As the film and television production industry continues to expand in the prairies and in Saskatchewan, Prairie Economic Development Canada is providing a major investment into a new training program with the Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association (SMPIA).
SMPIA has secured $900,000 in funding from Prairies Economic Development Canada to create a training program called the Work Experience Program that includes pre-employment training workshops and paid, on-set mentored positions with active Saskatchewan productions.
This program is expected to help expand Saskatchewan’s labour force in the industry.
“This funding announcement is an exciting step to supporting our province’s film industry and creates more opportunities for young people to realize their future right here in Saskatchewan,” says Parks, Culture, and Sport Minister Laura Ross.
“Advancing the commercial success of our creative sector is part of the Government’s Growth Plan, which is why we invested $12 million in the film industry this year. The film and television industry is growing, and this new investment in training will help us attract even more projects to our Province.”
This is the first time that SMPIA is running the program and it’s set to run from April 1 of 2023 to April 1 of 2024.
The program works as a grant program that will support roughly 50 to 80 Saskatchewan residents with hands-on training to help them integrate themselves into the industry.
SMPIA has also committed to ensuring that 30 per cent of the participants come from indigenous backgrounds. They’re doing this in partnership with the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT).
SMPIA currently has an inventory of people looking to jump in on productions in Saskatchewan.
Participants in the program will be recruited from that inventory and through SIIT. However, anyone is able to register for the program through SMPIA or any Saskatchewan production company under Creative Saskatchewan.
“This investment will create new, well-paying jobs that improve the quality of life for Saskatchewan residents seeking a career in film, while contributing to Saskatchewan’s economy,” says Erin Dean, CEO of Creative Saskatchewan.