Latest NewsNewfoundland producer and industry advocate Paul Pope has died

Newfoundland producer and industry advocate Paul Pope has died

Paul Pope, the Newfoundland-based producer behind TV series like Hudson & Rex and Life with Derek, and a passionate advocate for independent production, passed away Thursday morning. He was 63.

Paul Pope

Over a four-decade career, Pope produced roughly two dozen films and series, under the banner of Pope Productions, including 2001 feature film, Rare Birds, starring William Hurt and 2016’s Hunting Pignut, with Taylor Hickson and Joel Thomas Hynes. He worked as a second unit director or assistant director on more than a dozen other projects, including The Shipping News (2001), and more recently CBC comedy/drama Little Dog (2018/19).

A founding member of the Newfoundland Filmmakers Cooperative (NIFCO), where he served as president for over 20 years, Pope was known as an industry advocate and mentor, passionate about independent production. Over the years, he served on the boards of the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), St. John’s Resource Centre for the Arts, and was Vice-Chair of the Canada Media Fund (CMF) from 2008-10.

In addition to numerous awards garnered by Pope Productions, Pope was personally recognized with the Arts Achievement Award from ArtsNL, the Douglas James Dales Industry Builder Award, and an honorary Doctorate from Memorial University. Last year, he received the City of St. John’s Legend Award for his contributions to the tourism sector through his work in film and television.

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey and Min. of Tourism, Culture, Arts and Recreation Steve Crocker, called Pope “a pioneering filmmaker.”

“The loss of Paul Pope brings such tremendous sadness. He was a dynamic force in Newfoundland and Labrador’s film and television industry having produced or worked on hundreds of projects,” said Furey, in a statement. “His work showcased our beautiful province on the national and international stage, and helped bring visitors from all around to experience what we have to offer with their very own eyes. As we mourn this loss, we recognize the outstanding contributions Paul made to the film and television industry, and his contributions to our province and country. His legacy in this industry will live on for years to come, particularly as he spear-headed the recently announced Film and Media Production Centre at College of the North Atlantic. It was a pleasure working with Paul, and we will ensure his vision is realized as we continue to support the industry he loved.”

“In addition to his passion for film and television, Paul had a passion for Newfoundland and Labrador,” added Crocker. “He was an active member of the Come Home 2022 Host Committee and was the creative force behind some of the wonderful events that the residents of our province will enjoy in the months to come. He brought zest and energy to those meetings. He was positive, comical, passionate, and inspiring. Paul will be missed and remembered forever.”

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Connie Thiessen
Connie Thiessen
Connie has worked coast-to-coast as a reporter, editor, anchor and host at CKNW and News 1130 in Vancouver, News 95.7 and CBC in Halifax, and CFCW Edmonton, among other stations. With a passion for music, film and community service, she led News 95.7 to a 2013 Atlantic Journalism Award and regional RTDNA award for Best Radio Newscast. More recently, she was nominated for Music Journalist of the Year at Canadian Music Week 2019. To report a typo or error please email -

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