Film Training Manitoba Launches Canada’s Supporting Women in Film Trades (SWIFT) Conference 2023

SWIFT Conference speaker, Cinematographer Tamara Roshka

WINNIPEG, September 14, 2023 – Today Film Training Manitoba (FTM) announces the expansion of a national women’s conference; Canada’s Supporting Women in Film Trades (SWIFT), which will feature former Governor General of Canada Michaëlle Jean as the conference’s in-person keynote speaker.

This ground-breaking initiative’s aim is to increase the number of women and individuals identifying as women working in Manitoba’s film industry. Canada’s SWIFT Conference will take place on November 25 & 26, 2023 at RRC Polytechnic’s Manitou a bi Bii daziigae at the Winnipeg downtown campus.

All speakers, panels and training sessions support improving the workplace culture to retain and attract more women and women-identifying workers within the film and media industry.

SWIFT press conference speakers and panelists: Cinematographer Tamara Roshka, Vice-President, Business and Organizational Development (Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology) Beverlie Barnes Stuart, and SWIFT Vice-Chair Ellen Rutter

“There is no other conference that exists that is targeted specifically for women workers within the film industry. Our aim is to support more diversity and inclusion with trades positions within Canada’s film industry,” said SWIFT Vice-chair, Ellen Rutter.

Canada’s SWIFT was founded in 2021 and created by a committee of fifteen women film professionals. Last year’s SWIFT 2022 conference was a significant success, with 85 participants in attendance. This year, the goal is to have 150 participants in attendance.

100% of the participant’s evaluations of SWIFT 2022 strongly agreed or agreed that:

  • The skills they learned at SWIFT would increase their ability and confidence
  • The instructors were knowledgeable and provided good direction
  • The programming was effectively delivered and held the participants’ interest

Using the feedback from the participant evaluations and the 2023 SWIFT committee, the format of the upcoming conference will consist of longer moderated panel discussions with highly accomplished speakers, which will include Winnipeg’s first woman mayor Susan Thompson, who will speak about transformative leadership.

Susan Thompson at the SWIFT 2023 press conference

“There is space and room for women to thrive and grow within jobs and careers and this is certainly true within Canada’s film industry.” Said Susan Thompson, she added, “Changing workplace culture and attitudes is very challenging, but SWIFT is not just a conference it serves as a ground-breaking vision of change and innovation.”

According to Film Training Manitoba’s labour market information, as of October 2021, less than 30 per cent of Manitobans working in trades positions in the film industry are women and women identifying individuals.

All instructors, speakers, and panelists of SWIFT will be women. SWIFT will promote and support gender parity and workforce development within Manitoba’s dynamic film industry.

The SWIFT 2023 Conference will exclusively feature over forty women leading ten educational sessions, which include:

  • Championing Yourself and Your Career
  • The Art of Film Trades
  • Transformative Leadership
  • Inclusion Within the Film Industry
  • The Power of Mentorship and Investing in You!

Registrations for the conference is now officially open. We expect that with a capacity of 150 people, seats will go quickly, so we encourage people to register early.
Please go to to register.

For more information please go to our SWIFT Conference webpage.


Jenna Paterson-Coutts
Communications Coordinator
Film Training Manitoba
P: 204.989.9669 Ext.3

Download the News Release (PDF)