Meet our fall 2020 mentees
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!
Evan Aagaard got his start with the CBC in 2017 as the video producer for CBC Podcasts, where he has produced short documentaries, interviews and social content for award-winning series like Escaping NXIVM, Hunting Warhead, Alone: A Love Story and many others.
Evan is excited to work with mentor Alison Cook for his doc about a man who has spent the last 20 years battling an opioid addiction that eventually left him homeless. In 2019, he decided to try a new approach to getting his life back on track: documenting his recovery and observations of homelessness in a remarkably candid YouTube series.
Ash Abraham is part of CBC Ottawa's Current Affairs Radio and Content Diversification team. She has reported in South Korea and Tanzania — (and she gets especially jazzed sharing stories with sound and animation).
Ash is over the moon to be working with Alison Cook on The Doc Project to tell a story that captures both the humour and pain of having a mother with untreated mental illness. Against a backdrop of impending eviction, police calls and yes ... even alligators … Ash will introduce listeners to "Ma."
Heidi Atter is a multimedia journalist with a passion for character-driven storytelling. She started her career at CBC Saskatchewan through an internship and now has been a web writer, reporter, video journalist, associate producer for The Morning Edition and The Afternoon Edition, and is currently in a permanent role as a reporter assigned to digital. Heidi has been photographing for almost a decade, has travelled to nine countries to photograph, and has reported from Latvia for CBC's The World This Weekend.
Heidi is excited to work with Sara Tate from Now or Never to tell the story of a northern community actively working to capture their traditional fiddling songs before the last elder who is fiddling in the community passes. The youth of the community want to learn, and the community wants to hear their songs. Now, they're at a pivotal moment to capture the music before it's gone.
Annie Bender is a producer with Day 6, where she happily bounces between producing current affairs interviews and short studio docs and is known for her meticulous music mixes. She's especially drawn to stories that shine light on the extraordinary side of everyday life. During her time with the show, she has covered everything from Brexit to the COVID-19 routines of zookeepers. Before starting her career in journalism, she did anthropological fieldwork in Indonesia.
Annie is delighted to be working with Naheed Mustafa at Ideas to produce a documentary about the biochemical side of romantic love, and what might happen if we flipped the commonly held notion of love as a 'drug' on its head — and starting using drugs to treat it instead.
Jennifer Chen has been a producer and journalist at CBC for more than 15 years in Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa. One of her first mini-documentaries captured her attempt to learn snowboarding as a newbie tackling the West Coast mountains. Over the years, she's made many more pocket docs and pursued other forms of narrative audio storytelling. She has a passion for finding underrepresented voices and for telling stories that connect Canadians.
Jennifer is very excited to be working with mentor Alison Cook to produce a documentary for The Doc Project. She will tell the story of a Chinese-Canadian couple who recently left their native China and their respectable jobs as professors in academia to work in Ontario as farmers, and why their parents are having trouble accepting their new chosen profession. Through their personal journey, she will explore the challenges of meeting parental expectations and what it means to be successful, as seen through a cultural lens.
Stephanie Dubois is a reporter and associate producer who has worked with CBC Edmonton for almost four years. Prior to CBC, she worked predominantly for print news outlets across Alberta. She is interested in telling stories about health issues, data and anything quirky. She is a firm believer that everyone has a compelling story to share and she is forever grateful to be able to share those stories with Canadians.
She's thrilled to be working with mentor Jeff Goodes at White Coat, Black Art to produce a segment on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on medical residents in Canada and the subsequent effects on the health-care system and patient care.
Paula Duhatschek is a radio and digital reporter with CBC Kitchener-Waterloo. Prior to joining the team in Kitchener, she was a reporter and associate producer with CBC London. This is Paula's second experience with the Doc Mentorship Program. She was a mentee for the first time in the fall of 2018, when she produced a documentary for Now or Never.
Paula will team up with mentor Suzanne Dufresne to produce a documentary for The Current about a community of tents and tiny houses that was created as a temporary solution to homelessness amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kendall Latimer loves to share stories using words, photography, cinematography and sound. The award-winning journalist works as a reporter with CBC News in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She connects most closely with character-driven and human-interest stories. She strives to elevate the voices of people who might not have a platform and tackles stories of injustice and accountability. For example, she collaborated on an investigation earlier this year that sparked an unprecedented #MeToo movement in Saskatchewan's capital city. Latimer has an unrelenting curiosity and enjoys exploring Saskatchewan stories. She has also worked for CBC News in Yellowknife, NT and for The Bangkok Post in Thailand.
She is so thrilled to be partnered up with mentor Alison Cook and to share the compelling story of a man who is working tirelessly -- motivated by his haunting memories -- to keep Saskatchewan's only supervised consumption site afloat with a skeleton crew and without adequate provincial funding.
Kevin Nepitabo is from Thompson, Manitoba, but his family roots lie in Bunibonibee Cree Nation. Kevin has been part of the CBC team in Manitoba since 2019 and is looking forward to creating a radio documentary.
He will be working with Michael Dick on his story of living in an isolated northern reserve as a kid. "I was always surrounded by family. We had about 10 people living in a 4-bedroom house. We had a pail for our plumbing, a wood stove for heat, a water tank filled with barely drinkable liquid, and never enough food to get by. The one thing that always kept us going was the love for each other. I spent my whole childhood longing for more, but now that I have more, I long to live those days again."
Imani Walker is a multimedia journalist currently working as an associate producer with Metro Morning, CBC Radio One's local morning program in Toronto. She previously worked with CBC's Here and Now and News Network, where she started as an intern in 2017. Imani gravitates towards the personal stories of Black, Indigenous, and other people of colour.
She is excited to work with mentor Jeff Goodes to produce her first radio documentary for White Coat, Black Art. The documentary will examine the essential role of Black nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what it means to be a Healthcare Hero while facing anti-Black racism on the front lines.
Marina Wang is a freelance journalist based out of Calgary. She's previously studied zoology at the University of British Columbia and completed a masters of journalism at Carleton University. Since then, Marina has reported on topics as wide-ranging as plastic surgery malpractice, Mars life-detection technology and the 1876 Kentucky meat shower. Her work has appeared in publications such as Science Magazine, Atlas Obscura and Canadian Geographic. Marina has a particular affinity for the weird and wonderful and is drawn to stories that impart a sense of wonder.
Marina is excited to showcase her radio debut working with Jim Lebans on Quirks and Quarks. Her doc explores a song that uses the musical translation of Canadian bird calls to expose the differences between natural and human sound and to question mankind's place in nature.
Brandie Weikle is a long-time Toronto journalist who has been with CBC for the past four years in the digital divisions of news and radio. She's the founder of thenewfamily.com, an award-winning website and podcast that explores issues related to modern family life, including family diversity. In previous iterations, Brandie was editor-in-chief of Canadian Family magazine, and held various other editing roles at magazines and newspapers, namely the Toronto Star. She is passionate about long-form storytelling and about bringing to light aspects of family life that are poorly understood.
Brandie is thrilled to be working with mentor Alison Cook on a Doc Project piece about how families — and the parenting experience — are affected by incarceration.