Board of Directors
Christine Shipton, Chair
Former Senior Vice President of Content for Shaw Media, Christine Shipton is a seasoned television executive with experience in both production and broadcast organizations. Throughout her career, Christine has been responsible for developing, overseeing and managing some great Canadian programming, including Rookie Blue, Continuum, Bomb Girls, Ice Pilots NWT, Big Brother Canada and Chopped Canada. In addition to her work with the Shaw Rocket Fund, Shipton serves on the boards of directors for the National Screen Institute, Hot Docs, and the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.
Gigi Boyd, Vice-Chair
A Gemini and Leo award winning Producer, Gigi’s background includes producing roles on Canadian series such as “Strange Empire”, “Cold Squad”, “Godiva’s,” and “The Guard”. In addition to producing drama series, Gigi negotiated industry labour contracts as the VP of Industrial Relations for the CMPA-BC Branch and recommended investment in Canadian productions in her role as the Director of the Television Unit for the Western office of Telefilm Canada. A graduate of the CFC Producer Program and a member of the Directors Guild of Canada, Gigi’s particular interests lie in the creation of new strategies around content discoverability for Canadian television series.
Agnes Augustin, President & CEO, Secretary/Treasurer
Since 2004, Agnes Augustin has proudly overseen the Shaw Rocket Fund and its commitment to be a champion of Canadian children’s programming through the Fund’s investment practices and the creation of various initiatives to support the industry, such as the much celebrated Shaw Rocket Prize. Prior to joining the Shaw Rocket Fund, Agnes was a Manager and Vice President of Business Affairs for various production and distribution companies, Head of Production for CMT, as well as an independent producer.
Chethan Lakshman, Director
Chethan Lakshman is Vice-President, Communications and Public Relations at Shaw Communications, where he oversees the company’s public relations, community investment, corporate sponsorship, and organizational communications portfolios. Prior to joining Shaw, Chethan provided independent communications and reputation management strategy and counsel to corporations, charitable enterprises, and individuals. From 1999–2011, Chethan was a leader of the award-winning Corporate Communications team at RBC, where he held a variety of senior roles. Before moving into the field of communications, Chethan worked as a journalist with The Globe and Mail, Financial Post, and CBC.
Throughout his career, Chethan has used his expertise to develop strategies that communicate complex issues, ideas, and policies to a variety of audiences within an environment of competing interests. He sits on the board of directors for The Walrus Foundation, The Company Theatre, and the Canadian Journalism Foundation, and is former Chair of the Toronto Business Development Centre. Chethan lives in Calgary with his wife, Heather.
Nancy Birnbaum, Director
In her 13 years as CEO of Invest in Kids, Nancy led the transformation of this small, Toronto-focused granting foundation into a national charitable organization providing parenting support to new parents across Canada. Prior to this, Nancy spent 20 years in the branding, marketing and communications fields in both consulting and business leadership roles, including as Managing Director of the Toronto office of Young & Rubicam Advertising. Since 1997, Nancy has been part of Humanity, Inc., a business and branding strategy consulting firm based in the U.S. Nancy’s interests and reputation for insightful strategic solutions are reflected in the many volunteer leadership positions she has held in the children and youth, women’s issues, and education arenas.
Annabel Slaight, Former Chair
Renowned co-founder of Owl Magazines, Books and Television, Annabel Slaight is the recipient of many prestigious awards including being named to the Order of Canada on Dec. 30, 2016. She has also received the Order of Ontario, Canadian Film and Television’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the Royal Canadian Institute’s Sir Sanford Fleming Award and the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA)’s 2016 lifetime achievement award. In addition to her dedication as Chair of the Shaw Rocket Fund, as Founding Chair of the Ontario Water Centre she is engaged in a number of pioneering activities to improve the health of Lake Simcoe including the revitalization of a historic lakeside farm as a centre for experiential learning.