CBC, BIPOC TV & Film and CFC Announce Participants for Second Year of Showrunner Catalyst Program, Supporting the Advancement of Diverse Canadian Creators
Posted: Feb 1, 2023
Posted: Feb 1, 2023
Participants are Vance Banzo, Nelu Handa, Amanda Joy, JP Larocque, Robina Lord-Stafford, and Shannon Masters
February 1, 2023 – CBC, BIPOC TV & Film and the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) today announced the participants for the second year of the CBC-BIPOC TV & FILM SHOWRUNNER CATALYST, an accelerator program that supports the career advancement of senior writers who identify as Indigenous, Black or People of Colour through hands-on and personally tailored on-set experience. Designed through an anti-racist and equity-focused lens, the Catalyst provides participants with additional tools and support systems necessary to reach a showrunner level in the Canadian film and television industry, including a dedicated showrunner-mentor throughout the process. The six participants for the second year of the program, which is now underway, are Vance Banzo, Nelu Handa, Amanda Joy, JP Larocque, Robina Lord-Stafford, and Shannon Masters.
“BIPOC TV & Film is thrilled to partner again with CBC and CFC to elevate these talented and experienced writers,” said Kadon Douglas, Executive Director, BIPOC TV & Film. “Amanda, JP, Nelu, Robina, Shannon, and Vance have broken barriers, paid their dues, and contributed to some of the most memorable and exciting moments in contemporary Canadian TV. Their unique perspectives and narratives illuminate a diversity of experiences that are rarely seen on screen but resonate with audiences in Canada and across the globe. With the support of the Showrunner Catalyst and our industry partners, these creative leaders are ready to take up their well-deserved space in the Pantheon of great Canadian storytellers.”
“The past year of collaboration has further demonstrated the importance and impact of elevating senior-level Black, Indigenous and racialized creative talent and setting up these future leaders for success. We are honoured to once again work with BIPOC TV & Film and the CFC on this unique partnership,” said Trish Williams, Executive Director, Scripted Content, CBC. “Building on our learnings from the first year of the program, we look forward to supporting this year’s talented participants in their continued development, with the shared goal of nurturing and advancing more creative leaders who reflect the changing face of Canada.”
“We’re thrilled to be back for year two of this groundbreaking program with our partners BIPOC TV & Film and CBC, and to be supporting these six talented creators in their journey to becoming leading showrunners in our industry,” added maxine bailey, executive director, CFC. “This unique program brings us one step closer to a more just and equitable Canadian film and TV landscape, where equity, access and authentic representation are the standard, not the exception.”
The 2023 participants are as follows:
*Participant headshots can be found here.*
The first part of the Catalyst, which began last month, consists of a series of substantive and hands-on masterclasses covering topics related to the role and responsibilities of a showrunner, including anti-oppressive leadership, people management, mental health, building relationships with network, studios, creative and crew, and all facets of bringing a show to life, from the writing room to prep, production, post and delivery. Participating speakers include Floyd Kane (creator, showrunner and executive producer of Diggstown), Morwyn Brebner (creator and executive producer of Coroner, Saving Hope and Rookie Blue), Noelle Carbone (co-executive producer and writer on Wynonna Earp, Coroner, Cardinal), and Jennifer Podemski (founder and CEO of Shine Network Inc.).
Through the context of a senior writing and producing role on a Canadian-produced series, the second part of the Catalyst will see each participant building upon their foundational skills in showrunning by working with an experienced showrunner and participating in all key elements of production: from prep meetings to running the floor, managing set, and taking a block of episodes through to post. Throughout the process, each participant will also be paired with an external showrunner, who will serve as a mentor. The program will be highly tailored for the needs of each writer and participating production, offering wellness and advocacy support through an anti-racism, anti-oppression lens. The second year of the program will run through the fall of 2023. This is the second year of an initial three-year commitment to the program made by CBC, BIPOC TV & Film and the CFC, with the opportunity to renew.
Catalyst participants are nominated by showrunners, producers, production companies or broadcasters, in consultation with BIPOC TV & Film and the CFC, based on their experience and readiness to further progress in their career. In order to qualify for participation, each potential candidate must be a Canadian Citizen or permanent resident of Canada (as recognized by CAVCO), and a Writers Guild of Canada member in good standing with a minimum of three episodes of “written by” credits on 30 or 60-minute prime time television or streaming platform productions in the last seven years, and at least one “co-producer” credit in the last three years, or equivalent experience. For more information on the qualification and nomination process, visit bipoctvandfilm.com/showrunner-catalyst.
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster. Through our mandate to inform, enlighten and entertain, we play a central role in strengthening Canadian culture. As Canada’s trusted news source, we offer a uniquely Canadian perspective on news, current affairs and world affairs. Our distinctively homegrown entertainment programming draws audiences from across the country. Deeply rooted in communities, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We also deliver content in Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Punjabi and Tagalog, as well as both official languages, through Radio Canada International (RCI). We are leading the transformation to meet the needs of Canadians in a digital world.
About BIPOC TV & Film
BIPOC TV & FILM is a national nonprofit organization advocating for racial equity and justice for Black, Indigenous and Persons of Colour in Canada’s screen media industry. From professional development training to mentorship to wellness support and community engagement initiatives, we ensure that BIPOC creative professionals have the necessary resources, access and opportunities to fully participate in the screen sector—at all levels in front of and behind the camera. BIPOC TV & Film also operates HireBIPOC.ca, a bilingual online database of above and below-the-line crew and creative professionals in Canada. Launched in October 2020, the digital database hosts over 8,500 users—including crew, creative talent, and employers—and over 250 production roles.
About the CFC
The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) is a charitable cultural organization that drives the future of Canadian storytelling. Our intensive, hands-on programs in film, television and entertainment technologies empower, shape and advance opportunities for Canadian creators and entrepreneurs working in screen-based industries. Learn more at cfccreates.com.
Tanya Koivusalo, CBC PR
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