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Forty Under 40 Award winner Q&A: Arielle Boisvert

This year’s cohort of recipients will be celebrated at an event Feb. 7, 2024

BIV is recognizing Arielle Boisvert, partner and executive vice-president of production at Brightlight Pictures, and 39 other exceptional business leaders as part of the 2023 Forty Under 40 Awards cohort.

Longer Q&As with each recipient are included in BIV's annual Forty Under 40 Magazine (out in print Dec. 11). Award winners will be celebrated at an awards gala Feb. 7, 2024.

This profile may have been edited for length and clarity.

What career highlight are you most proud of?

Becoming a partner at Brightlight, no contest. I started my film career here 10 years ago as an executive assistant, and to see my hard work and dedication lead to that moment was something truly special.

What was your toughest business or professional decision?

The decision to have kids and raise a family was something I knew would change the landscape of my professional life, and I wasn't sure if I would be able to continue on in the same capacity I had been. After my second child, I can confidently say it's the best decision I ever made, and I am a better producer now after becoming a mother. The work-life balance is something I struggle with to be sure – sometimes feeling like you're never giving either 100 per cent – but then I remind myself that all parents and caregivers must feel this way sometimes.

How do you lead?

I embrace an open-door policy when it comes to my core team, and really anyone working on our projects. A film production really becomes a film family, and so I try my best to encourage folks to get creative and have fun; to remember why they're in this industry to begin with. It's so important to remember that every individual has their own "stuff" going on in the background and so remaining approachable and bringing a sense of levity to the workplace is crucial for me in building and fostering long-lasting work relationships.

What is the biggest lesson you've learned in business?

As much as the method and product may matter, it's the personal relationships that bring business in.

Best piece of advice ever received?

Someone very dear to me once asked me to think about how I would approach a problem, respond to an email, do whatever – if I was a man. They said, "Would a man apologize for asking for exactly what they want? Would a man worry about coming across as ‘annoying’ or ‘bossy’ in an email?” It seems silly but it honestly changed my outlook on so many things.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?

To travel more when I had the time and freedom (and a back that didn't always hurt!).

What's left to accomplish?

So much. I still feel like I am in the early season of my career. I am lucky to have accomplished so much in a relatively short amount of time, but in an industry that is ever evolving, there is always more to learn. The support I feel from my family and co-workers gives me the confidence and drive to seek out new roads and opportunities for growth.

Is there anyone you would like to thank or acknowledge?

My parents and sisters for their undying love and support, and for being my biggest cheerleaders. My husband, for convincing me to act upon my dream of producing, which landed me my job at Brightlight Pictures, and his unwavering support over the years. Shawn Williamson, my mentor, whose generosity and faith in me know no bounds. And my children, for giving me the greatest gift and honour of being their mother.

Read Q&As with all 40 award recipients here. Tickets to the 2023 Forty Under 40 Awards gala on Feb. 7 are now available.