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Canada’s Black Academy names Gail Case as executive director 

Industry veteran Gail Case has been named executive director of The Black Academy, the Canadian organisation focused on addressing systemic racism and recognising black talent in Canada.

Gail Case

In her new role, Case will oversee all The Black Academy’s fundraising and year-round programming initiatives, as well as being responsible for its stability and long-term growth.

The not-for-profit organisation was launched in 2020 by Canadian actors, producers and brothers Shamier Anderson and Stephan James, who serve as co-CEOs. It is behind several initiatives and events including the Legacy Awards, an awards show recognising the accomplishments of black Canadian talent, as well as a skills development programme administered in partnership with factual prodco Insight Productions.

Case joins after most recently serving as the director of client services at Factor (Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings), a not-for-profit music industry organisation. During her time there, Case oversaw the allocation of around US$10.2m (C$14m) of funding as well as the adjudication process for Canadian artists and record labels.

Case said she is joining The Black Academy at a time when improvements in representation have been made, but a great deal of work still needs to be done.

“There’s growing awareness and demand for diverse stories and that is creating opportunities. However, there’s also limitations around the funding that supports black creators,” she said.

“There’s also a lack of representation in key decision-making roles, meaning sometimes black creators have to work a bit harder to gain recognition.”

Case said she plans to foster collaborations with other organisations across Canada and build a network of partnerships that will help The Black Academy “strengthen its initiatives and enhance its impact.”

“Right now, I’m focused securing sustainable funding to support our long-term growth and help us succeed in developing innovative programmes that address the needs of black Canadians across the country in the years to come,” she added.

Anderson called Case a “catalyst for lasting change” and said her “experience and skills dovetail perfectly with our goals for the organisation,” while James highlighted her “rare combination of business and creative experience.”

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