Answers to all your questions from the CBC New Indigenous Voices Q+A webinar

About CBC New Indigenous Voices


On Tuesday, we hosted a webinar for potential applicants of the CBC New Indigenous Voices training program. Associate program manager Kaya Wheeler and program grads Erica Daniels, Adeline Bird and Andy Lown shared their knowledge, tips and advice.

We recorded the webinar so, even if you couldn’t make the live broadcast, you can still watch it here. (Note: we’ve made the video downloadable on Vimeo so you’re welcome to download it and share with others who might have trouble streaming video online).

The aim was to provide some insight about the program to help potential applicants. The deadline for the current course intake is March 21.

Below are answers to all the questions we received.

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For those applying from outside Manitoba, how do they find housing in Winnipeg? Is there any help in that area? What costs does NSI cover?

NSI doesn’t cover the cost of moving to Winnipeg nor do we pay for accommodation while you’re here, however you will receive minimum wage throughout the 14-week program.

Previous students,who have moved to the city stayed with friends or family. We also recommend checking out available housing on Kijiji or we can put you in touch with the post-secondary housing options in the city (for example, Red River College).

We do our very best to help find appropriate housing but it’s largely the responsibility of the student to find their own accommodation.

What do you learn during classroom training?

Classroom time is focused on giving you a well-rounded idea of the wide range of jobs available in the film and television industries. You’ll meet and hear from working professionals who will tell you everything you need to know about developing your career. You’ll also get time to develop, pitch and prepare for the short films you’ll be shooting.

Who teaches the classroom workshops?

A range of industry professionals teach the workshops including writers, producers, directors, distributors, camera, lighting and sound crew, set designers, actors, alumni, editors, location managers and more. For instance, for the script writing workshops we bring in a professional screenwriter. To get an idea of who taught last year, check out the program’s associate faculty list.

How long do I have to be in the classroom each day?

You are expected to be in class from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. There are breaks throughout the day and during lunch.

Can you talk more about the classroom part of training? How much of a daily commitment is required?

You need to treat the training like a job. So much important information gets covered during classroom training and it’s essential you attend every session. This is also a great opportunity to build your network and make a great impression on each of the presenters, some of whom could be your host for the internship phase, someone you collaborate with on a future project or a potential employer.

Can you tell me more about the short film we get to make?

Everyone gets an opportunity to work on and pitch a short film idea. You will pitch your idea to a panel of broadcasters, and the panel picks three of the ideas to be made into short films. To make the films, students are divided into three groups of three.

During the classroom phase, time is set aside for teams to meet and plan for the short film shoots. After six weeks of classroom training, the three groups get two days to shoot their film. Then each team has one and a half days to sit with an editor and edit their film. We screen all three films at the program graduation event in early August.

Can I get a job at the end of the program?

It’s definitely possible, but not guaranteed. Each year, once the program has finished, students have often been hired by the companies they interned with. This is another reason why it’s important to fully commit to this program and make a good impression on presenters and intern hosts.

Do we get paid to do the program?

Yes, you’ll receive minimum wage throughout the 14 weeks.

How long does the program last?

It’s 14 weeks long, starting on April 29.

Students do an internship as part of training. Can you tell me what that involves?

For the last six weeks of the training program you’ll be placed with an intern host to gain firsthand experience working in the industry. This is usually full-time, Monday to Friday (but sometimes you may be required to work weekends). You are expected to treat your internship like a full-time job.

In the last few years we’ve been lucky enough to have the majority of students placed on film or TV productions around Winnipeg. We do our best to find you a placement closely related to your area of interest. However, where you’re placed is dependent upon what’s available at the time.

Would placement as an assistant in a writer’s room of a TV series be a possibility as part of the internship?

As mentioned, we try to place students in internships related to their areas of interest, however, this type of placement isn’t very likely. This is mainly due to the type of work involved and the scheduling of internships and production schedules.

I’m older than 35 – can I still apply for the program?

No, this program requires you to be aged between 18 and 35. NSI has other training programs that don’t have an age restriction.

What advice does each panelist have about what to say during the application interview?

Just be yourself, be genuine, courteous and professional, and take the opportunity to brag about yourself.

How can I get in touch to ask more questions?

Call (or email) Ursula LawsonKaya Wheeler or Sarah Simpson-Yellowquill at the National Screen Institute’s toll free line: 800-952-9307.

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CBC New Indigenous Voices is funded by Title, Presenting and Tuition Sponsor CBC; Program Partners Manitoba Sport, Culture & Heritage, the Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development (CAHRD) and Telefilm Canada; Supporting Sponsors Corus Entertainment and Breakthrough Entertainment; Provincial Sponsor Manitoba Film & Music; Industry Partner the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC); Industry Supporters IATSE Local 856 and imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival; and Service Sponsor William F. White. NSI Core Funders are Manitoba Sport, Culture & Heritage and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council. Additional partners to be confirmed.

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