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REEL CANADA and Ontario Creates Team Up to Help Youth Find Pathways to Careers in the Canadian Film Industry

TORONTO, May 29, 2024 – REEL CANADA, in partnership with Ontario Creates, is excited to announce the launch of all-new career resources in French and English targeted at youth looking to enter the Canadian film industry.

Expanding on REEL CANADA’s popular online Career Zone (part of its Reel Opportunities programme), online resources for youth will now feature even more educational video content, including new interviews with Ontario-based talent explaining their jobs and career pathways. 

“We are thrilled to expand the reach of our educational initiatives in partnership with Ontario Creates,” said Jack Blum, Executive Director of REEL CANADA. “These video resources will empower youth across Canada to discover the richness of our national film and television industry and encourage exploration of potential career paths within it.”

The quick, captivating videos expand REEL CANADA’s job information catalogue with new positions such as Screenwriter and Line Producer. Other new videos explain everything you need to know about unions and other associations that serve the film industry in Canada, including the Writers Guild of Canada, IATSE, and the Canadian Media Producers Association. Online job profiles will also feature the latest information on the guilds, unions and associations that are key in supporting the Canadian film and TV industry, searchable by province or territory. 

Find everything you want to know about the Canadian film industry here: youtube.com/@reelopportunities

Or visit our Career Zone at reelcanada.ca/reel-opportunities

ABOUT REEL CANADA

REEL CANADA is a non-profit organization that celebrates Canada through film. We serve millions of Canadians each year through school programming for K-12 and adult ESL, and National Canadian Film Day, which is celebrated worldwide each April. 

ABOUT ONTARIO CREATES

Ontario Creates is an agency of the Government of Ontario that facilitates economic development, investment and collaboration in Ontario’s creative industries including the music, book, magazine, film, television and interactive digital media sectors.

For press inquiries or interview requests, please contact:
Rebecca Poier | Communications Manager, REEL CANADA
[email protected]

RBC Emerging Artists

TORONTO – February 8, 2024 – REEL CANADA is delighted to continue its partnership with the RBC Foundation to raise the profile of young Canadian filmmakers.

Entering into the organization’s 8th year participating in this unique initiative, REEL CANADA is excited to announce its newest RBC Emerging Artists, filmmaker Alicia K. Harris and actor Joshua Odjick (Algonquin-Anishinabe/Cree).

The RBC Foundation is proud to support arts organizations that provide the best opportunities to advance an artist’s career trajectory in genres like visual arts, music, film, theatre, and dance. With support from the RBC Foundation, REEL CANADA will be championing the past and upcoming achievements of these Emerging Artists to thousands of young people across Canada at in-school film festivals, virtual events and workshops, and with special events on National Canadian Film Day (April 17, 2024)!

Learn more about the selected artists:

Alicia K. Harris is a filmmaker from Scarborough, Ontario. She is best known for her short film Pick, which won Best Live Action Short at the 2020 Canadian Screen Awards. Alicia’s directorial credits include the TIFF-selected web series Lido TV and CBC’s Black Life: Untold Stories. She also directed and co-executive produced episodes of Amazon’s upcoming series Beyond Black Beauty. Her latest short film, Only Light Will Touch Us, was commissioned by REEL CANADA and Netflix. 
 Watch Alicia’s video profile here.

Joshua Odjick (Algonquin-Anishinabe/Cree) is an award-winning actor from Ottawa, Ontario. Joshua landed his first series regular role in Unsettled and has since appeared in the award-winning features Bootlegger and Wildhood, which won him a CSA for Best Supporting Actor in 2022. His television credits include Little Bird, Three Pines, Pour Toi Flora, Bones of Crows, The Swarm and Warrior Up! Joshua also portrays Tom Longboat in the Canadian historical series of shorts Heritage Minutes. 
 Watch Joshua’s video profile here.

About REEL CANADA
REEL CANADA is a charitable organization whose mission is to introduce audiences to the power and diversity of Canadian film, and engage them in a conversation about what it means to be Canadian. Through our core programmes — Our Films in Our Schools, Welcome to Canada, Reel Opportunities, and National Canadian Film Day (CanFilmDay) — REEL CANADA has reached millions of students, new Canadians, and general audience members.

For press inquiries or interview requests, please contact:
Rebecca Poier | Communications Manager, REEL CANADA
[email protected]  

Study: In a Divided World, Canadian Film Has the Power to Unite

REEL CANADA study reveals two thirds of Canadian students say that watching Canadian films in class provides them with a sense of Canadian pride

TORONTO, June 2023 – Research commissioned by REEL CANADA, a non-profit organization dedicated to presenting Canadian films in schools (in partnership with Telefilm Canada, Ontario Creates, and Creative BC) and conducted by VICE Media Group, reveals significant positive cultural impact when students are exposed to Canadian film in class.

Findings reveal that two-thirds of Canadian students who see Canadian films in class say that they make them feel a sense of pride in Canada, compared with only half of students who are not so exposed.  Other data highlight a clear correlation between student exposure to Canadian film in the classroom and greater tolerance for other points of view, better understanding of other Canadian communities, and more insight into other lifestyles.

Further, students who are shown Canadian film in schools express a richer engagement with culture in general, including greater interest in a wider range of content, in how the content is created, and in discussing content with peers.

“It’s imperative now more than ever to give our youth tools that help them feel a greater sense of connection and togetherness,” says Jack Blum, co-founder of REEL CANADA. “In a fractious time, a stronger sense of Canadian identity can be a unifying force.”

According to the study, students who watch Canadian films in the classroom agree that they contribute to:

  • Increased tolerance for other points of view
  • Greater awareness and understanding of other cultures in Canada
  • Greater appreciation of the importance of diversity in Canada
  • Greater pride in their country

The study, entitled The Power of Canadian Film: Youth Film Consumption and Engagement, was conducted in October 2022 by VICE Media Group, who surveyed 600 high school students (ages 14-19) and 125 K-12 teachers across Canada to evaluate the impact of Canadian film among young people, their general awareness levels of Canadian content, as well as usage of Canadian content by teachers within the classroom.

“It was clear from conversations with teachers throughout the study that the ability for students to see themselves reflected in films ultimately opens up opportunities for deeper engagement,” adds Blum. “With this, comes a greater sense of identity, especially when specific Canadian experiences, such as those of immigrants and Indigenous individuals, are highlighted and explored.”

Other findings revealed that the rise of social media hasn’t detracted from the influence of TV and film for today’s teens. Students still heavily consume traditional forms of media, with half (1 in 2) indicating that watching movies and TV is one of their favourite pastimes.

However, despite strong impact findings among young people, awareness continues to be the biggest hurdle in harnessing the power of Canadian film – with only 15 percent of students being aware that a particular film being shown is, in fact, Canadian. Less than half (47 percent) of students say that while they have seen a Canadian film “in the past,” they do not seek them out and almost one in five say they never watch Canadian films or, perhaps more importantly, “don’t know” if they’ve ever seen one.

When asked to consider what might compel them to watch more Canadian films, students’ top three responses included:

  • Having access to Canadian films on TV or streaming platforms
  • If they were generally more aware of Canadian films
  • If their friends/family watched Canadian films

“This study confirms what many of us in film and education have known for some time, that when students are shown Canadian films in school, a spark is lit,” says Sharon Corder, Artistic Director and co-founder of REEL CANADA. “However, lack of awareness has proven to be the biggest hurdle in harnessing the power of Canadian film among young people at scale. It’s clear that our mission to drive better access, emphasis, and visibility for Canadian films will lead to great benefits for young people as they grow into engaged Canadian citizens.”

Survey Methodology

This research was conducted in October 2022 by VICE Media Group in partnership with REEL CANADA, Telefilm Canada, Ontario Creates and Creative BC. We began this project by conducting a 10-minute online survey of 600 high school students (ages 14-19) and 125 K-12 Teachers across Canada. Both groups were asked about interest and awareness in Canadian films and organizations. These populations are geographically representative of Canada, including the Quebecois population, with a 50/50 male/female split. All statistics referenced in this report are based on data from students. Phase two of this project included 45-minute in-depth interviews with educators within the REEL CANADA network, which were used to deepen narratives and provide first hand knowledge of current classroom dynamics. Quotes from these interviews are denoted in the report as “INSIGHTS FROM THE CLASSROOM.”

Telefilm Canada