Spring 2017 Mentors

Thank you to Natalie Armata, Amanda Boltë, Mark Buchner, Stefan Canuel, Yen Chu, Greg Dubeau, Steve Garwood, Gigi Lau, Christopher Moorehead and Lynn Ridley!


If you have any questions about the program or you would like to be a mentor, email .




"As your Mentor, I will offer insights on conceptual development in advertising, design, presenting and building client relationships."
Natalie Armata RGD, Co-Founder & Creative Director at Giants & Gentlemen

Natalie has achieved business and creative success throughout her career. Her clients have included Wyndham Hotels, Fisherman's Friend, TELUS, Canadian Tire, Sony and Ontario Tourism. She’s won national and international awards and has judged them too. School hasn’t stopped either, with continuing studies at the University of Toronto, VCU Brandcenter and the Schulich School of Business.


As your mentor, I will share my experience of being a flexible designer and creative leader, advice on finding the creative career that is best suited for your talents (agency or in house) and how to find passion in every creative challenge that you are presented with."
Amanda Boltë RGD, Creative Director at Cineplex Digital Media
Combining her extensive Star Trek knowledge with a passion for design and a natural strength in typography, Amanda approaches her projects with an infectious enthusiasm. From craft beer to kid’s toys to insurance, she has tailored creative solutions for all industries and has led creative teams for clients such as Harley Davidson, Labatt, FCA Canada (Chrysler) and Jolly Jumper, producing packaging, branding, print, photography and new media.

"As your mentor, I’ll act as your design-therapist. I will help you with your decisions, career path and creative fears."
Mark Buchner RGD, Partner & Creative Director at TBD Studio

Mark is a Toronto-based brand specialist. He has been a part of the Mark has been a part of the Toronto design community for over 15 years, with extensive experience in building brands both large and small. Much of his career was divided between two agencies – – Compass360 and Grip, where he helped develop award-winning brands, products and campaigns for clients including Honda, Labatt, Bell and PaperChef.

“As your mentor, I will share my experience and passion for the arts and design. I will work with you to push and realize your creativity while experimenting with different aspects of design and media. I will also help you learn how to choose appropriate typefaces and create effective design with type.”

Stefan Canuel RGD, Senior Creative Designer at the National Gallery of Canada

Stefan is an Ottawa-based designer with more than 20 years experience in the design and creative industry, including exhibition design and print. He blends innovation with practicality and an unswerving focus on results. He works every day to forge profound links between organizations and their audiences through clear, creative, effective and well-managed designs and strategies.

As your mentor, I will share my experience and perspective on both the creative and business facets of design and provide specific guidance helping you push and develop your creative. I look forward to chats about all things which inspire us."

Yen Chu RGD, Creative Director of Design at J. Walter Thompson Canada

With 20 years of practice in design and direction at some of Canada’s premier branding and design firms including Oxygen, SFP, Parcel, and Clear Space, Yen is best known for producing evocative and impactful work for clients as well as collaborating with younger designers to do the same.


"As your mentor, I will share insights on how to thrive as a multi-disciplinary graphic designer in small to medium-sized markets, as well as how to take steps towards entering larger markets and the digital space."

Greg Dubeau RGD, Creative Lead at Cossette Halifax

Greg is a graphic designer, art director and advertiser. He hails from a small blue-collar town in Northwestern Ontario, but has practised design in Canada from coast to coast. His work is defined by two essential criteria: (1) strong, emotional, sensory connection to his audience; (2) the ability for clients to measure quantitative and qualitative outcomes against creative and business goals.

"As your mentor, I will provide a unique take on working in both agency and in-house positions. I will offer advice on building your portfolio, enhancing your work and navigating the pitfalls of working in the design world."

Steve Garwood RGD, Creative Director and a Founding Partner at Faren Agency

With award-winning experience in all types of design, Steve oversees all design projects at Faren. The agency’s focus is divided between design for the tourism sector, and food/home appliance packaging. Previously, Steve worked  at Pylon Design before moving in-house at the law firm Fraser Milner Casgrain then Colliers Canada.


"As your mentor, I will offer advice on how to grow from a junior designer to senior  designer/ art director. I will offer insights on concept development and working with photographers, illustrators and other designers."

Gigi Lau RGD, Art Director at Harlequin

Working at the world's leading publisher for women's fiction over the past 11 years, Gigi has created compelling book covers for bestselling, emerging and debut authors. The books she’s designed have hit the New York Times bestseller list and have been recognized with national and international awards.


"As your mentor, I will share my passion for information design, data visualization and visual storytelling, as well as my experience effectively integrating skills obtained from a first career into a second."

Christopher Moorehead RGD, Director of Information Design at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Chris is a licensed professional engineer and graphic designer specializing in the visualization of complex information streams. His team uses information design, data visualization and structured typography best practices to interpret data, develop focused solutions and communicate key messages on behalf of corporate, institutional and government clients.

“As a designer, your goal should always be to design an elegant solution to solve a problem. As your mentor, I will help you to recognize your best work and confidently explain how it provides value.”

Lynn Ridley RGD, Vice President Creative at Jan Kelley
Lynn has worked in senior creative positions at large multi-national advertising agencies and small independent creative shops. She has a mix of experience in packaged goods, business-to-business, retail and social marketing. Up until recently, she led the creative output of the agency and the effectiveness and productivity of multiple creative teams. She now leads the innovation team within the idea incubator located in the Communitech Hub in Kitchener Waterloo.