Disney continues to grow its presence in Canada with the appointment of Stephanie Azam as director of content for streaming service Disney+.
Although no Canadian originals have been announced for the streaming service to date, the hire suggests that could soon change.
Azam joins Disney following a year-long gig with the independent Canadian distribution company MK2/MILE END, where she served as VP of development and acquisitions. The Quebec-based company created the role to expand in English Canada last September in hopes of deepening domestic and international partnerships.
This April, Montreal-based Sphère Média acquired the company but kept the Toronto and Montreal teams in place.
Previously, Azam spent 12 years at Telefilm Canada as the National Feature Film Executive, where she oversaw production financing for all of English Canada. Before joining Telefilm as a marketing and distribution specialist in 2008, she spent five years as the director of theatrical marketing at Zeitgeist Films in New York.
Previously, the Ottawa native received her Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Ottawa and worked at Industry Canada before moving to the Business Development Bank of Canada in Toronto in 1997.
Azam’s appointment comes as streaming services gain a stronger foothold in Canadian soil and experiment with more Canadian originals. Last November Netflix revealed it had hired former Sphère Média VP of development Tara Woodbury as its first Canadian content executive.
This past spring, Amazon’s Prime Video also held its first showcase event in Canada, in which the head of Prime Video Canada, Magda Grace, presented a slate of 10 Canadian Amazon Original productions. Those included “The Lake” (which has since been renewed for a second season) and the 2023 original series “Three Pines” starring Alfred Molina and based on the Chief Inspector Gamache novel series by Louise Penny.
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