CBC New Indigenous Voices - Apply

Presented by the National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI)

Application deadline

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


Call Ursula Lawson or Kaya Wheeler on (204) 956-7800 or (800) 952-9307 or email newvoices@nsi-canada.ca.

Application fee

There is no application fee.

What does CBC New Indigenous Voices offer?

The overall objective of CBC New Indigenous Voices (formerly NSI New Voices) is to deliver a culturally-sensitive, well-rounded understanding of industry job requirements and inspire young Indigenous people by exposing them to a variety of creative and challenging employment opportunities in film, TV and digital media.

CBC New Indigenous Voices is for Indigenous people aged 18 to 35 who are interested in a career in film, TV and digital media.

Three spots in the course may be available to qualified applicants who live outside Winnipeg and can cover the cost of living in Winnipeg for the duration of the course.

Please note out-of-town applicants must demonstrate they have solid travel and accommodation plans in Winnipeg before being considered for an interview.

What is the course format?

The course runs full time for 14 weeks and takes place in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Please note dates are subject to change.

Phase one  skills development training  May 8 to June 16, 2017

The skills development and industry introduction curriculum includes topics such as story development, directing, producing, digital media, pitching, acting, documentary filmmaking, production design, set orientation, casting, journalism, writing and directing news, camera, lighting, sound, editing and Indigenous history.

Phase two  production  June 19 to June 30, 2017

Students will shoot and edit three short films.

Phase three  work placement – July 4 to August 8, 2017

Participants who successfully complete phase one will graduate to the internship phase. Participants will be placed as interns in industry sites such as broadcasters and independent production companies.

The course culminates with a graduation ceremony and screening of the three short films on August 10 (date subject to change).

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 14 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.

A contract will be signed with each student outlining personal and NSI commitments.

Who can apply?

You can apply if you fit all of the following criteria:

  • You must be an Indigenous person who is a North American Indian or a member of a First Nation, Métis or Inuit. North American Indians or members of a First Nation include status, treaty or registered Indians, as well as non-status and non-registered Indians. 
  • You must be a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant, able to reside in Winnipeg during the training and be between the ages of 18 and 35 years. 
  • You must NOT participate in any other training course that would conflict with your ability to commit to CBC New Indigenous Voices. 
  • You must have some industry experience and/or work experience in a related field. This can include working for a school/college or local newspaper and/or radio station, acting in a school/college or community theatre production, making a short film or other audio-visual project at school/college or in your own time and/or post-secondary education.

How do I apply?

You must complete all sections of the online application form and include all documents listed below. Your application will be immediately disqualified if any of the sections are incomplete or missing.  

  • Resume clearly stating your education and/or industry experience and/or work experience in a related field. 
  • A letter of expectation describing what you hope to gain from the course and areas of interest in the film and television industry.
  • A letter of support or reference (this should be a person who can discuss the qualities you possess that would make you suitable for this course such as your boss or teacher). 
  • If you live outside Winnipeg, you must explain how you will cover the cost of travel and accommodation to attend the course. NSI does not cover these costs.

How will participants be selected?

The CBC New Indigenous Voices faculty, in consultation with an Elder and industry representatives, will select up to nine students. Selections will be based on each candidate’s strength, suitability and experience related to the film and television industry and a firm resolve to commit the required time to fully participate in the course.

When will I know if I have been selected?

Successful candidates will be notified at the end of April, 2017. Only successful candidates will be contacted by phone. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified by email.

Why do I have to submit a travel plan (non-Winnipeg applicants)?

CBC New Indigenous Voices begins approximately three weeks after the student selection is made. If you would like to be considered for the course it’s important to explore your options for travel and accommodation in advance.

Who are the CBC New Indigenous Voices faculty?

Ursula Lawson

Ursula, CBC New Indigenous Voices course manager, has been with NSI since 2004. She has worked on many of NSI’s national training courses. As manager of CBC New Indigenous Voices and co-manager of the NSI IndigiDocs course she has been instrumental in helping NSI develop and deliver culturally sensitive training.

Lisa Meeches

Lisa is one of the most dynamic and respected producers in the film industry, and a proud Ojibway from Long Plain First Nation.

One of her recent projects, four-time Canadian Screen Award nominee and two-time time winner, We Were Children is widely praised by residential school survivors for its power to heal, while general audiences have been moved by its accurate and truthful portrayal of the impacts of Canada’s colonial past.

Lisa has produced numerous projects to critical acclaim. Among them: more than 150 hours of The Sharing Circle, Canada’s longest-running Aboriginal television series; Ice Road Truckers, one of the most prolific television documentary series in US television history; Tipi Tales, a Parent’s Choice award-winning children’s series; Elijah, a Gemini Award-winning MOW; and the three-time nominated, two-time Canadian Screen Award-winner JACK.

As host of The Sharing Circle, Lisa is a recognizable presence across Canada. She conducts her film industry work through her three companies: Eagle Vision Inc, Meeches Video Productions and Century Street Distribution. Other Eagle Vision Inc. productions include: Lovesick starring Jay Baruchel and Jessica Pare, Walk All Over Me, which premiered at TIFF and sold to the Weinstein Company, the politically-charged romantic comedy Blue State and the Academy Award-winning feature film Capote.

After studying broadcasting in North Dakota, Lisa began her career in 1986 with the Winnipeg-based Native Media Network. She later began news reporting for Craig Broadcasting Systems in Manitoba and Alberta where she established a liaison team who connected the newsroom with surrounding First Nations communities.

Lisa also devotes considerable time to other causes. She has been critical to the success of the Manito Ahbee Festival since inception 11 years ago where she has acted in the capacity of board chair on a volunteer basis until recently stepping down to assume the role of executive director. Lisa also sits on the national board of the Heart and Stroke Foundation. True to her heritage, Lisa practices the customs of her faith and is a renowned champion fancy shawl dancer.

Lisa has been the recipient of many local, regional and national awards for her exemplary contributions in culture, media and entrepreneurship. Among her numerous awards and nominations are: the 2007 National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Media & Communication, the 2009 YMCA-YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in the area of Creative Communications, the 2009 University of Manitoba’s Excellence in Aboriginal Business Leadership Award and the Women in Film and Television 2009 Crystal Award for Mentorship.

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

Currently, Lisa is working on Season II of Taken for APTN and CBC. Season I premiered in September 2016. Taken is a true crime documentary series focusing on solving the mysteries behind Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Lisa is married and has two wonderful sons and a beautiful daughter.

Kaya Wheeler

As Indigenous programs and administrative assistant Kaya assists with the day-to-day running of CBC New Indigenous Voices and pitches in wherever else she can.

She graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a degree in Indigenous studies and since her graduation has worked within the Indigenous community in Winnipeg.

Kaya spent a large portion of her life on the ‘fringes’ of the television industry, and you may even be able to catch a cameo or two (or more) of her on North of 60.

She loves to travel and find new adventures.

She currently lives with her partner and their very spoiled (but deserving) dog Max.

What are the exact dates of the course?

The course runs from May 8 to August 10, 2017. You will be training and working full time during that period and are expected to work your hardest.

What financial assistance will I receive?

You’ll get minimum wage throughout the 14 week training course. We provide lunch during the full-time skills development. If required, we provide bus passes during the full-time work placement.

What is the relationship between the National Screen Institute and successful applicants?

The relationship between the applicant and the National Screen Institute shall not be deemed to constitute a partnership or joint venture. The applicant shall not have the right to incur any debts nor to make any commitment of or on behalf of the National Screen Institute.