The Forum’s Board of Directors
FRPC’s Directors, elected annually by the organization’s members, meet regularly to discuss its work. Currently the Board consists of:
Al MacKay, Chairman
Al MacKay is a forty-five year veteran of the broadcast industry. He has been a radio and television broadcast journalist, and was a vice-president and station manager during a 25 year career at CJOH Television in Ottawa. He also ran CPAC, the cable public affairs channel, for three years before joining Judith Maxwell’s think tank – Canadian Policy Research Networks (CPRN) – as vice-president, Operations. Mr. MacKay was the primary consultant in developing, on behalf of the industry, its Code for Violence in Television Programming, its Program Rating System, and the on-screen icons and viewer advisories used by all programming services to inform viewers about the content of the program about to be aired. Al became Chairperson of the Forum in November 2019.
John Harris Stevenson, Vice-Chairperson
John is a long-time community broadcaster and public interest technologist. He was instrumental in the development of CKDU-FM Halifax in the 1980s and managed CFRU-FM Guelph in the early-1990s. As president of the National Campus and Community Radio Association he successfully lobbied to have community broadcasting enshrined in the 1992 Broadcasting Act and established the association’s first national office. A long time policy advisor and operational consultant to community broadcasting, in the 2000s John worked with community media, regulators, and industry stakeholders to establish the Community Radio Fund of Canada.
John has worked in strategic technology planning for international development and has managed the digital presences of government agencies and non-profit associations. He is a founder of the Wellington County FreeSpace, one of southern Ontario’s first community networks.
John holds a PhD in Information from the University of Toronto with research centred on user interface design, Internet governance, and digital media. He also holds and MA in Media Studies from Concordia University and a BA in Theatre Directing from Dalhousie University.
Lew’s former positions include the following: Advisor, CRTC; producer of Ideas at CBC radio; producer at TV Ontario; Advisor, Science Council of Canada; Director of Communications, National Parole Board, and Director, Auditor General of Canada (where among other things, he led the first audit of Senate in 1991!).
In addition to acting as a consultant to unions and government on accountability, performance, P’3s and other issues, Lew has also served as President or Board Chair of local non-profits — Tamir, (housing for developmentally disabled); Options Bytown (supportive housing for otherwise homeless); and the Harvard Club of Ottawa.
Lew has also served on various boards including Odyssey Theatre, and the Hospice at Maycourt. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Great Canadian Theatre Company, Treasurer at Oxfam Canada, and the representative from Canada on the Board of Directors of the Harvard Alumni Association.
Sjef (pronounced, ‘chef’) Frenken worked in private radio in Ottawa and Toronto after graduating from Ryerson. He was a member of the CRTC’s staff from 1971 to 1995, and held several management positions, including director of broadcasting policy, while working on a wide range of broadcasting policy files. Since retiring from the Commission he has taught at the University of Ottawa, and worked as a consultant. Sjef’s role as Chairperson of the Forum from its inception in 2013 to late 2019 guided FRPC through its start-up and subsequent six years of deepening engagement with the CRTC and Parliament.
Bernie Lucht is one of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC) most accomplished radio producers. For over five decades, Lucht has brought radio documentaries and current affairs into the homes of Canadians as executive producer of some of CBC Radio One’s most popular programs, including Writers & Company, Tapestry and Ideas. He has also been instrumental in the annual production of The CBC Massey Lectures in partnership with Massey College in the University of Toronto, House of Anansi Press and universities from across Canada.
Lucht is a graduate of Concordia University. In 1998, he was awarded The John Drainie Award for Distinguished Contribution to Broadcasting by the Alliance of Canadian Cinema Television and Radio Arts and in 2011, was the recipient of the CBC/Radio-Canada President’s Award. In 2013, Lucht was invested as a member of the Order of Canada and received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2014, he received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from York University.
Initially trained in engineering and law, Kealy avoided both by beginning her career on air with CBC Radio, hosting and producing a number of programs and series. Then, after a year mastering the CBC’s corporate ropes in Ottawa, she spent a decade working with Graham Spry at the Canadian Broadcasting League before opening Canada’s first broadcast consultancy.
She was invited to return to the CBC as Special Advisor, Strategic Planning and worked closely with senior management at Head Office and in the two Divisions to develop proposals for the Parliamentary Television Service and CBC-II/Télé-II and also authored various Task Force, policy and regulatory initiatives (e.g., Perspectives, The Connections Study).
Kealy has consulted to governments, broadcasters and cable undertakings in Canada, the US, England and Australia, and represented clients at more than five dozen Canadian regulatory hearings, as well as serving as Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee of the Board of Directors of TVOntario, Chair of the Board of Women in Film and Television (Toronto), and as Director of the Alliance for Children and Television. Currently, Kealy is the Executive Director of the CBMF/FMCR.