NSI CEO Susan Millican steps down; expresses great pride in accomplishments


Susan Millican, CEO of the National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI) since 2002, has advised the organization’s board of directors of her intention to step down from the position.

She will remain CEO until a committee completes a national search for her successor. She has agreed to act in an advisory capacity to the board both during the search process and through her replacement’s transition. Millican has also agreed to be available to NSI on an ongoing basis for occasional consulting.

Millican has led NSI through a period of dramatic growth as Canada’s oldest national training school by broadening its curriculum and programs, expanding its industry and government partnerships and graduating a steadily growing roster of writers, directors and producers – 96% of whom are working in the industry.

“Being the CEO of NSI has been an amazing and fulfilling experience for me,” said Millican.

My intention was to be here for three years – it’s been eight. That’s proof that I truly enjoyed the opportunities that NSI offered. This is one of the best jobs in the country.

I have enjoyed working with our knowledgeable staff, accomplished board and the many talented content creators I have met over the years. NSI is flourishing. I have accomplished the goals that I set out to achieve and I feel the time is right for me to explore new professional opportunities, work on special projects, travel, and spend more time with family.”

“Susan took a western-based, Winnipeg-headquartered organization with a solid reputation and a unique training model and transformed it into a vibrant national brand delivering much needed training to industry professionals in every region and territory of the country,” said long-serving NSI board member Carole Vivier, CEO & Film Commissioner for MANITOBA FILM & MUSIC and one of the individuals who hired Millican to work for NSI.

“Without her intelligence and steady guidance during these significant years of industry growth and turmoil, NSI would not be the stable, well-respected and highly-valued national training school it is today.”

Under Millican’s leadership NSI has grown in scope and scale expanding its suite of critically-acclaimed programs, building its national faculty of trainers and earning the respect of content creators and film and television industry professionals alike.

Today, NSI offers market-driven training for short film, feature film and television series development, and international marketing.

The organization has also become the national leader in film and television training for the Aboriginal community – one of Millican’s proudest accomplishments. NSI supports diversity training throughout its programs.

And NSI has positioned itself to adapt to the future content world by incorporating multi-platforming and transmedia through specific training initiatives like NSI playWRITE, and including transmedia training in its curricula.

NSI has significantly developed its website under Millican’s watch connecting writers, directors and producers with national and international experts in the film and television field. It also operates a popular online short film festival showcasing and celebrating 100% Canadian works.

Said Norm Bolen, long-time NSI board member and President and CEO of the Canadian Film and Television Producers Association, “The industry at large owes Susan Millican a huge debt of gratitude for her stewardship of our country’s longest-running national training school in film and television. The proper training of emerging content creators is the very bedrock of our industry’s future. Susan has built NSI into a powerhouse that continues to graduate qualified writers, directors and producers into the business who go on to have a significant impact on our Canadian cultural landscape as well as our national and regional economies.”

A national call for a new CEO will be issued shortly.

Recent successes from NSI training programs include:

Series concepts developed through NSI Totally Television

  • Less Than Kind in its 2nd season and now broadcast on HBO Canada;
  • ‘da Kink in My Hair broadcast nationally for 2 seasons on Global; Season 1 now on DVD;
  • Todd & The Book Of Pure Evil, currently in production for broadcast on SPACE;
  • Wapos Bay, an award-winning animated television series for children, now in its 4th season on APTN.

Series concept developed through NSI Storytellers, a unique partnership with APTN 

  • Cashing In, now in its 2nd season on APTN.

Series concept developed through DiverseTV, a unique partnership with VisionTV

  • SOUL, broadcast on VisionTV.

NSI Drama Prize
Since the program’s creation, its many high quality short films screened at some of the world’s most prestigious film festivals including CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, Palm Springs International Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival.

Many of the films have received television broadcasts nationally. This past fiscal year, NSI Drama Prize films screened in 27 cities in 11 countries.

NSI Features First
Since its launch in 1997, feature films developed through NSI Features First including 7 Times Lucky,Fetching CodyFlower & Garnet and Turning Paige have won awards, debuted at prestigious festivals and played in commercial theatres across Canada.

These films have also aired on national networks and specialty channels including CBC, Movie Central and The Movie Network.

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