FTM and MCSC partner with the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce at the CODE Conference

Date: May 1, 2024 (10:15 AM – 11:15 AM)

Session 1B

Location: RBC Convention Centre (375 York Avenue)

Film Training Manitoba (FTM) and the Manitoba Construction Sector Council (MCSC) are partnering with the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce to conduct this panel during the upcoming CODE Conference.

Developed as a session to support women-identifying workers, this session examines the power of allyship, inclusion, and mentorship.

Learn about the workforce and economic benefits of authentic engagement with underrepresented groups as well as current and future initiatives within industries like film and construction.


Carol Paul is the Executive Director at the MCSC. She holds a bachelor’s and a master’s in adult education.

Carol facilitated English Literature, Alternative Education, Facilitating Adult Learning and Program Planning in the Faculty of Education and Continuing Education Divisions at the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg for 15 years.

Carol was Managing Director at the Centre for Education and Work for 11 years, where she managed national research, education and digital technology projects. She is a founding member of Urban Circle Training Centre, a holistic Indigenous Training Centre in Winnipeg, where she managed the adult learning centre for 14 years.

At MCSC, Carol is the Executive Director responsible for writing proposals, managing projects and coordination of the sector council’s activities.

Ellen Rutter is a film industry veteran, and a long-standing leader and manager. Ellen is a member of the Director Guild of Canada’s Manitoba District Council and has served in a wide collection of film industry positions including as a production manager, line producer, and producer.

Ellen was the first recipient of the Canada’s Supporting Women in Film Trades (SWIFT) Award for her years of service championing women and other underrepresented workers.

Ellen has instructed and developed a wide collection of FTM programs and regularly serves as an FTM mentor to upgrade the skills of Manitoba’s film industry professionals.

Nermine Awad currently serves as the Financial Administrator for the MCSC.

In her prior capacity with MCSC, she oversaw the coordination of Women in Trades Programs, showcasing her dedication to promoting diversity and empowerment within the construction sector. 

Nermine holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts and a Business Administration certificate, and she pursued accounting studies at Red River College Polytechnic. 

Nermine has over 12 years of experience in non-profit administrative roles, including four years in management.

Joanne Roberts is a Filipina-Canadian journalist, filmmaker and fashion blogger. She currently works with CityNews Winnipeg. Joanne most enjoys reporting on human-interest and arts & culture stories. Notably, she’s the host of the CBC series “Being Asian. Competing Truths” and the director of the award-winning series “I Am” with CBC’s Creator Network.

As a filmmaker, Joanne’s work revolves around voices in the Filipino community. Her autobiographical film “Anak” won the emerging filmmaker’s pitch competition at the Gimli International Film Festival in 2020, along with a spot on the Most Fascinating Manitobans list the same year. 

Joanne loves cyclical fashion and uses her disciplines to also share consignment and thrift finds on social media, often while she’s on assignment or on set.

Joanne’s latest release is an interview with Emmy Award winner and Academy Award nominee, Rory Kennedy, in collaboration with FTM.  Joanne is also appearing in the first episode of “Immigrant Kitchen” with Prairie Boy Productions, due to stream on Yes TV in the summer of 2024.


Sydney Sabiston is the Training and Partnerships Manager at FTM. Sydney has a distinguished film and television career and is both an actress and filmmaker.

She started developing her career in the film industry after having received her Bachelor of Arts in Acting in Theatre and Film from The University of Winnipeg’s Theatre & Film program by working on set as an Assistant Director.

With a special interest in acting in and producing horror films, she then made her way on screen and has notable acting credits, including: All Fun and Games, Time Cut, Psycho Killer, Acting Good, Levels, Under the Christmas Sky, Etc.

While Sydney continues to pursue her passion and growing career as an actress and filmmaker, she works at FTM as their Training and Partnerships Manager.

Sydney is passionate about building strong relationships with Manitoba’s local crew and talent here in the province’s growing film industry and tries to support and champion those around her who share her same love for cinema.

FTM is a member of the Province of Manitoba’s sector council program funded through the Department of Economic Development and Training. FTM builds a highly skilled and adaptable film industry workforce to support the activities of Manitoba production companies. FTM collaborates and partners with members of the film and television industry to identify training needs to support workforce development output.