Imbi (her name reflects her Estonian heritage, and no, it doesn’t mean anything) has often been referred to as a Renaissance woman. Classically trained in voice and on violin and piano, Imbi’s teachers expected her to pursue music. But she was bitten by the media bug before she graduated high school as she worked in multi-cultural radio and cable. Ryerson further honed her skills, and after a year in Europe, post-Ryerson Radio & Television Arts, Imbi returned to Toronto to begin her career.
Imbi had met Bill Kinnon in her final year at Ryerson University, and upon returning to Toronto, ran into him on Carlton Street in Toronto’s Cabbagetown. That chance encounter (if there is such a thing) led to a number of significant events, not least of which was the founding of Medri Kinnon Productions Limited in 1984. Imbi was the production co-ordinator at a Toronto TV station when she and Bill began MKPL. She actually didn’t join the company full time until late 1985 — at which time the company saw significant growth.
As the company outgrew it’s original Danforth Ave facilities, Imbi spearheaded the move into a purchased space about 10 meters east. And Imbi’s facility/building design gifts became very evident. At the time of purchase, the main floor was a Mercedes repair garage and the 2nd floor was the oldest men’s gym in Toronto.
As MKP was in the design and production business, Imbi felt it was important that our new space reflected that. Building multiple scale models, Imbi designed a space that visitors still experience as fresh — 19 years later.
There are two amusing stories from this process. The first is Bill’s less than stellar support for Imbi’s designs — he wasn’t convinced they would work — and he will proudly tell you he was wrong. The second was the architectural designer who worked with our then building partners in the building (on the 1st floor) and who created the building plans for our floor from Imbi’s designs. He disagreed with Imbi’s design almost as much as Bill – but would later bring potential clients through our space to show them “his work.”
Imbi has been involved in a number of design projects since 259 Danforth Ave, and you can read more about MKP’s Facility Design work here. She is also redesigning 259’s present layout and adding to the building — now that the building is 100% ours.
Facility and building design is one of the areas Imbi is passionate about — but there is much more to this Renaissance woman. As well as providing the primary business oversight for MKP, Imbi has also worked as producer on all of MKP’s major productions. Still a gifted musician, two of Imbi’s favourite projects were the live music videos she produced for Maranatha! Music. (You can see a clip from each, here and here.)
Today, Imbi is the Senior Producer/Managing Director for MKP and has recently returned from a rather crazy production schedule that saw her producing videos in the US and EU while earlier this year she was producing work in the U.K., Germany, Tanzania and the U.S. Both schedules were less than two months each. She has great stamina.