Professional Development & Mentorship Project (PDM Project) -  AFBS, AFC & DTRC

Professional Development & Mentorship Project (PDM Project) is a partnership between The AFC, AFBS, and The Dancer Transition Resource Centre (DTRC).

We want to enable our communities of arts professionals to acquire career development skills sets and tools to help them through the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare them to face the new post-pandemic future in our work sector. 

We are offering a mentorship program and online learning workshops led by respected and experienced group of leaders in the arts and entertainment industry.   



Are you looking to make a career shift to a new role in your arts discipline or looking to make a significant transition to a brand new career inside or outside the arts and entertainment sector?  Maybe you are embarking on some career exploration for which you need guidance and insight?

We are proud to announce an exciting new opportunity for arts professionals across Canada, a Group Mentorship Course.  A one-month cohort that gives you access to 3 seasoned professionals in the arts and entertainment sector – Dance, Theatre, Film &TV. Even better, it’s free! 

Online Application Form - Application deadline is Wednesday June 30 at 5pm.

Who can benefit from this program?

This program is for people of any age looking to make a shift in their career.  You could be an emerging, mid-career or mature arts professional. You are looking for insight and guidance for either a specific career advancement goal or career exploration or career transition.






This pilot program is a partnership between The AFC, AFBS and The DTRC. We thank Canadian Senior Artists’ Resource Network (CSARN) for their support.

Our mentors:

Shannon Litzenberger (Dance)

Shannon Litzenberger (she/her) is an award-winning dance artist, embodiment facilitator and experienced cultural leader working at the intersection of art, ideas and transformational change. 

As a dancer and performance maker, her work explores our relationship to land, the politics of belonging, and the forgotten wisdom of the body. She has been an invited resident artist at Soulpepper Theatre, Toronto Dance Theatre, Harbourfront Centre, Atlantic Ballet Theatre, Banff Centre, and the Gros Morne Summer Music Festival. She collaborates frequently with the Dark by Five Inter-arts ensemble and the wind in the leaves collective. 

As a skilled freelance strategist, programmer, leadership developer, policy thinker and embodiment facilitator, she works with leading organizations in the arts, academia, and the corporate sector. She is currently a faculty member at Banff Centre’s Cultural Leadership Program; a Program Associate with CPAMO; a guest facilitator at the Ivey Business School; a Trudeau Foundation Mentor; and a Chalmers Fellow, exploring the relationship between embodiment, leadership and social change.

Robin Cass (Film/TV)

Robin Cass is an award-winning producer who has worked with some of Canada’s finest talents.  Select feature films include John Greyson’s iconic LILIES and ZERO PATIENCE- A MUSICAL ABOUT AIDS, Thom Fitzerald’s TIFF Audience Award-winner THE HANGING GARDEN, Oscar-nominee Lone Scherfig’s KINDNESS OF STRANGERS, Richie Mehta’s AMAL and of Deepa Mehta’s THE REPUBLIC OF LOVE adapted from the novel by Pulitzer-prize recipient Carol Shields. For television his, credits include CBC’s KIM’S CONVENIENCE.  Actors with whom he has worked include Academy Award winners Susan Sarandon and Christopher Plummer as well as Bill Nighy and Timothy Olyphant.

A graduate of the Ontario College of Art, he is a former Board and Executive Committee member for the Canadian Media Producers’ Association, juror for TIFF’s Talent Lab and Advisory Committee Member for TIFF’s Industry Centre, and co-founder of The Harold Greenberg Fund’s Story Option Fund. Current endeavours include development of a series based on Waubgeshig Rice’s best-selling novel, MOON OF THE CRUSTED SNOW and Dr. Brian Goldman of CBC’s White Coat/Black Art fame, THE POWER OF KINDNESS.

Rita Shelton Deverell (Theatre, TV)

Dr. Rita Shelton Deverell is a theatre artist, television producer/director, scholar, a founder of Vision TV, was the first woman to lead a journalism program in a Canadian university, and concluded her term as News Director at APTN in 2005 where she mentored her Indigenous successor. Rita’s awards include two Geminis, the Black Women’s Civic Engagement Leadership Award, and the Order of Canada.

In 2018 Rita was named the Woman of the Year for her contributions to arts and activism by the Alliance of Cinema, Television, and Radio Artists (ACTRA).  She currently is a Trustee of the Royal Ontario Museum, a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; a performer/writer member of Act 3, a collective of older women theatre professionals; an Adjunct Professor of Women’s Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University, and of Education at Lakehead University Orillia.  Her book American Refugees: Turning to Canada for Freedom, University of Regina Press 2019, is in bookstores now. Finally, Rita and the acting company in her new play “Who You Callin Black Eh?” were winners of the Teen Critics Jury Award at the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival. In 2021 a “pivot” on-line version of the play was showcased at the Africentric Learning Conference in Halifax, and as part of the anti-Black racism focus of the national Congress of Social Sciences and Humanities. 


Hari Krishnan (Dance)

Hari Krishnan is a Bessie (New York City) and Dora (Toronto) Award nominee dance artist, scholar and teacher. He is the artistic director of Toronto-based company inDANCE, in addition to being Chair and Professor of Dance in the Department of Dance at Wesleyan University. His choreography explores post-colonial complexities in South Asian dance and queer themes, as well as the intersection of traditional and global contemporary dance forms. His extensive body of work is based on critical perspectives on Bharatanatyam, fused with contemporary global dance styles and postmodern social critique. His scholarly interests include queer identities in dance performance, contemporary dance from global perspectives, colonialism, post-colonialism and Indian dance, Bharatanatyam in Tamil cinema and the history of courtesan dance traditions in South India. He is the author of the award-winning book, Celluloid Classicism: Early Tamil Cinema and the Making of Modern Bharatanatyam (2019, Wesleyan University Press).

Clayton Windatt (Theatre, Film)

Clayton Windatt is a curator, multi-arts performer and filmmaker living and working in Ontario. As the former Executive Director of the White Water Gallery, Aboriginal Curatorial Collective and current Executive Director of the Artist-Run Centres and Collectives Conference, Clayton has an extensive history working in Artist-Run Culture and Community Arts. Clayton maintains contracts with various governments, colleges and non-government organizations as a writer, consultant and knowledge broker negotiating between peoples, places and communities. Clayton works in/with community, design, communications, curation, performance, theatre, technology, and consulting, and is a very active artist.

Monique Lund (Singer, Actor, Dancer, Director and Costume Designer)

Monique Lund has been a professional actor, singer and dancer for over thirty years and has worked from coast to coast in Canada and the U.S. Some career highlights include the Broadway Tour of Mamma Mia in which she played the role of Donna, the original Toronto companies of The Lord of the Rings, Joseph, The Who’s Tommy, and Crazy For You. She has also spent 12 seasons at the Stratford Festival in a variety of plays and musicals, workshops and recordings. In 2017 she won the Brian Macdonald award for emerging directors at the Stratford Festival Guthrie Awards. Recently she worked for Here For Now Theatre in Stratford as a director, actor and costume designer. She also has her own jewellery line “Minnie by Monique Lund” featuring bespoke leather earrings and necklaces which she launched in 2020.

PDM Project Partners & Supporters:

AFBS is Canada's only national insurance and investment provider established and owned by Canadian performers and screenwriters. We've been supporting Members' health and wealth since 1975 and today we're one of Canada's strongest insurance companies and retirement plan providers.

AFBS is an insurance and investment services company. When you become a Member, you become one of their valued stakeholders.


The AFC is the lifeline for Canada’s entertainment industry. The AFC is an expression of the community’s good will, helping entertainment professionals when they are at their most vulnerable due to injury, illness or other personal hardship.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of industry members have turned to The AFC for help to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. During this challenging time, The AFC has responded to the need in the community with $1.4 million (and counting) in emergency financial aid and other crucial support programs and services. All our programs are focused on supporting the health and well-being of arts and entertainment professionals working in all aspects of film & TV, music, theatre and dance.

Founded in 1985, the Dancer Transition Resource Centre (DTRC) is a national, charitable organization dedicated to helping dancers make necessary transitions into, within, and from professional performing careers. We also operate as a resource centre for the dance community and general public and support activities that improve the socioeconomic conditions of artists across the country.

As a world leader in dancer transition, we are active participants in international conferences and research initiatives and help drive change within the dance community.


We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.


Photo Gallery


Helping dancers make necessary transitions into, within, and from professional performing careers since 1985.