Lobby Chats: Defining Success

Monday, November 14, 2022, 11 am-12:30 pm (MT) | 1-2:30 pm (ET)

A career in the arts and entertainment industry can come with many external pressures. These expectations sometimes motivate us as we build our career paths but also create confusion or a sense of coercion. As a result, it can be hard to make decisions about what we want for ourselves – personally, creatively, and professionally.

At our first Lobby Chat of the season, we will discuss how we define career success and how we arrive at our individual versions of success that reflect the lives we want for ourselves. Success is highly subjective, and recognizing this can help combat stigma and self-doubt and boost financial and mental wellness.

Presented in partnership with the Canadian Senior Artists Resource Network and Theatre Alberta.



  • Kat Estacio (musician, artist, administrator, and Managing Director at the Wavelength Festival)
  • Rita Shelton Deverell (television broadcaster, theatre artist, scholar and activist)
  • Caleigh Crow (incoming Board President of Theatre Alberta, independent artist and activist, associate artist at Making Treaty 7 in Calgary)

Accessibility: ASL interpretation and closed captions. Please get in touch with us if you require other accommodations. Free to attend – registration is required.

Register now

Meet the Participants

Emily Hill, moderator (she/her)

Emily Hill is the Case Manager with The AFC and a Registered Social Worker. Having received her Master’s degree in Social Work from York University, Emily worked for several years with homeless and under-housed folks living with mental health and substance use issues in downtown Toronto. She then went on to work for a labour union, representing social service workers in their contract negotiations and workplace concerns for five years.

At The AFC, Emily coordinates the Maintaining Mental Wellness Program, which includes initiatives such as support groups, the Navigator referral service and working to expand mental health practitioner access for members of the arts and entertainment industry.

Kat Estacio, panelist (she/her/they/them)

Kat Estacio is a Tkaronto-based creative and recovering overachiever. An experienced administrator, Kat has a B.Comm and over a decade of on-the-ground work with community non-profits and arts organizations. They previously worked as managing director at Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts and Culture and continues to be involved in different capacities as an arts mentor, committee member, and consultant. As festival director, Kat facilitated the scale of Kultura Filipino Arts Festival from a block party to a multi-day event. They also gained confidence crunching numbers at the Centre for Mindfulness Studies as their long-time finance coordinator. Kat is currently a member of the Artistic Advisory Council at The Music Gallery and is Exclaim! Media’s print magazine layout editor.

When working on their sound and visual art practice, Kat often focuses on collaborative and exploratory projects. They blend analog and acoustic elements with digital and electronic as a palette for self-expression. Informed by their lived experience as a diasporic queer racialized woman, Kat centres intentional and embodied remembering in creating for the senses. They are also a member of Pantayo, a queer Filipinx kulintang-pop band. Their debut album was shortlisted for the 2020 Polaris Music Prize.

Kat likes to spend time in nature doing nothing, making food for friends and going to queer dance parties.

Rita Shelton Deverell, panelist (she/her)

Throughout her distinguished career in broadcasting, journalism and theatre, Rita Shelton Deverell has been a pioneer of innovation, creativity and inclusion. Driven by her commitment to social justice, she has focused on telling the stories of those whose voices are not often heard. She co-founded VisionTV, the world’s first multifaith, multicultural network, and is one of the first Black women in Canada to be a television host and network executive. She is an inspiring mentor and teacher and a role model for young journalists, students and audiences alike.

Dr. Deverell was born in 1945 in Houston, Texas. She joined CBC TV in 1973, ultimately becoming a producer and host. In 1988 she co-founded VisionTV, where she produced and appeared on, among others, the series Skylight (Gemini for Best Lifestyle Information Series) and It’s About Time (Gemini for excellence in mainstream television programming reflecting Canada’s racial and cultural diversity) and created Arts Express, a series exploring the intersection between spirituality and the arts.

From 2002 to 2005, she was the news director at the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) and mentored her Indigenous successor. She retired from broadcasting in 2005 and returned to her first profession, theatre and drama. Her play Who You Callin Black Eh? won the Teen Jury prize at the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival, and she received a Canada Council grant to create a “pivot” digital version of the play. She is the author of several books, most recently American Refugees: Turning to Canada for Freedom (2019). Dr. Deverell on her multi-faceted career: “One of the reasons I have worked at so many things is that when a door or a wall or a glass ceiling is put up around me, rather than beating my head against the wall, I change direction.”

Dr. Deverell is a trustee of the Royal Ontario Museum, a director of CBC/Radio-Canada, and an adjunct professor at Mount Saint Vincent and Lakehead universities. In October 2021, she was named chancellor of Lakehead University, the first person of colour to hold that position. Rita Shelton Deverell is a Member of the Order of Canada. Her other awards and honours include two Geminis, ACTRA Woman of the Year, Black Women’s Civic Engagement Network’s Leadership Award, membership in the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and an honorary doctorate from Lakehead University.

Caleigh Crow, panelist (she/her)

Caleigh Crow is a queer Metis theatre artist from Mohkinstsis. Previous playwriting topics include: a talking crow and a grocery clerk, the mass coronal ejection of 1859, the Antifa Supersoldier, the intersection between 12th century Franciscan nuns and Britney Spears, remote viewing, witch revenge, and a landlord musical. 

She is the co-founder and Artistic Lead of Thumbs Up Good Work Theatre and Artistic Associate at Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society. Caleigh also plays bass guitar in the band Pope Joan. Her work tends towards themes of metaphysics, class struggle, magic, and joy.   

About Lobby Chats

The AFC’s Lobby Chats bring together people who have experience, passion, and knowledge of critical topics that directly impact the members of Canada’s entertainment industry. Whether we’re talking to freelancers, leaders, administrators, or service providers, these conversations offer a compassionate knowledge-sharing platform where our community can come together to help each other grow and flourish in the industry on both personal and professional levels.

Lobby Chats focus on the individual’s experience, the person who is navigating what is known to be a precarious career path in arts and entertainment. These conversations will hone in on the areas of financial wellness, mental health, and career sustainability. At the end of each chat, audiences will have a chance to ask questions and join the conversation in the spirit of community support and learning.

Lobby Chats

A knowledge-sharing series of industry panel discussions in which community members can come together to help each other grow and thrive.