Class of 1974 – BA, Innis
CEO, Epitome Pictures; Co-Creator, Degrassi Series
Linda Schuyler quickly responded to an invitation to mentor Innis students. “My love of film and television was inspired at Innis College through cinema studies courses taught by Joe Medjuck and Kay Armatage. I’d love to help students who are interested in those areas,” explains Linda.
After graduating in 1974, Linda briefly pursued a teaching career before starting her own film and television production company. Linda is best known for co-creating and executive producing the multi-award winning Degrassi franchise, comprised of The Kids of Degrassi Street, Degrassi Junior High, Degrassi High, School’s Out, Degrassi Talks and Degrassi: The Next Generation, now known simply as Degrassi. This franchise, celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2010, has won two International Emmys, 20 Gemini Awards, two Prix Jeunesses, two Teen Choice Awards, the Critics’ Choice Award and countless other international honours.
Linda is a strong supporter of the mentoring process. Epitome Pictures hosted the first Prime Time Television resident program and has participated in the CFTPA Mentorship Program. Linda has been a guest lecturer at Yale University, the University of Toronto, and at Ryerson University and has participated on panels at numerous industry conferences. Linda encourages both the professional and personal development of those within her company. Many writers, directors and actors who got their start at Epitome have gone on to contribute to the industry worldwide.
Throughout her career, Linda has been honoured with a number of awards. Of particular note, in 2007 Linda was recognized with an Arbor Award for outstanding voluntary service to the University of Toronto; in 2006, Linda was awarded WIFT-T’s inaugural Crystal Award for International Achievement; and in 1994, in recognition of her contribution to Canadian television programming, Linda was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada. The honour represents distinguished service to mass media. “Her candid productions of real-life dramas have touched millions of viewers around the world…opening lines of communication between adults and youth.”