Sandra Faire, Canadian producer, showrunner and philanthropist, has died

Producer and showrunner Sandra Faire (seen here with husband Ivan Fecan, executive chair of Thunderbird Entertainment) has died.

Television producer and philanthropist Sandra Faire has died.

Faire, initially was a producer with CBC Television, where she created and produced a number of variety programs including The Joyce Davidson Show, Video Hits and Comics! She founded her own production company, SFA Productions Inc., in 1997.

SFA went on to produce numerous series and specials, primarily for CTV and The Comedy Network, including The Rankin Family Reunion (2008), Rita MacNeil’s Celtic Celebration (1998), Amanda Marshall (1997), and more than a dozen original comedy specials. Faire also produced Canadian comedy showcase Comedy Now!, which aired for 15 seasons, and Comics Inc., on which she served as executive producer, showrunner, story editor and contributing writer. In 2008, SFA Productions produced the first season of reality competition series So You Think You Can Dance Canada, which earned a Gemini Award for Best Variety Program or Series.

In 2000, SFA incorporated its own distribution company, Leopard Distribution Inc., which facilitated the sale of Comedy Now! to Comedy Central in the U.S., and Comedy Inc. to Spike TV. Many of SFA’s musical specials were also sold to PBS.

Along with her husband, Ivan Fecan, Thunderbird Entertainment executive chair and producer, and former CEO of the CTV network, the couple were known for their philanthropic activities, particularly in arts and medicine, including the National Ballet of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, and Toronto General Hospital.

“Passionate, creative, and generous, Sandra Faire was fiercely supportive of Canadian talent in arts and entertainment,” said Randy Lennox, President, Bell Media. “She was a trailblazer for women in film and television whose commitment to excellence helped set the standard for production in this country. She was a true partner to Ivan and will be greatly missed.”

Among the numerous honours Faire earned were the Women in Film and Television [WIFT-T] Award for Outstanding Achievement, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from York University. In 2013, she and Fecan, received the Upper Canada Medal for their generous contribution to health care from the Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation.

“At each stage of her stellar career, Sandra left her indelible mark in helping to build the Canadian audiovisual sector,” said Valerie Creighton, president and CEO, Canada Media Fund. “A role model for women in the industry, her work has inspired future generations of women producers. We offer our most sincere condolences to her husband Ivan Fecan, their family, and all who were close to her.”