CFC Media Lab Selects Eight Women-Led/-Owned Companies to Participate in Fifth Wave Labs Cohort 4

Posted: Apr 25, 2022

CFC Media Lab Selects Eight Women-Led/-Owned Companies to Participate in Fifth Wave Labs Cohort 4

Toronto, April 25, 2022 – The Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab (CFC Media Lab) is pleased to announce the eight founders and companies selected to participate in the fourth cohort of Fifth Wave Labs, a four-month business bootcamp for women-owned/-led businesses, and one component of the larger Fifth Wave Initiative, Canada’s first feminist business accelerator.

The Fifth Wave Initiative was created to address the significant gaps that women entrepreneurs face in equitable access to capital, and connections and opportunities in the digital media industry. All programming is tailored and delivered through a feminist lens for women-owned businesses. The program is funded in part by the Government of Canada, through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy Ecosystem Fund, delivered by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

“The Government of Canada is proud to support partners like the Canadian Film Centre as part of the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy Ecosystem Fund,” said the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. “It’s vital that women entrepreneurs have the tools they need to succeed and participate in Canada’s economy, and our government will continue to make investments that drive inclusive and innovative economic growth.”

“Congratulations to the fourth cohort of Fifth Wave Labs,” said Rob Oliphant, Member of Parliament for Don Valley West. “The Canadian Film Centre is a vital part of film, television, music and digital media training, creation, and production in Canada. I am proud of their many achievements and commend their great work in supporting women entrepreneurs in Toronto to achieve their goals.”

“The women founders in Cohort 4 are admirable in their strong adherence to the values that they hold – both from a personal and professional perspective,” added Nataly De Monte, Director, CFC Media Lab. “They are focused on sustainability, working to close the gender gap and aspiring towards equity and fairness for all humans. Imagine if the dominant business culture was formed on the principles of people over profit – this is the ethos of Fifth Wave, proving how intersectional feminism can shape the way forward.”

Fifth Wave is pleased to welcome Catherine Chan, founder and CEO of FitIn and Cohort 3 participant, as Entrepreneur-in-Residence for Cohort 4. In this role, Catherine will act as a mentor to this group of founders, sharing insights on a peer-to-peer level about her experience leading FitIn, a platform designed to help people find and participate in all the fitness and wellness experiences available.

“I’m incredibly honoured to be able to represent the Fifth Wave Initiative and support fellow founders in developing and growing their businesses,” shared Catherine Chan, CEO, FitIn. “These companies give so much back to society, be it art, education, or community engagement. The reason this program is so important, in my opinion, is because it’s teaching a new generation of successful business owners to create generative businesses, not extractive ones. The world needs more feminist enterprises like these right now.”

The following founders and companies have been selected for the fourth cohort of Fifth Wave Labs:

  1. Rua Wani and Jessica Adams, Adani Pictures: Adani Pictures is a Toronto-based women-led TV and digital production company whose mandate is to tell progressive stories that capture the zeitgeist and reflect perspectives from underrepresented voices and communities.
  2. Jillian Walsh, Change Creates Change: Change Creates Change is a Canadian private practice designed to increase access to specialized eating disorder treatment in an effective and timely manner. It is run by dietitian and therapist Jillian Walsh, whose team uses a unique in-house methodology called Family-Centred Eating Disorder Counselling.
  3. Karen Holland, Gifting Sense: Gifting Sense is a mission-driven organization that helps prepare children for personal finance decisions by teaching them how to “think before they buy,” what they believe to be the cornerstone of financial literacy.
  4. Nyla Obaid, Lode Store: Lode Store is an e-commerce store that carries high-quality, pre-loved locally sourced children’s goods. It is a values-driven business committed to community building and giving back through donations and clothing drives.
  5. Cassandra Rudolph, Lucky One Projects: Lucky One Projects is a production and editing company that works with brands, artists, influencers and creative entrepreneurs to make better video content, faster from anywhere in the world. They believe in democratizing the filmmaking process and putting more women and marginalized individuals in front and behind the camera.
  6. Bonnie Anderson, Moxie Productions: Moxie Productions is a full-service video production company in Toronto that aims to create innovative content that captures audiences.
  7. Chantele Francis, Reality Realnesss: Reality Realnesss is a YouTube channel focused on the socio-anthropological study of human behaviour through recaps of reality TV series, creating a community for reality TV fans to discuss human behaviour and social dynamics.
  8. Rabiya Mansoor and Shreya Patel, Window Dreams Productions: Window Dreams Productions is a production house specializing in impact production that is committed to creativity, storytelling and maximizing project exposure.

Cohort 4 is a mentorship-based program running from mid-April 2022 to the end of July 2022. It will be delivered virtually through a range of webinars, virtual workshops and events, online sessions and expert presentations, all designed specifically for women-owned/led digital media businesses seeking sustainable growth plans and scalable business models. In addition to receiving mentorship from the Entrepreneur-in-Residence, the founders/companies will be connected with a lead guide mentor and will receive bespoke coaching in business development and modelling, market, sales, strategy, partner development, financing, planning for scale, staffing, company culture and wellness, and fundraising, all delivered through an intersectional feminist lens.

Fifty percent of Cohort 4 is racialized women entrepreneurs working in digital media in southern Ontario. The broader Fifth Wave Initiative is committed to a minimum 30 percent participation by members of underrepresented and equity-seeking groups. This includes, but is not limited to 2SLGBTQ+ women, women with disabilities, neurodiverse women, Indigenous women, women of visible minorities, women in rural or remote regions, newcomers to Canada, and women from Official Language Minority Communities.

To date, dozens of women-owned/led companies have joined the Fifth Wave Initiative and have participated in Fifth Wave Connect programming.

Learn more about the Fifth Wave Initiative at

Fifth Wave Partners: OCAD University’s Super Ordinary Lab; Eve-Volution, Inc.; Digital Justice Lab; The Pivotal Point; Marigold Capital and SheEO.

Fifth Wave Media Sponsor: Liisbeth, a women-led and owned indie feminist media enterprise with a global outlook that publishes an open-access monthly digital magazine and newsletter.

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About CFC Media Lab
The Canadian Film Centre Media Lab (CFC Media Lab) is an internationally recognized leader in the development of transformational technologies, businesses and entrepreneurs. The CFC Media Lab is a unique production think tank, training institute and business accelerator that supports hundreds of emerging digital content creators, practitioners, entrepreneurs and companies. Our programs and initiatives provide visionary leadership and extensive expertise in strategy, product, business, finance, and ethics needed by Canadians involved in the digital revolution. | @cfcmedialab

About FedDev Ontario
For more than 12 years, FedDev Ontario has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation and growth in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving their productivity, growing their revenues, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Learn more about the Agency’s impact in southern Ontario by exploring Southern Ontario Spotlight, pivotal projects, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Media Relations

Cory Angeletti-Szasz
Director, Marketing & Communications, CFC

Monica Granados
Press Secretary, Office of the Hon. Helena Jaczek
Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

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