CBC Radio Doc Makers·Mentorship Program

Meet our 2018 mentees!

CBC Radio's Doc Mentorship Program is a professional development initiative for Canadian audio freelancers and CBC employees. It's an unparalleled opportunity for emerging and intermediate audio producers to team up with a veteran doc editors/makers to bring innovative and unique stories to life.

The CBC Doc Mentorship Program is an ongoing professional development initiative that teams veteran documentary makers/editors with emerging producers to bring fresh and innovative stories to life. We regularly review applications from CBC producers, audio storytellers, and radio freelancers hoping to participate in the program. Congratulations to our most recent round of successful applicants — we look forward to hearing your stories come to life!


Pascal Huynh is a queer animated-documentary filmmaker and podcaster. Invested in identity politics, he is active among the adoption community to protect adoptees and single mothers' rights and to offer a critical representation of their stories in the media. He dedicates his time learning minority languages, making ancient instruments sing and empowering communities through inspiring stories.

Pascal will will team up with mentor Alison Cook to tell the story of his aunt, a Vietnamese lady who was forced by her abusive husband to work as a seamstress confined in her basement for 30 years to pay for the living cost of her 3 children. The doc will take a close humanistic view on the odd and ordinary life of immigrants in Quebec isolated through language and power differentials.


Paula Duhatschek is a reporter and associate producer with CBC London. She got her start as a student by selling a short doc to CBC Windsor's afternoon show, and interned in current affairs with CBC Calgary.

In reporting another story, Paula met a fellow journalist in southwestern Ontario whose paper was one of many shut down in the fall of 2017. Tired of layoffs and not yet ready to leave the field, this reporter took matters into her own hands, and started her own local paper. Paula is excited to team up with Now or Never's Sara Tate to tell a story about the ideals of local news coming up against the demands of life.


Jennifer Yoon is a young Korean-Canadian journalist.
You'll usually find her wandering around Montreal looking for fascinating stories and interesting people. She just completed her stint as a Peter Gzowski Intern at CBC Montreal, and now works for different programs at the station, including Daybreak, Homerun, and sometimes even the web desk. She holds a joint honours BA in political science and history from McGill University.

Jennifer is thrilled to be working with Alison Cook to produce a documentary about names and the way they shape our identities. It's based on her family's experience of having changed their names as they immigrated to Canada from South Korea 14 years ago.


Ieva Lucs has worked in almost every corner of the CBC Toronto newsroom. She is a web and radio reporter, as well as a writer, editor and producer for the local TV newscast and the region's digital and social sites. She's filled with love and curiosity for her city, and spends time searching out offbeat and untold stories. She's also spent time producing for CBC Radio's Cross Country Checkup.

Ieva is honoured to be working with Sara Tate to produce a documentary for Now Or Never. It will take you on a journey with a woman who quit her job to hike around the world after nearly dying from a pulmonary embolism. She is focused on making the most of her "hiketime life" as she calls it, but in doing so she may be leaving her friends and family behind.


Matthew Pearson is an Ottawa-based journalist and instructor at Carleton University. For almost a decade, he reported on education, provincial affairs and City Hall for the Ottawa Citizen. He has written personal essays about coming out and travelling in the musical troupe Up with People, as well as long-form features about former MP Paul Dewar's life with terminal brain cancer, the construction of Ottawa's new light-rail transit line, and one man's struggle with posttraumatic stress disorder following a harrowing bus crash. After being named the Michener Deacon Fellow for Journalism Education in 2017, Matthew created an initiative to build more trauma awareness in journalism schools and newsrooms across Canada.

Matthew is delighted to be working with mentor Karen Levine to produce an intimate documentary for The Sunday Edition about raising a daughter in a multi-parent family. It's the story of how two queer couples came together and — in a profound act of love and trust — chose to create a modern family. The documentary will offer a glimpse inside the inner workings of both households and, ultimately, reflect on the beauty, complexity and love that can be created when you least expect it.


John McGill is an associate producer with As It Happens on CBC Radio. He caught the radio bug volunteering at his campus station in Montreal, where he worked on a handful of music programs and hosted an overnight film-noir style show about the curious encounters people have on online classifieds. A thoughtful listener, John has a passion for human interest stories and sound-rich production. He is looking forward to working with mentor Alison Cook on his first long-form documentary with the CBC.

This story explores the journey of a Syrian musician who was forced to abandon his one-of-a-kind collection of ouds when he fled Syria. The documentary will follow his quest to finally bring the collection to Canada, including orphaned instruments that were entrusted to him by friends. Using the voice of the ouds and the musician's love of music to chart his journey, this documentary offers a window into our shared humanity and the enduring power of art.


Lauren Donnelly is a journalist and producer currently finishing a masters in journalism at the University of British Columbia. Born and raised in Manitoba, career opportunities in film brought Lauren to Vancouver nearly a decade ago. New to journalism, but a lifelong storyteller, Lauren interned at Podcast Playlist and CBC Toronto's Metro Morning in April. Now she's working at CBC Vancouver as an associate producer in current affairs radio. Lauren's favourite stories explore the ways in which people build and foster community.

This will be Lauren's first radio documentary, and she's delighted to be working with mentor Alison Cook to tell Beverly Ndukwu's story. Eleven years ago, Beverly's seven-year-old sister died from complications of sickle cell disease. Lauren and Beverly were acquaintances then, and Lauren attended the funeral without knowing anything about the disease. Since then Bev and Lauren have become close friends. The doc will explore the impact that sickle cell has had on Beverly's life, and what she's doing to honour her sister's memory.


Donya Ziaee made a career U-turn into the world of radio production after nearly completing a PhD in women's studies. Since joining CBC Radio, she's worked as a producer on The Sunday Edition, As It Happens and The Current. She also produced a two-part documentary series on the surprising career shifts some have made into and out of the PhD.

In her latest project, Donya will work with The Sunday Edition's Karen Levine, looking into the rise in egg freezing. A growing number of women in Canada are turning to the procedure to take control of their career and life trajectories. But whether egg freezing is truly empowering for women is the subject of heated debate. Donya takes a deep dive into these debates in her latest doc, looking into the industry's promises and its medical and ethical grey zones.


Alexandra Zabjek has spent 11 years reporting on the stories at the heart of her adopted hometown, Edmonton. She was a long-time journalist at the Edmonton Journal before landing at the CBC. Her voice has become a regular part of local news broadcasts, where she tries to bring her deep knowledge of the city's pulse, politics and people to every story. Alexandra also co-created, co-produced and co-hosted The Broadcast: A Podcast About Women and Politics

Alexandra is beyond excited to be working with Jeff Goodes to produce a short documentary for White Coat, Black Art about the experience of a friend who underwent a double mastectomy after a breast cancer diagnosis. The piece will examine one woman's experience with breast re-construction surgery, her realization that beauty doesn't need to include breasts, and her belief that mastectomy patients shouldn't automatically be steered toward implants.


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