Stephen has worked in the entertainment industry for over 50 years, starting as a performing artist and songwriter, and continuing his career as an entertainment and copyright lawyer. Stephen is a founding partner in the entertainment law firm Stohn Hay Cafazzo Dembroski Richmond LLP, where he has been providing strategic legal advice to performers, advertisers, merchandisers, recording artists, songwriters, multimedia creators, broadcasters and film and television producers since 1979.
He is currently Executive Producer of the television series Degrassi: Next Class (streamed worldwide on Netflix in over 17 languages) and previously has been Executive Producer of earlier iterations of the Degrassi franchise and of series such as Open Heart, Instant Star and The L.A. Complex. For nearly twenty years, Stephen was also a Director and then Chair of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) and Executive Producer of The Juno Awards, Canada’s national music awards show.
Stephen has been active in lobbying for reform of Canada's copyright laws, and has participated as a director, committee member or founder of a number of cultural industry associations. He has appeared on numerous occasions as an expert witness before the Copyright Board of Canada.
He is currently Chair of Orange Lounge Recordings; a Director of ISAN Canada, the Canadian Retransmission Collective, and the Producers Audiovisual Collective of Canada; and a member of the Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Association of Canada (SOCAN).
Stephen has been nominated four times for Primetime Emmy Awards, was inducted into the Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame in 2011 and is a winner of the Peabody Award. He has been received 28 nominations for Canadian Screen Awards (formerly known as the Gemini Awards), and won 14 times. In 2015 Stephen was awarded an honorary doctorate by Trent University (D. Litt.), and this year will see the release of his book Whatever It Takes: Life Lessons from Degrassi and Elsewhere in the World of Music and Television.