Telefilm Canada has announced the return of Sheila de la Varende to its ranks. The culture industry veteran will act as the agency’s director of national and internationalbusiness development, effective 20 April.

De la Varende has worked in several capacities in the cultural sphere, including stints at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada and as director of Telefilm’s European office and its international promotion and development office. She was also executive director of Montreal’s Festival du Nouveau Cinema and, later, executive director of Montreal’s Digimart.

Her most recent post was at the National Film Board of Canada where she was project manager, digital strategy and deployment.

‘Sheila de la Varende will be a valuable asset for the Telefilm Canada team as well as for Canada’s audiovisual industry,’ said Telefilm executive director Wayne Clarkson in a statement. ‘She has a sterling reputation, both here and abroad, and we know how much of a professional she is, given that she has already held key management positions at Telefilm.’

Clarkson said de la Varende’s knowledge and understanding of the digital media sector will help Telefilm develop strategic plans to improve the Canadian industry’s capacity and build audiences for Canadian products.

Danny Chalifour, who was interim director, will be retiring from Telefilm in June 2009.