Kirstine Stewart

Kirstine Stewart
Affiliation: 
Alumna
Place of Birth: 
Canada
Graduation Years: 
1988
Department / Division: 
English

I chose U of T Mississauga because of its proximity to my home and it turned out to be the best thing I ever could have done.

Kirstine Stewart

A specialist’s degree in the theory and criticism of English literature sharpened Kirstine Stewart’s understanding of the power of content – both facts and stories – a skill that underpins her career success in leadership positions with major media organizations such as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and Twitter North America.

“I work in the world of content and entertainment and news, whether it’s on television or on your phone,” Stewart said. “It’s all about what makes people interested and curious.”

Stewart entered UTM as the product of a program for gifted students and discovered a university that allowed her to craft a degree that fit her needs and interests. In addition to her focus on literature, she took courses in finance, setting her sights on a career that merged arts and business.

“UTM’s size and flexibility allowed for a multi-disciplinary approach,” she said. “There were experts in so many different fields that you could build the best program for your needs.”

During her university years, Stewart worked as a page in the campus library and sold advertising for newspapers. She had her eye on the publishing industry as a possible target for launching her career.

“I was thinking traditionally back then,” Stewart said. “I didn’t give any thought to television or new media.”

Her career path has been anything but traditional. A job selling television shows to international buyers led to an opportunity to oversee programming for the Hallmark Channel in the United States. Alliance Atlantis lured her back to Canada to run their cable channels, where she spearheaded programs that popularized talent such as builder Mike Holmes and decorator Debbie Travis.

Stewart’s own talent made CBC stand up and take notice. She served as the general manager of CBC-TV, where she commissioned hits such as Being Erica and Little Mosque on the Prairie, before moving on to oversee all of CBC’s English language services. After founding Twitter Canada and heading the company’s North American division, Stewart is now the chief strategy officer for Diply, a new online platform.

“It’s all about keeping content in front of people and making discussions happen,” Stewart said.

 

Selected Awards:

Author of best-selling memoir, Our Turn

Canadian Business magazine’s "Power 50", 2015
Toronto Life magazine’s Most Influential, 2015 

J.Tuzo Wilson Distinguished Alumni Award, UTM, 2015, recognizing outstanding alumni for their dedication to both enriching the lives of others through community service and achieving a level of distinction in their professional field

No.15 on Maclean’s magazine’s Power List of Canadians, 2014