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Hot Docs hires former CBC exec Heather Conway as executive director/co-president

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TORONTO — Former CBC executive Heather Conway is taking on a leadership position at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.

The Hot Docs board of directors has announced Conway as the Toronto-based organization's new executive director and co-president. 

Conway left her five-year post as executive vice-president of CBC's English services at the end of 2018 and went on to American Express and Great-West Lifeco.

She'll replace former Hot Docs executive director Brett Hendrie, who left in March.

Hot Docs says Conway will oversee the strategic leadership and management of the annual festival, industry programs and other special year-round initiatives.

The other co-president is Chris McDonald, who oversees the direction of Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, Hot Docs at Home VOD platform and other select funding programs and projects. 

A publicist representing Hot Docs says McDonald and Hendrie always acted as co-heads. The co-president title for McDonald and Conway "reflects how the two roles have been functioning."

Hot Docs says Conway was chosen after a months-long international search and will start her position Nov. 4. 

She was also previously chief business operator at the Art Gallery of Ontario. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 13, 2021.

Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press