Congratulations to the 2015 NSI New Voices grads

Above top row: Kelsey Smoke, Frances Koncan and Cody Blacksmith; bottom row: Matthew De Paz, Melissa Raven, Vince Fontaine

Above top row: Kelsey Smoke, Frances Koncan and Cody Blacksmith; bottom row: Matthew De Paz, Melissa Raven, Vince Fontaine

The National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI) is pleased to announce the graduation of six students from the NSI New Voices course on Thursday, July 30.

Now in its 11th year, NSI New Voices is a culturally-sensitive training course that exposes young Aboriginal people aged 18-35 to a variety of creative and challenging employment opportunities in the film and television industry. Students train with professionals to develop their industry skills and then undertake a full-time internship to put those skills into practice.

“I’m proud of the progress that this year’s NSI New Voices students have made,” said Ursula Lawson, NSI program manager. “These six students have overcome challenges and have shown commitment and talent in their accomplishments. I’m excited to see where their careers will lead.”

Congratulations to:

  • Cody Blacksmith
  • Matthew De Paz
  • Vince Fontaine
  • Frances Koncan
  • Melissa Raven
  • Kelsey Smoke

NSI New Voices 2015 began in April with a traditional feast to bless the students on their journey. Now 14 weeks later, after class time and internships, we honour the participants, faculty and sponsors with a graduation ceremony and special screening of the short films created and produced by the students.

The three short films are:

  • Bus Stop by Cody Blacksmith with Melissa Raven and Vince Fontaine
  • Lucky Break by Matthew De Paz with Kyle McCorrister and Kelsey Smoke
  • Outdigenous by Frances Koncan with Kirk Ferland

NSI New Voices is funded by Presenting Sponsor Manitoba Tourism, Culture, Heritage, Sport and Consumer Protection; Program Partners Telefilm Canada and the Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development (CAHRD); NSI Aboriginal Training Programs Partner Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries; Strategic Sponsor Shaw Media; Supporting Sponsors Entertainment OneSuper Channel, Corus Entertainment and imagineNATIVE; Provincial Sponsor Manitoba Film & Music; Service Sponsor William F. White Inc. and Industry Partners Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television (ACCT) and the Directors Guild of Canada. NSI Core Funders are Manitoba Tourism, Culture, Heritage, Sport and Consumer Protection and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council.

About the National Screen Institute

Renowned for having given many emerging filmmakers, television writers and producers their first breaks, the National Screen Institute provides training and production support through courses like NSI Totally TelevisionNSI Drama PrizeNSI New VoicesNSI Features FirstNSI Lifestyle & Reality Series ProducerMovie Central Script to ScreenShaw Media Diverse TV Director and NSI Aboriginal Documentary.

NSI also offers exposure through the NSI Online Short Film Festival and provides vast resources and support to those in the film, television and digital media industry at

All media enquiries

Laura Friesen, Communications Coordinator
Tel: 204.957.2999 or email:

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