Marian Wihak is an award-winning multi-disciplinary designer-artist working in film, television, theatre and visual art. She has won 4 awards for Best Production Design (1 Bijoux, 2 Geminis, and the Gold Medal for Best Production Design at the New York International Television Festival), and has been nominated numerous times for both Gemini and Directors Guild of Canada Best Production Design awards.
Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Marian holds a BFA Honours in Theatre, studied painting and art history in Florence, Italy and in 2014 acquired an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design from OCAD University. This rich influence informs all of the work she does as a Production Designer in film and television, as well as sustains her ongoing visual art practice.
Marian excels at designing compelling stories situated within a diverse and varied range of milieus. Recent features include The Marijuana Chronicles — set in 1972 Toronto; STAND! — a musical set in 1919 Winnipeg; Tammy’s Always Dying — a gritty contemporary black comedy/drama; and Love Jacked — a romantic comedy shot in Toronto and Cape Town. She has frequently collaborated with Director Larry Weinstein on unique music-centric projects including Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas (International Emmy Nomination), Mulroney: The Opera, Burnt Toast, and September Songs: The Music of Kurt Weil — co-designed with opera designer Michael Levine (Gemini Award for Best Production Design). Another favourite project is Dido and Aeneas, with Director Barbara Willis-Sweete and the brilliant Mark Morris Dance Company. While acquiring her MFA, Marian designed four of the highly popular Good Witch movies for the Hallmark network and upon completion of her degree went on to design the Good Witch series.
Other selected credits include Gordon Pinsent’s Heyday (Gemini nomination for Best Production Design); Julie Walking Home and A Girl Like Me — both directed by Polish Director Agnieszka Holland (House of Cards, Treme, The Wire); Pit Pony (Gemini Award for Best Production Design); Milgaard; Road to Avonlea; Squamish Five (Gemini Design nomination); and also her inaugural effort as a Production Designer — Francis Mankiewicz’s gritty And Then You Die.
Marian thrives on collaborating with the entire creative team to devise environments full of evocative detail and texture that support and advance the visual storytelling. Whether the story is epic and far-reaching or intimate and contemporary — her approach is fuelled by passionate engagement and inventive abilities built upon fulsome research, supported by an impressive range of skills and knowledge, and matched by a strong sense of organization and fiscal responsibility.
As a visual artist, Marian Wihak devises experiential and immersive installations including those for Nuit Blanche, Come Up To My Room and Toronto DesignOffsite. She has been supported by both the Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council, was a finalist in the prestigious RBC Painting Competition, and has work in many private and corporate collections across Canada and in the United States.