NSI New Northern Voices Apply

Application deadline

Applications are closed.


If you have any questions about the application form or how training will be delivered, please contact program manager Ursula Lawson (ursula.lawson@nsi-canada.ca) who will do all she can to help you.

Application fee

Course partners have covered the application fee costs.


Following the success of the NSI New Northern Voices 2019 edition, the National Screen Institute is excited and proud to launch the 2021 writers edition 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 in 2019.

The NSI New Northern Voices 2021 edition focuses on writing.

The course will be delivered online over six weeks and will provide up to three students with instruction from award-winning writer Jordan Wheeler in the fundamentals of developing a script for a short film or web series, up to 10 minutes in length.

NSI New Northern Voices 2021 writers edition seeks to further build capacity for the screen industry in The Pas, Manitoba and surrounding communities.


What does NSI New Northern Voices 2021 writers edition offer?

The NSI New Northern Voices 2021 writers edition aims to strengthen new and emerging writers’ skills and abilities to craft stories told from a northern Manitoba perspective.

Training will cover topics such as story structure, proper formatting, character development and other structural devices, and further build capacity for the screen industry in The Pas, Manitoba and surrounding communities.

What is the course format?

The course will be delivered online over six weeks through a series of three workshops.

You will use the time in between workshops to take your script through the next phase of development. Each participant will have two private sessions with a story editor to further develop your script and get it ready for the screen.

Please note dates are subject to change.

Workshop 1 – Story structure, character growth, plot and theme (February 17, 2021, 2.5 hours)

You will develop a synopsis for the next session.

Workshop 2 – Structural devices (February 19, 2021, 1.5 hours)

You will apply principles of this workshop to further develop your characters and stories and work on an outline in preparation for the next session.

Workshop 3 – Screenwriting (February 24, 2021, 2.5 hours)

You will receive instruction on how to write a professional script. You will have one week to write and submit a first draft for review and feedback.

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

You must attend all three workshops (6.5 hours total) and participate fully in all activities and assignments over the duration of the course. In addition to the workshops, time will be required for the assignments, writing your script and then rewriting/fine tuning it based on feedback from the instructor/story editor.

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 2021 writers edition.

How will participants be selected?

Up to three participants will be selected for this course. 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 applicants will be notified by NSI. Only successful applicants will be contacted by phone. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified by email.

Who are the NSI New Northern Voices faculty?

Jordan Wheeler

From the George Gordon First Nation, Jordan’s been writing professionally since 1982 and working in film and television since 1984.

Among his numerous writing credits are the books Digital OgichidaBrothers In Arms and Just A Walk and as a scriptwriter and story editor the TV series Arctic Airrenegadepress.com and North of 60.

Jordan has been nominated for and won numerous awards including a scriptwriting Gemini in 2006 for an episode of renegadepress.com.

When not writing he teaches writing, scriptwriting, story edits, tells stories and plays golf. Born in Victoria in 1964, Jordan has two kids and three step kids. He lives in Winnipeg with his wife Kim.

Ursula Lawson

Ursula has been with NSI since 2004 and is a manager of programs and development. She is currently working on virtual training initiatives including NSI Business for Producers, NSI New Northern Voices and the NSI/FTM Manitoba Content Creators Development Accelerator. She also oversees the mentorship, development and delivery of projects for TELUS STORYHIVE.

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 CBC New Indigenous Voices. In 2019, Ursula was nominated for the Winnipeg Arts Council Making a Difference award which celebrates contributions to the growth and development of the arts in Winnipeg.

Instrumental in helping NSI develop and deliver culturally sensitive film and television training to emerging Indigenous content creators, Ursula previously managed CBC New Indigenous Voices, NSI IndigiDocs and NSI Aboriginal Journalism. She also coordinated NSI Global MarketingNSI Totally Television, NSI Aboriginal Cultural Trade Initiative and NSI Pitch to Win! Ursula is also secretary of the NSI Board of Directors.

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 February 17 to March 31, 2021. Students are expected to attend three training workshops held on February 17, 19 and 24, 2021 and complete the work assigned between workshops and story editing sessions.

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NSI New Northern Voices 2021 is funded by NSI Indigenous Training Programs Partner Directors Guild of Canada (DGC); Strategic Sponsor Telefilm Canada; Supporting Sponsors Stantec, RBC Emerging Artists Project, TELUS Manitoba Community Board and Super Channel; Provincial Sponsor Manitoba Film & Music; Industry Supporters Final Draft and Native Communications Inc. NSI Core Funders are Manitoba Sport, Culture & Heritage and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council. More sponsors will be announced as confirmed.