Canada’s Supporting Women in Film Trades (SWIFT) Conference, which features former Governor General of Canada Michaëlle Jean as the event’s keynote speaker, has attracted attendance from numerous Manitoba post-secondary schools.
The SWIFT Conference is the only film industry conference in Canada dedicated to the skills development for women film workers. The event organizer, Film Training Manitoba (FTM), has secured partnerships with the University of Manitoba (the Asper School), the University of Winnipeg, Assiniboine Community College, Red River College Polytechnic (RRC Polytech), The Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology (MITT), and Université de Saint-Boniface, which have all supported and selected students to attend.
“To grow and build Manitoba’s film sector FTM’s SWIFT committee wanted to ensure our next generation of workers would be in attendance to learn more about film jobs and careers.” Said Carrie Wilkins the SWIFT Conference co-chair. She added, “The response is outstanding and demonstrates the importance of SWIFT’s targeted training for women film workers.”
SWIFT’s ten-panel sessions will also feature senior speakers from MITT, RRC Polytech, and the University of Winnipeg, in addition to former mayor of Winnipeg Susan Thompson and Manitoba Crown prosecutor Chantel Boutin. Additional featured panellists and speakers will include the CEO and Film Commissioner of Manitoba Film and Music Lynne Skromeda, former CEO of Manitoba Film and Music and Order of Canada recipient Carole Vivier, President of the Directors Guild of Canada’s Manitoba District Council Cathie Edgar, Executive Director of Documentary Organization of Canada Sarah Spring, Cinematographer Kim Derko, Actor and Producer Tina Keeper, Treasurer of IATSE-856 and Co-Owner of Les Filles Cuisine Michelle Walker, and Manitoba Film Industry Veteran Ellen Rutter.
The SWIFT conference attendance has grown significantly from 85 participants attending in 2022 to over 140 set to attend in 2023.
“The event sold out nearly a month ahead of the conference dates, and plans for the 3rd annual SWIFT conference in 2024 are now underway.” Added Wilkins.