A message from NSI CEO Joy Loewen: in these changing and uncertain times, I’m grateful for so many things

Happy first day of spring.

Even in these changing and uncertain times, I’m grateful for so many things. A few items topping today’s workplace gratitude list are:

  • Having an upgraded IT system. We were desperate for the upgrade which happened the first weekend of March. The upgrade allows staff to connect with each other and continue our work plans with ease.
  • Being surrounded by a nimble and fun-loving group of teammates who continue to bring life and meaning to the words ‘resilience,’ ‘grit’ and ‘collaboration.’
  • A supportive and engaged board of directors who understand and show their care in so many important ways.
  • And, my Bob Ross daily calendar :). It’s thanks to ‘Bob’ I noticed that today is the first day of spring. His message for today is: “In your world, you just look around and decide where you want a little cloud to live, and that’s where you put him. Wherever you want him to be.” Nice, eh?!

It’s with this spirit of gratitude I approach the challenge and change of leading NSI operations through the COVID-19 pandemic.

NSI’s training model is rooted in portability and designed to provide personalized professional development training to storytellers regardless of their physical location. While the NSI team has implemented social distancing strategies recommended by the Manitoba government including working from home and stopping non-essential work-related travel, our nimble, market-driven training courses allow us to continue training NSI students with some adaptations. Here’s what our new normal looks like:

  • We’ve moved all in-person meetings to an online platform which will also be used for any program-related activities.
  • The NSI team, pictured above during our staff meeting today, are all effectively connected to each other and their NSI work files, and are safely and comfortably working from home offices. Each of us is available 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT, Monday to Friday. We’re here – if and when you need us.
  • Phase 1 boot camp training for current NSI IndigiDocs and NSI Totally Television students is over and all further instruction will be done remotely via our online platform as usual in these phases of training.
  • Flexibility is being given to current TELUS STORYHIVE teams as they manage changes to their original production timelines and delivery dates.
  • Appreciating these are challenging financial times, we’ve placed our current students of 2020 fundraising campaign on pause – including our matching donor drive. In all truth, this was a hard, yet necessary decision when so many around us are facing lost jobs and wages. While pausing our active fundraising, our online giving portal at CanadaHelps.org remains open to receive donations and we will continue to share NSI stories and build community through regular communications like this.

There’s a Maya Angelou quote that says:

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

Encouraged by these words, the NSI team will do all we can to enable everyone in the NSI family to stay calm and carry on while heeding the advice of government and medical officials and do our part to slow – and hopefully stop – the spread of this infectious disease.

I encourage you to stay informed with updates from Government of Canada Public Health and the Government of Canada’s Travel Health Advice and Advisories.

We, the NSI team, wish the very best to you and yours.

Take good care. Be well.


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