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Launched at the 18th annual Festival, the imagineNATIVE iNstitute is a new organizational department housing the organization’s professional development and training programs for Indigenous screen creatives in a year-round production cycle. Activated through the realization of a new, public facility for the organization in the historic 401 Richmond Building, the iNstitute will incorporate the imagineNATIVE’s Festival Industry Series and special current annual initiatives, build capacity for existing and new programs for which there is currently a gap in the industry, and open up select programs for international intake.

Lead by the iNstitute Director , and supported by the Artistic Director and iNstitute Coordinator, the iNstitute is strategically designed towards the advancement of business and creative opportunities for Indigenous artists and professionals at any career level in the film/video, television, audio and digital media realm. The Institute will be Canada’s and debatably the world’s epicentre for the development and promotion of Indigenous-created, screen and media based content for a national and global marketplace.


Recent reports by the CMF and imagineNATIVE have revealed a significant training gap that currently exists in Canada for Indigenous professionals at every level in the film, television and digital media entertainment industry, as well as a lack of Indigenous representative at decision making levels in all areas of media content initiatives and funding/training mechanisms. The Institute addresses this gap by offering modular intensives for professionals across all genres, merging traditional and new technologies to support innovative, leading-edge content creation in a global context. It will be a world-class training facility with a unique program. It will build on the successful collaborative industry programming and advanced training already offered by the organization.

Vision + Goals

The vision of the imagineNATIVE Institute is to bring the long-overdue dedication of Indigenous-led resources, training, advancement and development for Indigenous Canadian and International content creators to succeed in the film/video, television, audio and digital media realm. The goals of the Institute are to:

  • Facilitate and provide access to creative and industry professional development panels, workshops and master classes;

  • Develop both artistic and skills-specific incubators and accelerators (labs, residencies);

  • Forge relationships with film and media arts companies, guilds and associations to provide hands-on "real credit" production shadowing and mentorship for Indigenous artists and professionals;

  • Expand promotional and market-focussed support and training for the further development and creation of Indigenous screen and media content; and

  • Support new partnerships and initiatives that create and employ Indigenous creative services and perspectives along the decision-making process for Indigenous screen content


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For queries about existing programming and applications, please email Adriana Chartrand, achartrand@imaginenative.org

For new programming, initiative and partnership/funding queries, please email Daniel Northway-Frank, dnf@imaginenative.org