OYA Black Arts Coalition and CFC Media Lab Name the Latest Slate of Black Creative Talent for OYA Scale Up Immersive

Posted: Nov 30, 2022

Toronto, November 30, 2022OYA Black Arts Coalition (OBAC) and the Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab (CFC Media Lab) have teamed up once again, this time to deliver a new slate of Black Canadian creative talent for the 2023 cohort of OYA Scale Up Immersive, an accelerator dedicated to boosting Black content creators and/or producers specific to original immersive media production. 

Candidates will participate in a new round of Scale Up Immersive, co-designed with CFC Media Lab as a four-month immersive accelerator lab, for a second cohort of 10 Black-owned content creation companies. The program will scale up a total of 30 organizations over the course of three years. Founders will experience industry expert consultations, targeted and intensive workshops and case studies, hands-on mentorship and networking opportunities, as well as a rapid prototyping lab that includes access to state-of-the-art motion capture production facilities and technologies through program partner, Dark Slope. Professional industry memberships are also available as part of the Immersive Lab experience, and guest speakers include the likes of Emmy-winning filmmaker and technologist Tamara Shogaolu, award-winning filmmaker Michele Stephenson, and music producer Young Guru, among others.

“Working with our partners at CFC, we look forward to building additional capacity and immersive Black storytelling with this new slate of OBAC Immersive Founders. As industry technology and tools continue to evolve, Immersive Scale Up is key to enhancing Black creative contribution and innovation in this space,” said Ngardy Conteh George, Co-founder, OYA Black Arts Coalition and OYA Media Group. “Based on the success of prior immersive production, we welcome these newly named Black-owned producers and creatives, who will refine their respective work while collectively changing Canada’s digital storytelling landscape.” 

“At CFC Media Lab, we greatly value our ongoing program partnership with OBAC and Dark Slope, as we continue to work together to grow a community of diverse Canadian immersive media talent,” added Nataly De Monte, Director, CFC Media Lab. “Working together, we have seeded an immersive learning ecosystem for Black creators, which participants can continue to leverage toward advancing their digital content careers in immersive media, web3, the metaverse and beyond.” 

Closing out the Immersive Scale Up experience, participants will expand their knowledge of Canada’s role in global immersive media, business and financial structuring, workflow and integration into storytelling. Participants are required to work in teams to create original working prototypes in virtual reality, augmented reality or mixed/extended reality (VR/AR/XR). Apart from CFC and Dark Slope, Black Heart, a U.S.-based cooperative of Black immersive artists and technologists, is partnering with the program to lead a networking session. 

The new Immersive Scale Up Cohort is:

  1. Sharrae Lyon, Ohm Anahata Inc
  2. Tendisai Cromwell, Tendisai 
  3. Queen Kukoyi & Nicole Nico Taylor, oddsidearts
  4. Jadiel Dowlin Lewis, Istmo Productions
  5. Will Selviz, RENDRD Media
  6. Hansel Alonzo & Benjamin Agbeke, Undertone Productions
  7. Ella Cooper & Karen Chapman, Brown Rabbit Studios
  8. Valerie Amponsah, Valerie Amponsah
  9. Derek Brin, Fierce Music/Fierce Media 
  10. Faduma Gure, The Black Nerds

OBAC was supported through a Government of Canada contribution of $3 million through the Black Entrepreneurship Program Ecosystem Fund, delivered by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

“Our government is committed to investing in organizations like OYA Black Arts Coalition who have demonstrated their success in helping Black entrepreneurs reach their full potential. Our goal is to empower organizations like OBAC and CFC Media Lab to grow so more Black entrepreneurs can participate in the economy and create good jobs across southern Ontario. Congratulations to the 10 entrepreneurs as they begin OBAC’s Scale Up Immersive program!” said the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.  

For more information and to apply to the final Scale Up Immersive, please stay tuned to visit https://www.oyablackarts.org/scale-up/immersive in Fall 2023.

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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.org | @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.

cfccreates.com | @cfcmedialab

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:

Wendy Vincent
Director, Konvo Media Inc. (for OBAC)

Cory Angeletti-Szasz
Director, Marketing & Communications, CFC

Edward Hutchinson
Press Secretary, Office of the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

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