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CMU College in Hollywood: Highlights from the Toronto Mayor’s Mission to LA

By May 16, 2024No Comments

Fresh from the City of Toronto Mayor’s Mission to Los Angeles, our Senior VP Deanna Cadette sat down with the CMU Blog to share her experiences and takeaways. 

CMU College: Let’s start at the beginning. What was the key objective of the mission? 

Deanna Cadette: Toronto has spent decades building one of the top film and TV production destinations in the world. So, the key objective was to showcase our ecosystem — talent, studio space, equipment supply, post facilities and others — and to send the message that we’re a stable and mature industry that LA studios can count on, now and in the future. 

CMU: Why was CMU College selected? 

Deanna: Workforce development was a key part of the mission, and several post-secondary institutions with strong film and TV programs were invited to discuss how we’re building the next generation of talent.  

CMU College is unique as one of the top makeup schools in North America, and it was great to join Centennial, Sheridan and the Toronto Film School to exchange ideas, experiences and strategies. 

On behalf of our CMU community, I’d like to thank Mayor Olivia Chow, Toronto Film Commissioner Marguerite Pigott and their teams for inviting us. 

CMU: How important is this mission to our makeup students? 

Deanna: Whether our students aim to work in film and TV or other areas of the makeup profession, this mission is for them. It aims to ensure that Toronto has a robust industry where our students and alumni can use their transferrable skills to build long and successful careers. 

CMU: That’s fantastic. What’s the importance of the mission to both LA and TO? 

Deanna: Making movies and TV is all about relationships, collaboration and teamwork. Projects that start in Hollywood are often made in Toronto. Meeting our counterparts face-to-face is still the most effective way to build trust and nurture relationships. 

CMU: Regarding those relationships, tell us who you partnered with and who you met? 

Deanna: The mission included more than 30 delegates who were divided into 5- to 6-person teams and met with different studio executives across LA. CMU College was on Team Burbank, led by the Ontario Film Commissioner, and key representatives of Cinespace, IATSE 873, Panavision and RedLab 

We met with four studios, including Warner Bros. Discovery. It was a real highlight for me to thank the WBD team in person for creating the WBD Access Canadian office which sponsors CMU’s Avenues for Access Scholarship. There’s amazing talent in all communities, and this scholarship is already transforming lives, careers and by extension, our industry.