NSI New Northern Voices Apply

Introduction to media-based storytelling

Students receive guidance and mentoring from award-winning content creators such as Jordan Wheeler (Arctic Air, North of 60) , Shane Belcourt (Indictment: The Crimes of Shelly Chartier, Urban Native Girl), Kim Wheeler (ReVision Quest, Indian Summer, CBC’s Unreserved), Erica Daniels (Run as One: The Journey of the Front Runners) and Charlene Moore (When the Children Left, Moccasin Stories) who will share their expertise and tricks of the trade in this one-of-a-kind training course.

Application deadline

Applications are closed. The most recent course guidelines are available below for reference.


Email Ursula Lawson, or call (204) 956-7800 or (800) 952-9307.

Application fee

There is no application fee.


The National Screen Institute is excited and proud to launch a new pilot training program for residents of northern Manitoba.

With support from Manitoba Sport, Culture and Heritage, The Winnipeg Foundation and Manitoba Film & Music, NSI conducted a feasibility study which led directly to the development of this much needed program in northern Manitoba.

NSI New Northern Voices is a full-time, four-week pilot program in The Pas, Manitoba, which provides an introduction to media-based storytelling. Students will have an opportunity to strengthen their skills and create short films based on stories developed in the course.


What does NSI New Northern Voices offer?

NSI New Northern Voices will deliver a well-rounded understanding of storytelling and media production skills, create an environment for long-term growth and build capacity for the screen industry in The Pas, Manitoba and surrounding communities.

The program aims to develop content creators to write, direct and produce stories from a northern Manitoba perspective.

What is the course format?

The course runs full-time for four weeks and takes place in The Pas, Manitoba.

Students will be busy studying or working from at least 9 a.m. through to 5 p.m., five days a week for four weeks.

Please note dates are subject to change.

Week 1 – Story/script development (September 23 to 27, 2019)

An overview of story basics and script development.

Week 2 – Skills development training (September 30 to October 4, 2019)

Introduction to topics such as directing, producing, camera, lighting, sound and editing.

Week 3 – Pre-production (October 7 to 11, 2019)

Prep for your film shoot including location scouting, finding and shopping for props, and organizing auditions as needed.

Week 4 – Production (October 15 to 18, 2019; Monday is a statutory holiday)

Shooting and editing two short films based on scripts developed in week 1.

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 four 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.

Who can apply?

You must be a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant, aged 18 or over, and permanently reside in northern Manitoba.

You must not participate in any other training course that would conflict with your ability to commit to NSI New Northern Voices.

How will participants be selected?

Up to 10 students are selected by program faculty and stakeholders. Selections will be based on each candidate’s suitability and commitment to fully participate in the course.

When will I know if I have been selected?

Successful candidates will be notified by NSI. Only successful candidates will be contacted by phone. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified by email.

Who are the NSI New Northern Voices faculty?

Ursula Lawson

Ursula has been with NSI since 2004 and is a manager of programs and development.

As program manager of CBC New Indigenous Voices and co-manager of NSI IndigiDocs, she has been instrumental in helping NSI develop and deliver culturally sensitive film and television training to emerging Indigenous content creators.

In 2013 Ursula was honoured to receive the YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Circle of Inspiration Award along with colleagues Lisa Meeches and Melissa Kajpust for their contribution to the CBC New Indigenous Voices course.

Ursula previously managed the NSI Aboriginal Journalism pilot program; coordinated NSI Global Marketing, NSI Totally Television, NSI Aboriginal Cultural Trade Initiative and NSI Pitch to Win! She is also secretary of the NSI Board of Directors.

Prior to working at the National Screen Institute, Ursula held management positions in both the hospitality and healthcare industries.

Kaya Wheeler

As manager of programs and development, Kaya helps run the day-to-day activities of CBC New Indigenous Voices, Indigenous Languages and Culture Documentary Project 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 spent a large portion of this time working with Indigenous youth in many areas, including acting and storytelling for theatre. She has experience 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

Sarah has extensive filmmaking experience, is dedicated to her craft and has made multiple short films which have screened at Canadian festivals. Sarah also works with youth teaching film and creating stories. In her spare time she works 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 are the exact dates of the course?

The course runs from September 23 to October 18, 2019. Students will be training full-time during this period and are expected to fully commit to the program.

Students should prepare to arrive at their residences on Sunday, September 22 and leave Saturday, October 19 to ensure a full first and last day of the program.

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NSI New Northern Voices 2019 was funded by Presenting Sponsor University College of the North (UCN); Indigenous Training Programs Partner Directors Guild of Canada (DGC); Strategic Sponsor Telefilm Canada; Supporting Sponsors Stantec, RBC Emerging Artists Project, Corus Entertainment, Super Channel, CBC Gem; Provincial Sponsor Manitoba Film & Music; Industry Partner Directors Guild of Canada (DGC); Industry Supporters Native Communications Inc., Final Draft; NSI Core Funders are Manitoba Sport, Culture & Heritage and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council.

NSI New Northern Voices is the direct result of the NSI feasibility study and framework for northern training, supported by Manitoba Sport, Culture and Heritage, The Winnipeg Foundation and Manitoba Film & Music.