Accelerator for Black Creators and Producers in Immersive Media Calling for Applicants for Cohort 2

Posted: Aug 23, 2022

Cohort 2 of accelerator lab from OYA Black Arts Coalition and CFC Media Lab will support 10 Black-owned content creation companies working in immersive media

Toronto, August 23, 2022OYA Black Arts Coalition (OBAC) and the Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab (CFC Media Lab), in partnership with Dark Slope, are calling on founders of Black-owned content creation companies to apply for the second cohort of Scale Up Immersive, an accelerator lab aimed at increasing the capacity of Black content creators and/or producers working in the immersive media space. Applications for the second cohort of Scale Up Immersive open on August 26, 2022 and the deadline to apply is October 7, 2022, with the accelerator slated to start mid-November 2022.

Scale Up Immersive is funded by the Government of Canada through the Black Entrepreneurship Program (BEP) Ecosystem Fund delivered by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

“Having a second cohort join OBAC’s Scale Up Immersive Lab will have deep industry impact in the Canadian VR/AR/XR landscape. Based on our talent and experiences of the first cohort’s alumnus, we welcome the opportunity to nurture the capacity for more Black Canadian creatives into the larger Immersive Media production pipeline,” shared Ngardy Conteh George, Program co-lead and co-founder, OYA Black Arts Coalition (OBAC). “Equally, we are grateful to our program partners at the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and Dark Slope Studios, who understand the importance of diversifying Canada’s immersive media spaces.”

Throughout the five-month virtual/in person hybrid accelerator lab, 10 founders of Black-owned media production companies will receive hands-on mentorship and networking opportunities. They will participate in industry expert consultations and intensive workshops and case studies, and complete a group rapid prototyping component, valued at $50,000, which includes access to Dark Slope’s state-of-the-art immersive media production facilities and technologies in Toronto.

“With Cohort 1, we’ve seeded a community that was almost non-existent in Canada – a community of Black content creators, skilled and future-ready with new immersive narrative forms and exposure to emergent technology with hands-on prototyping,” added Nataly De Monte, Director, CFC Media Lab. “During the program, guest speakers like Young Guru, Lisa Jackson and Alton Glass spoke about their creative process and shared their insights. We took field trips in VR to group immersive experiences. All to maximize exposure and expand their storytelling canvases. We’re already seeing successful outcomes – it’s inspiring and I can’t wait for Cohort 2!”

Cohort 1 participants left the program with a better understanding of the immersive media industry and landscape, business and financial structuring, workflow and integration into storytelling, and with a working prototype in virtual reality, augmented reality or mixed/extended reality (VR/AR/XR).

“As a Toronto-based Black creative, I come from an intersectional storytelling place, which was embraced and nurtured during my time in OBAC’s Scale Up Immersive Lab,” shared Cohort 1 participant Debbie Deer, owner, Debbie Deer Productions (NEFERTITI: The Beautiful One Has Come, 2022). “Having access to an ecosystem that bridges immersive technologies and Black producers is empowering and essential. Being an inaugural Lab participant supports my overall career growth and was an awesome and gratifying experience.”

“Through OBAC’s Scale Up Immersive Lab, Black-Canadian entrepreneurs are accessing the critical mentorship, advisory services, capital, and resources they need,” said the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. “Through this and other Black Entrepreneurship Program investments, the Government of Canada is demonstrating its commitment to ensuring equal opportunity for all Canadians and to building a strong, diverse and inclusive economy of the future.”

For more information and to apply to Scale Up Immersive, visit

– 30 –

About OYA Black Arts Coalition
OYA Black Arts Coalition (OBAC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting Black artists, creators and entrepreneurs within Canada’s entertainment sector. This is made possible by equipping and empowering Black creatives with the skills, support and resources necessary to succeed. OBAC addresses systemic inequalities by providing sustainable solutions including mentorship, networking, programs, unique initiatives, and industry training by providing safe space for experimentation. | @oyablackarts

About CFC Media Lab
The Canadian Film Centre Media Lab (CFC Media Lab) is an internationally recognized leader in the development of transformational technologies, businesses and entrepreneurs. The CFC Media Lab is a unique production think tank, training institute and business accelerator that supports hundreds of emerging digital content creators, practitioners, entrepreneurs and companies. Our programs and initiatives provide visionary leadership and extensive expertise in strategy, product, business, finance, and ethics needed by Canadians involved in the digital revolution. | @cfcmedialab

About Dark Slope
Founded in 2018, Dark Slope pushes the boundaries of multi-sensory entertainment center spectacles, virtual reality experiences, immersive games, and motion capture-driven virtual production for television. From its 8000 square foot studio, Dark Slope leverages its warehouse-scale virtual production stage with proprietary pipeline, tools, workflows and game-engine technology in order to bring stories to life in new ways. Based in Toronto, and with a global workforce, Dark Slope combines advanced technologies with compelling storytelling to reimagine the future of entertainment. Visit to learn more.


About FedDev Ontario
For 13 years, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation, growth and job creation in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving productivity, growing revenues, creating jobs, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects, our Southern Ontario Spotlight, and FedDev Ontario’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.


Media Relations
Cory Angeletti-Szasz
Director, Marketing & Communications, CFC

Wendy Vincent
Director, Konvo Media Inc.

Monica Granados
Press Secretary, Office of the Hon. Helena Jaczek
Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Share this post: