CBC New Indigenous Voices Apply

Presented by the National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI)

Application deadline

Applications are closed.

New for 2020

This year’s edition of CBC New Indigenous Voices has been redesigned for the realities of 2020. NSI has elevated what has historically been a classroom-based learning model to a dynamic, customized online program. The entire curriculum is being delivered through a learning portal so students from across Canada can attend from the safety of their homes. Online classes begin Tuesday, September 8.

Another significant change this year is the introduction of podcast development and production.

Typically, students pitch a short film project and team up to produce three films but, due to safety considerations around in-person filming, the focus will be on storytelling through audio. Students will still create a short video piece as part of training which will serve as an accompaniment to the podcast.


Call Kaya Wheeler or Sarah Simpson-Yellowquill on (204) 956-7800 or (800) 952-9307 or email newvoices@nsi-canada.ca.

Application fee

Tuition and application fees are generously covered by CBC.


What does CBC New Indigenous Voices offer?

The overall objective of CBC New Indigenous Voices is to deliver a culturally-sensitive, well-rounded understanding of industry job requirements and inspire Indigenous creators by introducing them to a variety of creative and challenging employment opportunities in film, television and digital media.

The course is for Indigenous creators (aged 18-35) who are pursuing a career in film, television and digital media.

Three spots in the course may be available to qualified applicants who live outside Winnipeg and can cover the cost of living in Winnipeg for the duration of the course.

Please note out-of-town applicants must demonstrate they have solid travel and accommodation plans in Winnipeg before being considered for an interview.

What is the course format?

The course runs full time for 14 weeks and takes place in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Please note dates are subject to change.

Phase one skills development training

The skills development and industry introduction curriculum includes topics such as story development, directing, producing, digital media, pitching, acting, documentary filmmaking, production design, set orientation, casting, journalism, writing and directing news, camera, lighting, sound, editing and Indigenous history.

Phase two production

Students will shoot and edit three short films.

Phase three work placement

Participants who successfully complete phase one will graduate to the internship phase. Participants will be placed as interns in industry sites such as broadcasters and independent production companies.

The course culminates with a graduation ceremony and screening of the three short films.

What do I have to do to commit to the course?

You must attend all sessions and workshops and participate fully in all activities over the 14 weeks.

You’re going to be very busy. If you don’t think you can commit the time, please apply when you know you can.

A contract will be signed with each student outlining personal and NSI commitments.

Who can apply?

You can apply if you fit all of the following criteria:

  • You must be an Indigenous person who is status or non-status First Nation, Métis or Inuit.
  • You must be a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant, able to reside in Winnipeg during the training and be between the ages of 18 and 35. 
  • You must NOT participate in any other training course that would conflict with your ability to commit to CBC New Indigenous Voices. 
  • You must have some industry experience and/or work experience in a related field. This can include working for a school/college or local newspaper and/or radio station, acting in a school/college or community theatre production, making a short film or other audio-visual project at school/college or in your own time and/or post-secondary education.

How do I apply?

You must complete all sections of the online application form and include all documents listed below. Your application will be immediately disqualified if any of the sections are incomplete or missing.  

  • Resume clearly stating your education and/or industry experience and/or work experience in a related field. 
  • A letter of expectation describing what you hope to gain from the course and areas of interest in the film, television and digital media industries.
  • A letter of support or reference (this should be a current or former teacher/employer who can discuss the qualities you possess that would make you suitable for this course). 
  • If you live outside Winnipeg, you must explain how you will cover the cost of travel and accommodation to attend the course. NSI does not cover these costs.

How will participants be selected?

Up to nine students are selected by program faculty, in consultation with an elder and industry representatives. Selections will be based on each candidate’s suitability and experience related to the film and television industries and a firm resolve to commit the required time to fully participate in the course.

When will I know if I have been selected?

Successful candidates will be notified by April 3, 2020. Only successful candidates will be contacted by phone. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified by email.

Why do I have to submit a travel plan (non-Winnipeg applicants)?

CBC New Indigenous Voices begins approximately three weeks after the student selection is made. If you would like to be considered for the course it’s important to explore your options for travel and accommodation in advance.

Who are the CBC New Indigenous Voices faculty?

Lisa Meeches

Lisa Meeches is one of the most dynamic and respected producers in the film and television industry, and a proud Ojibway from Long Plain First Nation.

Lisa has produced numerous projects to critical acclaim and more than 180 hours of film and television content including The Sharing Circle, Ice Road Truckers, Tipi Tales, double Canadian Screen Award-winner Jack, Gemini award-winner Elijah, and double CSA winner We Were Children which is widely praised by residential school survivors for its power to heal, while general audiences have been moved by its accurate and truthful portrayal of the impacts of Canada’s colonial past.

As host of her shows The Sharing Circle and Taken, Lisa is a recognizable presence across Canada. In addition to hosting Taken, which was recently nominated for two CSAs and is currently in production on its fourth season, Lisa is also co-creator, executive producer and an episode director. She is also currently co-executive producer of the international hit series Burden of Truth (CBC, CW, Hulu, Universal UK).

Lisa has been the recipient of many local, regional and national awards for her exemplary contributions in culture, media and entrepreneurship. Among her numerous awards and nominations are the 2007 National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Media & Communication, 2009 YMCA-YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in the area of Creative Communications, 2009 University of Manitoba’s Excellence in Aboriginal Business Leadership Award and Women in Film and Television 2009 Crystal Award for Mentorship. In 2017 Lisa was made a Member of the Order of Manitoba.

Lisa devotes considerable time to other causes and has been critical to the success of the Manito Ahbee Festival as its executive director. Lisa also sits on the national board of the Heart and Stroke Foundation. True to her heritage, Lisa practices the customs of her faith and is a renowned champion fancy shawl dancer.

Kaya Wheeler

As manager of programs and development, Kaya works across many of NSI’s courses and runs the day-to-day activities of CBC New Indigenous Voices, NSI New Northern Voices and NSI IndigiDocs.

Kaya graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a bachelor of arts in Indigenous Studies, and has been working within the Indigenous community in Winnipeg for more than 10 years. She has spent a large portion of this time working with Indigenous youth in many areas, including acting and storytelling for theatre. She has had experience both volunteering and working on film sets, and even had a small stint on the stage and in front of the camera.

Kaya is excited to be in a role that helps hone and amplify new and existing voices in the industry.

Sarah Simpson-Yellowquill

As Indigenous programs and administrative assistant, Sarah coordinates the day-to-day activities for NSI courses.

Sarah has extensive filmmaking experience, is dedicated to her craft and has made multiple short films which have screened at Canadian festivals. She also works with youth teaching film and creating stories, and serves as a production manager and producer with local film companies.

Sarah wears many hats. Prior to working with NSI she worked in film, healthcare, childcare and social media.

What financial assistance will I receive?

You’ll be paid minimum wage throughout the 14-week training course. We provide lunch during the full-time skills development. If required, we provide bus passes during the full-time work placement.

What is the relationship between the National Screen Institute and successful applicants?

The relationship between the applicant and the National Screen Institute shall not be deemed to constitute a partnership or joint venture. The applicant shall not have the right to incur any debts nor to make any commitment of or on behalf of the National Screen Institute.

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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), Telefilm Canada; Indigenous Training Programs Partner Directors Guild of Canada; Supporting Sponsors Corus Entertainment, Super Channel; Provincial Sponsor Manitoba Film & Music; Industry Supporters IATSE Local 856imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, Film Training Manitoba; Service Sponsors iSplice Films, Final Draft. NSI Core Funders are Manitoba Sport, Culture & Heritage and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council.