David Johnston is an award-winning documentary film producer, writer and literary agent with more than 30 years’ experience working with arts, cultural and not-for-profit organizations.
As an agent, David has developed and marketed book and film projects which have won or been nominated for Giller, Governor-General’s, Genie and Gemini awards. He has also managed and produced the Dora- and Canadian Comedy Award- winning theatrical clown duo Mump and Smoot. David’s feature documentary Four Wings and a Prayer: Caught in the Mystery of the Monarch Butterfly, directed by Nick de Pencier, was nominated for an Emmy, broadcast on PBS’s NOVA and won the Rockie Award for Best Nature Documentary at the Banff World Television Festival.
David served as the Executive Director of the Professional Writers’ Association of Canada (PWAC), where he worked closely with Magazines Canada and the Canadian Authors’ Association to organize the largest MagNet conference to date, and oversaw publication of a groundbreaking industry-wide study Respect and Remuneration: Attitudes about Editorial Working Conditions in the Canadian Magazine Industry. While with PWAC, David was a board member with the Canadian Book Publishers’ Council and the Cultural Human Resources Council.
David was the Issues Advocate for Culture for the Green Party of Ontario and stood as their candidate for Mississauga South in the 2007 Ontario election. He has also volunteered as an adult literacy instructor for youth at risk at Frontier College and has raised funds for Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund.
David was a Literary Studies major at the University of Toronto and has completed the Producer Residency program at the Canadian Film Centre. In 2017, he completed the Humber College post-graduate certificate in Multi-platform Storytelling for Screenwriters and Creative Producers and explored new modes of storytelling as a 2017 Humber Transmedia Fellow. He is currently enrolled in the Creative Writing MFA Program at the University of British Columbia and is the recipient of a 2019-2020 Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to complete A Butterfly Tattoo: A Journey Among Monarchs, Mayans and Memory.
David has recently joined forces with media and fundraising powerhouses Jill Lambert and Justin Smallbridge to found Impact Proposals , a firm specializing in consulting, research and writing proposals of all kinds.