer for the development of director Robert Favreau’s feature film L’Ange Noir and script editor of the first series Super Sans Plomb. In 1991, she set up the Quebec office for the Maclean Hunter Television Fund, now the Independent Production Fund, which administers the COGECO Program Development Fund and the Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund. She acted as consultant for Shaw Cablesystems in Quebec for SCPI and the SBF from 1997 to 1999 and for the CanWest Promotion of Programming Fund in 2003. Claire Dion received her B.A. in television studies from Concordia University and a Master Degree in Cinéma from USC (University of Souther California). She was chair of CLSC Côte-des-Neiges for 10 years. She is a member of the Canadian Academy of Cinema and Television, Femmes du cinéma de la télévision et des nouveaux médias de Montréal and vice-president of the Fondation Marijo.

Charles Zamaria, Financial Director (Toronto Office)
Charles Zamaria is Financial Director for the Bell Fund, Independent Production Fund, and COGECO Program Development Fund. He has assisted in developing and creating national professional standards for the emerging new media production industry. Concurrently, Professor Zamaria is a full-time tenured faculty member in the School of Radio and Television Arts at Ryerson University, where he specializes in teaching business aspects of producing in various media industry. He has worked for CTV, YTV, CBC, Telefilm Canada and Cambium Productions in various production and management capacities. He has credits on dozens of award-winning independent film and television productions. He is the author of numerous, publications, served as Director for trade missions (Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada) and conducted research analysis and studies internationally.In addition, he serves as Project Director and Principal Co-Investigator on the Canadian Internet Project – an extensive research undertaking which analyzes Internet usage and non-usage patterns in Canada in international perspective. He is a member of: AoIR (Association of Internet Researchers), NMBIA, IMAT, DGC, CFTPA, ACCT, CIPA, UFVA, BEA, BEAC and DOC He sits as a member of CFTPA’s New Media Advisory Committee, Federal/Interprovincial Tax Credit Committee.


Toronto Office
Carly McGowan, Program Manager
Hannah Karunakar, Office and Communications Coordinator

Montréal Office
Joanne Duguay, Program Manager
Catherine Beaulieu, Office and Communications Coordinator