ACTRA & FTM Launch BIPOC Manitoba Performers Training Initiative 2021

February 24, 2021  

ACTRA Manitoba and Film Training Manitoba are launching an ambitious series of five training events in March 2021 aimed at attracting and developing the skills of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) individuals to work as performers in Manitoba’s film industry.

Panelists and instructors include experienced actors and film professionals like Patrice Goodman (Sunnyside), Conrad Coates (TRON: Legacy, Fringe, Defiance), Tonya Williams (The Young & The Restless, Reelworld Film Festival founder), and Alison Sealy-Smith (Street Legal, Obsidian Theatre Company founding director).

Over the past four years, Manitoba’s film industry has exploded, culminating in $269 million in production spending during 2018 and 2019. This helped provide jobs for over 2,000 Manitobans in the industry.

“As a casting director in Manitoba, we often hear from producers about a greater need of inclusion of BIPOC performers,” says casting director, Shelly Anthis. “This initiative is really on target to help Manitoba companies and workers.”

For many productions, Manitoba locations double as large US cities that have high populations of BIPOC individuals. This new initiative is designed to help improve the ongoing need for the inclusion of racially diverse performers to support the workforce requirements of these productions.

“This initiative from ACTRA and FTM can help grow a diverse workforce and will support the projected growth of film productions in the province,” said Manitoba producer, Ian Dimerman. “We are committed to growing a diverse talent base in front and behind the camera.”

FTM and ACTRA MB have been working to deliver annual training programs for over a decade but the BIPOC Manitoba Performers Training Initiative 2021 is set for an innovative new approach.

“ACTRA and FTM have been long-time partners, offering Manitoba actors crucial professional development opportunities,” says Alan Wong, the Vice-President of ACTRA MB and Co-Chair of ACTRA MB’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee. “With this training series, we really hope to further diversify the talent pool of performers for the province’s film industry.”

Check out all five BIPOC sessions here


ACTRA Manitoba represents the interests of over 700 full, apprentice and additional background members. It is one of the nine branches of ACTRA, Canada’s national union of over 27,000 professional performers working in English-language recorded media.

About Film Training Manitoba  

Film Training Manitoba provides workforce and human resource development to build a highly skilled and adaptable workforce to support the activities of Manitoba production companies. FTM collaborates with members of the film and television industry to identify the training needs within the community. With this information, FTM offers industry-driven, skill-based training that is targeted where labour gaps occur.  

FTM media contact  

Mauro Ferritto, Senior Programs & Communications Manager  

Tel: 204-989-9669 ext.3 or email:  

ACTRA media contact  

Rob Macklin, Branch Representative:  

Tel: 204-339-9750 or email:  

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