About Me


Phillippa Cranston Baran is a Canadian writer and award-winning film producer specializing in education, employment, youth, and indigenous issues. She is the writer/producer of hundreds of film and video projects including Seekers, a 32-part national television series focused on youth issues from an indigenous perspective. She has written fiction for kids and adults, and non-fiction for public and private sector clients on subjects ranging from (NBC) Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Defence in the Military to Best Practices in Early Childhood Education in indigenous communities. She is proud of particular expertise in employment and career development especially with marginalized and at-risk populations.

Flashback: After graduating with a BA from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and an MA in Film Studies from UCLA, she taught film at Western University in London, Ontario. She and her professor husband, Dan, left the university to start a dairy goat enterprise. She became a licensed dairy goat judge, wrote for Harrowsmith magazine, and co-created the Canadian Goat Information Resource Centre. The Barans built the first dairy processing plant in Canada in forty years. They pasteurized and packaged goat milk; made ice cream, cheese, and yogurt; and delivered product to health food stores throughout central and southwestern Ontario.

Fast Forward: When her brother, Toller Cranston, 2-time Olympian and distinguished international artist, passed away suddenly in Mexico in January 2015, Phillippa became Estate Trustee. She established the Toller Cranston Foundation and remains dedicated to building and consolidating her brother’s legacy in Canada and around the world.

She is a competitive Duplicate Bridge player and holds the rank of Ruby Life Master. She lives in the family cottage on the Ottawa River near Arnprior, Canada.

“I believe in the capacities and talents of all people. My work is shaped by the principles of inclusion and empowerment. I strive to find ways to equip individuals to take charge of their lives by finding focus, motivation, and direction.”


  • More than 25 years’ experience researching, writing, managing, and delivering projects and programs on a host of subject areas including employment, school-to-work transition, career development, workplace readiness, workplace essential skills, literacy, career consulting and career counselling.
  • Experience with diverse populations including at-risk youth, women, indigenous people, and chronically unemployed adults as well as professionals, and corporate job seekers. She has a demonstrated capacity to solve problems, communicate information, and motivate, inspire, and support individuals to recognize their talents, and become proactive participants in the pursuit of career goals.
  • Proven ability to develop, promote, coordinate, and facilitate workshops, seminars, training programs, meetings, conferences, and fundraisers as well as to research, write, and design support materials including backgrounders, participant workbooks, and facilitator guides.
  • Writer and executive producer on hundreds of award-winning video and print projects including innovative projects for broadcast television, public sector and corporate clients, and commercials.
  • Extensive experience building partnerships with community stakeholders, employers, and service agencies.
  • Five years university and college teaching (Western University, Queen’s University, Fanshawe College, Centralia College) as well as three years teaching Literacy (Basic Adult Education) and English as a Second Language (ESL) at a community alternative school.


For a time, when I was 14 years old or so, I had a little cake business. It wasn’t much of a business actually, but it was better than babysitting for 25¢ an hour. The cakes were from a mix but they were decorated with elaborate scenes peopled by fully dressed figures made out of pipe cleaners. Yes, I actually stitched shirts and skirts and trousers for pipe cleaners. And yes, turning a sleeve for a pipe cleaner arm was indeed very fiddly. I created ski hills, hockey games, figure skaters, and, if memory serves, a circus or two. The cakes sold for about $10. As I say, it wasn’t much of a business.

Decades later, there was a knock at the door one rainy summer day and three little girls asked if they could come in and make a cake. They did. We did. Well…one thing led to another and as the years went by, in order to keep up with these incredibly creative, smart, irrepressible young ladies, I began to take classes. For almost 20 years now we have taught and inspired and challenged each other. The number of Marshall’s Baykers currently stands at 28. We have raised hundreds of dollars for community projects. We have quite a bit to be proud of. Have a look.


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