Film Training Manitoba and IATSE Local 856 Partner on New Workforce Development Initiative

Manitoba’s workforce development and training organization Film Training Manitoba (FTM) and production industry labour union IATSE Local 856 are joining forces to grow the province’s film industry workforce.

The IATSE Crew Training Accelerator Program is aimed at Manitobans who are interested in working in the province’s thriving production industry. This in-class training initiative will offer an introduction to the industry, with a special focus on departments that have the greatest demand for crewmembers. The program is being funded by IATSE, and administered by FTM.

“Manitoba’s production industry is at a tipping point. The sector has grown substantially, and so have the work opportunities,” said Monique Perro, Business Agent for IATSE 856. “This program will be a pathway for people who are interested in these opportunities and need a place to start. FTM’s connections, resources and expertise will allow us to reach Manitobans who want to work in this exciting, creative industry.”

The province has seen a consistent increase in production volume year after year. Despite the pandemic, the IATSE 856 workforce has grown by 34% since 2019. Production volume in Manitoba jumped from just over $150 million in 2017 to around $250 million in 2019 and 2020.

“The accelerator program will be a significant piece of our commitment to grow the motion picture industry here in Manitoba,” said IATSE 856 President, Nicolas Phillips. “By partnering with Film Training Manitoba in this program we look to help create opportunities for even more Manitobans to find their place in a growing industry with a diverse and skilled workforce.”

With the surge in production, FTM’s participant numbers have also increased drastically in recent years, with over 2000 total participants in the 2021-22 fiscal year. The IATSE Crew Training Accelerator Program will be FTM’s largest integrated partnership aimed at in-class programming for Manitoba’s production industry.

“IATSE 856 has an outstanding record of innovation and building our industry through effective community leadership,” said Adam Smoluk, FTM’s Managing Director. “We look forward to working with them to craft a training program that facilitates the continued growth of this industry. A greater crew base will bring more productions to the province – generating jobs for Manitobans and substantial economic impact.”The details of the IATSE Crew Training Accelerator Program are currently being developed in consultation with Manitoba’s production industry. The program will start accepting applications in late 2022. For updates, please visit the FTM website at

IATSE Local 856 represents freelance specialty Artists, Technicians and Crafts workers in the Manitoba Motion Picture industry. Our mission is to represent the skilled workforce in the Manitoba film industry for the purposes of advancing the economic, social and cultural interests of our Membership; engaging in such other activities as may be necessary or proper to strengthen the labour movement; promoting and supporting democracy and trade unionism; and improving wages and hours of work, increasing job security and improving working conditions.

Film Training Manitoba’s goal is to develop 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, we can offer practical, skill-based training that is targeted where labour gaps occur.

FTM is a non-for-profit charity and member of the Province of Manitoba’s sector council program (through the Department of Economic Development and Jobs). FTM conducts workforce development and training to build a highly skilled and adaptable film industry 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.