Broadcaster Magazine

WIFT-T Announces 2024 Crystal Award Winners

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  • Women in Film & Television – Toronto’s Crystal Awards celebrate excellence in the screen-based industry. The 29th annual Awards Gala will be held at Arcadian Court on December 6, 2024. The Crystal Awards honour outstanding women, and men who champion women, working in the film, television and digital media sectors.

    Since 1988, more than 130 industry leaders have been honored for their extraordinary contributions and their exemplary positive impact.

    Tickets for the Crystals Awards Gala luncheon will go on sale November 2, 2024.

    The 2024 WIFT-T Crystal Award winners are:

    Creative Excellence Award

    Michelle Crespi

    Executive Director/Producer Lifestyle, Bell Media

    As Executive Director/Producer Lifestyle, Michelle oversees the production of The Marilyn Denis Show, The Social, and most recently, CTV’s Your Morning. She has propelled The Marilyn Denis Show and The Social to the two most-watched Canadian daytime series in Canada. In 2024, The Marilyn Denis Show was honoured with two CSA Awards including Best Talk Program or Series.  Her considerable television experience includes overseeing a range of programming; music and entertainment, health and lifestyle, and current affairs.

    Michelle began her career in television production 14 years ago on Balance: Television For Living Well at CTV. Following that, she spent several years with Canada’s number one entertainment news show etalk, and has produced network specials including: The Giller Prize, We Day, etalk Canada’s Walk Of Fame, etalk at the Junos, and etalk at the Oscars.  She holds a Masters of Journalism from Western University.


    Digital Trailblazer Award

    Barbara Bailie

    Director, Application Solutions for DHX Media Ltd.

    Barbara is a digital and interactive veteran who has been one of the driving forces behind numerous innovative and multi-award winning digital productions over the years.  She created Astral Media’s first website,, in May 1997 which quickly grew to become one of Canada’s top kids’ sites. She also streamed the first full-length episode of a Canadian live action series online in 2024 and launched ground-breaking cross-platform projects such as Regenesis Extended Reality Game, The Next Step Interactive and The Gaming Show Game.

    She is currently the Director, Application Solutions for DHX Media Ltd., where she is responsible for all enterprise-level applications, support teams, and consumer facing technologies such as websites and mobile applications.

    Formerly as Director, Interactive for DHX Media and DHX TV, she was in charge of digital platforms, games, and mobile applications.  Prior to this, she served as Director, Digital for Astral Television Networks, overseeing the digital strategy and production for nine networks, including The Movie Network and HBO Canada.


    Mentorship Award

    Deborah Osborne

    Production Planning Executive

    For over 30 years Deborah has worked with creators, performers, crews, professional organizations, government institutions, manufacturers, broadcasters and students.  Her wide range of experience in executive, creative, administrative and production positions has supported a variety of award-winning programming for prominent networks and distributors in North America and Europe.

    Deborah’s career has evolved alongside the technical innovations in all aspects of production, from film and videotape to High Definition, 3D, file-based workflows and the internet. She has authored articles for industry publications and is an industry recognized subject matter expert in a range of production areas, and in the integration of multi-disciplinary teams.

    In addition to her work in production, Deborah has taken leadership roles in innovative training initiatives, courses, seminars and workshops for organizations including: The Banff Festival, ACCT, NSI, DGC and academic institutions in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia.  Deborah is currently Associate Producer, Post-Production on the CBS series Reign.


    Outstanding Achievement in Business Award

    Tracey Pearce

    President, Distribution and Pay, Bell Media
    Tracey leads the team that distributes, licenses, and markets Bell Media conventional networks, specialty and pay channels, non-linear content, TV Everywhere services on traditional and digital platforms, and, in addition, CraveTV, and The Movie Network (including HBO Canada). Formerly she was Senior Vice-President, Specialty and Pay, for Bell Media’s English-language entertainment and factual specialty channels.

    Tracey has been instrumental in strengthening Bell Media’s pay, SVOD, and specialty offerings, including launching Much Digital Studios; signing landmark program supply and branding agreements with SHOWTIME, HBO, and Comedy Central; the national expansion of The Movie Network/HBO; and the acquisition and launch of Bell Media’s first lifestyle channel, Gusto.

    She joined Bell Media in 2024, and prior roles include Senior Vice-President Specialty and Pay, and Senior Vice-President, Business and Legal Affairs. Prior to this she was a partner at Goodmans LLP in communications law. Tracey currently serves as a director on the boards of Discovery Channel (Canada) and CTV Specialty. She is a graduate of the U of T’s Faculty of Law and holds a MBA from York University.



    Special Jury Award of Distinction

    Patricia Ellingson

    Media Executive/Consultant

    Pat has worked with some of the Industry’s most notable producers, and creative talent, and has consistently delivered thought-provoking and engaging content. She joined TVO in 1995, and under her leadership as Creative Head of Children’s and Parent’s Media (1998-2015), TVO won numerous awards across platforms including multiple Gemini and Canadian Screen Awards for best interactive, best preschool, and best children’s and youth programming.

    Pat headed creation and delivery of TVO’s children’s content and the convergence of broadcast and online platforms which led to the creation of, one of the most popular kids’ online destinations in Canada, and; dedicated to helping parents help their kids succeed in school and in life.

    Pat received the 2024 Outstanding Achievement Award from the Youth Media Alliance in recognition of her career in children’s broadcasting. In 2024, TechGirls Canada selected Pat as a Portraits of Strength role model, to inspire girls to consider technology as a career. Prior roles include being the first woman camera operator at BCTV; Director, Webster!, BCTV; and Senior Director for CBC’s The Journal. 


    Thank you to our 2024 jury: Sally Catto, General Manager, Programming, CBC; Dianne Schwalm, VP Development, New Franchise Media Inc.;  and Anne Marie La Traverse, President, Pink Sky Entertainment. The Crystal Awards jury is made up of past Crystal Award winners and other industry experts.

    WIFT-T thanks the 2024 Crystal Awards Presenting Partners NBCUniversal and Deluxe, and Reception Partner, Entertainment One, for their support.