Why does Omnifilm’s Brian Hamilton donate to NSI?

Brian Hamilton / Link to Omnifilm Entertainment

Do you know what makes the NSI team really smile? People like Brian Hamilton (pictured) whose monthly donations make the world of difference to students trained through NSI.

Last Friday (November 15) was National Philanthropy Day which gave us a brilliant excuse to shine a spotlight on Brian and show our heartfelt appreciation for his commitment to our current students and the many more who will follow in their footsteps. Thank you Brian!

We’re grateful to every donor whose support helps our students through training and beyond as they emerge with new skill sets and industry connections to advance their careers. Our students couldn’t do it without YOU!

Join Brian in supporting the students who train through NSI. Make a gift today. Big or small, gifts of all sizes are warmly appreciated and put to good use.

So why does Brian support NSI? We spoke to him to find out more.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m one of three managing partners at Omnifilm Entertainment, a premium content company based in Vancouver.

I started in the business as an editor, and have been a producer/executive producer for 20+ years. I oversee Omnifilm’s scripted and family content as well as our post-production facility.

Why did you first give to the National Screen Institute (NSI)?

I’ve long admired the goals and successes of NSI, and when I learned they were seeking funding support I didn’t hesitate.

I see it as a responsibility to give back to my industry and I believe strongly that we need a strong, highly-skilled next generation of content makers to find new ways to develop and produce Canadian stories for a worldwide audience.

Why does NSI matter to you?

Canada has many professional development organizations, yet NSI is unique in many ways. It focuses on the triumvirate of writers, directors and producers, and encourages them to work as teams.

NSI facilitates training without requiring students to move away from their home town. It’s also a leading force in developing Indigenous filmmakers, which is an absolute priority as we all work to bring more equity and representation to the stories Canadians tell.

How did you first get involved with NSI?

I attended an NSI producers workshop in the early 1990s as a developing producer. It was very helpful for learning skills and meeting people who would help me later in my career. Since then I have hired several NSI alumni as writers, producers and directors.

What attracted you to NSI in particular?

I appreciate NSI including producer training as one of its key pillars. In Canada there are numerous professional development opportunities for writers and directors, yet the producer’s role remains critically important (yes I know I’m biased about that).

What motivates you to continue to donate to NSI?

I am a particular fan of the NSI Totally Television program which has a fantastic track record of success and which relates to my area of focus at Omnifilm (TV series). The program alumni are ‘ready for action’ and can be hired onto projects without a lot of additional training and orientation.

When you last made a donation, how did that make you feel?

Donating to NSI brings me satisfaction in many ways.

Firstly, it’s clear from the communication that the organization strongly values its individual donors; we are an important part of achieving the mission.

Secondly, the alumni are making an impact across our industry so I feel I’m part of supporting that success.

And thirdly, I’m a passionate believer in investing in the next generation. I am confident that NSI is making the most of my donor dollars and I’m proud to support their work.

What is the most important work NSI does?

There are many NSI programs that fill important skills and training gaps, but to me the most important work that NSI does is provide a platform to boost up Indigenous filmmakers. These are the people who, in my view, have the potential to raise Canadian storytelling to spectacular heights and to differentiate our country on the world stage. And they are just getting started.

Tell me about someone who has influenced your decision to donate to NSI.

Although I admire many of the NSI staff and board members, I would say that Melanie Hadley (CBC’s executive in charge of production, drama; current board member; and graduate of CBC New Indigenous Voices) has been the person who most influenced me to donate to NSI. Her passion and energy is infectious.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about donating to NSI?

Supporting the next generation of Canadian storytellers is a privilege. Canada is widely admired around the world and, although we have certainly stumbled often, our country aspires to be a tolerant, inclusive, sustainable society and our storytellers carry and amplify that message of hope and intention.

On a big picture level, NSI donors are contributing to the urgent conversation about what we as global citizens want to work toward; what we want to become.

On a more basic level, NSI donors are providing avenues of growth for young people. I think we all agree that the next generation face many daunting challenges. In the face of that, stories serve to guide, to unite, to warn and to reflect. As a society we need our storytellers to be strong and confident.

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Keep the story going and donate today

At NSI, we’re passionate about nurturing storytellers because stories connect us all.

Now that we’re in the giving season, please consider a donation to support our students as part of your charitable giving. Big or small, your gift will provide value-added essentials that make their training experience really special.

For as little as $10, you can help fund an item from the NSI Gift Guide. Things like a weekly bus pass, the cost of hiring a van for a student trip, food for a traditional feast or help hiring a mentor are all ways you can help.

Tax receipts are issued for all gifts. Thank you for considering a donation.

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