Michael Hirsh co-founded Nelvana in 1971 where he developed and produced many of television's most celebrated animated programs. Some of the shows that he has been involved in include Babar, Tintin, Care Bears, and Magic School Bus. In the process, he pioneered many of the worldwide co-production, marketing and distribution techniques that have become standard industry practice. Michael also co-founded Cookie Jar Entertainment in 2004 where he served as CEO until the business was acquired by DHX Media in 2012 after which Michael served as Executive Chairman of DHX Media. Michael's vision for Wow Unlimited is a full-fledged digital-to-broadcast creator, distributor and platform owner and operator, where the world's best shows are delivered to ecstatic kids and youth wherever they want to watch them.
Creator, Executive Producer
Jonathan Hirsh is an alumnus of California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in the design and production program, and a recent graduate of the Columbia College Chicago theatre program where he majored in directing. In Chicago he directed plays, including Mud By Maria Irene Fornes and That Other Person by David Lindsay-Abaire. In Toronto Mr. Hirsh produced and designed for his theatre company Remain In Light, Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, and House by Daniel MacIvor at the Papermill Theatre. His theatre career began when he produced and designed his first play, Neale Godfrey’s Tap Dancing Through The Boardroom, at The Poor Alex Theatre, in Toronto.
His film and television credits include Writing the feature film Karaoke which is currently in development with Telefilm Canada, the hit TV series The Doodlebops (third assistant director), the short film Glow directed by Nicolas Kadima (Assitant Director), and a short documentary for The Alliance for Children and Television (Director) commemorating their 35th anniversary.
Jonathan’s interests do not stop with the performing arts; in Chicago he owned and operated The Living Room Pop-Up Art Gallery. The Living Room, was located in the heart of busy Lincoln Park Chicago, and presented various upcoming visual artists as well as presenting theatrical happenings. Mr. Hirsh’s greatest passion in life is storytelling, and presenting emerging talents in all forms.
Divya Shahani is an associate at Hall Webber LLP. Her practice focuses on entertainment, intellectual property and corporate matters. Ms. Shahani represents clients ranging from film and television producers, distributors, writers, talent, new media and technology start-ups, music producers and record labels. Divya is particularly passionate about supporting the legal needs of emerging artists.
Divya was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2013, following her Articles, where she gained experience in corporate, litigation, corporate immigration, immigration and refugee law matters. She then took a brief hiatus from law and worked as a head hunter at an established executive search firm in the arts, media and entertainment sectors. Deciding to combine her legal experience with her knowledge of the business of the arts and media sectors, she started practicing entertainment law at the beginning of 2014.
Divya is an advisor on the executive board of the Canadian Film Fest (CFF), a non-profit organization devoted to the celebration, promotion and advancement of Canadian filmmaking talent. She is also a member of Women in Film and Television Toronto (WIFT-T), and Women in Communications and Technology (WCT). As Head of Events at WCT, her contributions have included spearheading an inspiring event for entrepreneurs in collaboration with the Ryerson Digital Media Zone with key note speaker Kirstine Stewart of Twitter. Divya’s commitment to filmmakers has also taken the form of various guest speaking engagements at the DOC Institute Toronto, Centennial College and Durham College.
Writer, Producer, Co-Director
Shawn Ahmed is an award-winning writer and actor based out of Toronto. Before co-founding Crazy Shirt Productions, Shawn was a founding member of the critically-acclaimed sketch troupe Fade to Brown, where he wrote, acted, and directed. The troupe’s 4 year tenure was highlighted by a 22-minute special for OMNI Television. He also directed Finding Talib which premiered at the South Asian Film Festival. As an actor, Shawn’s work has been seen around the world both on stage and screen. Notable Film and TV credits include: The Expanse (SyFy); Slasher (Chiller TV); Saw VI (Lionsgate); Designated Survivor (ABC); Orphan Black (BBC America); Private Eyes (Global); MsLabelled (Slice TV); Max and Shred (Nickelodeon); Flight 93 (A&E); Rogue (Direct TV); Odd Squad (Sinking Ship); The Other Kingdom (Epitome Pictures). Theatre credits include: Twelfth Night (Shakespeare Bash’d); And Slowly Beauty… (Tarragon Theatre); Romeo and (Her) Juliet (Dauntless Theatre); Macbeth (Driftwood Theatre); A Really Bad Play (Funny Face Productions); as well as Comedy of Errors, Revolutionary Moments, and More Words! More Play! with the historic Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts.
"I’ve had so much fun stepping behind the camera and working with this power-house team. I hope audiences enjoy Fare Trade as much as we’ve enjoyed making it. What a ride!"
Writer, Producer, Co-Director
An award-winning actor and screenwriter, Scott has been working across Ontario for over a decade on and off-camera and on stage. Aside from co-founding Crazy Shirt Productions, some of Scott’s film work includes Murdoch Mysteries (CBC), Omni on the television and web series Team Epic (PLP / BiteTV), appearances for SPACE CHANNEL, and on the series Ghostly Encounters. As a playwright, Scott has worked with several Canadian organizations including Next Stage Festival, Playwrights Workshop Montreal, Scriptlab of Canada and the Canadian Musical Theatre Festival. As a stage actor he is proud to have been part of a Dora award winning production and been part of a threesome nominated for Outstanding Performance. Scott is a graduate of Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts where he received his College Diploma in the Performing Arts.