By Alan Wong (March 2021)

Update: “Film Training Manitoba and ACTRA MB see huge success with inaugural BIPOC Performers Training Initiative.”

~Economic Development Winnipeg

The BIPOC Actor’s Training Series, held in partnership with Film Training Manitoba, has been fantastic so far! This is the first set of workshops that ACTRA has been a part of that has also been open to non-ACTRA members, to expand the diverse talent pool in Manitoba and support BIPOC performers, many of whom may not have the same opportunities to gain the experience necessary to join the union. We believe that when productions see that there are strong actors of colour in Manitoba, more of those types of productions will have the confidence to shoot here and open up opportunities for everyone.

Out of 12 possible spots for the two workshops that were held the first two weekends in March, eight spots were reserved for ACTRA members, and four were held for non-ACTRA members. A jury made up of three committee members selected the participants based on experience, commitment to attend, enthusiasm and professionalism, just to name a few. It was a difficult selection process, as there were definitely people who were deserving of the opportunity, but we just didn’t have the space. There were over 40 applicants for the two sessions, so we offered those who were not selected an opportunity to audit the virtual workshop. Each session had its allotment of twelve performers and an additional 8-10 auditors per class!

Considering the popularity of the series, ACTRA Manitoba and FTM are committed to providing this type of professional development on a regular basis, so if you were one of those who got left out, we hope to offer more chances to learn and train soon.

For those interested, there are still some great webinars being offered the next two Saturdays. They are open to everyone, so feel free to share the info with friends or family who might be itching to get involved.

To sign up for any of these sessions, please email to state your interest!

Introduction to Acting for Film & Television

Saturday March 20th, 10:30am – 12:00pm

With: Carmen Kotyk (Casting Director) with Adam Hurtig (Actor/Reader), Tim Nhlazane (Host/Actor)

More info here.

“Surviving the Industry” Panel Discussion

Saturday March 20th, 2:00pm – 3:30pm

With: Conrad Coates (Tron: Legacy, X-Men Apocolypse, Star Trek Discovery), Tonya Williams (The Young & The Restless, Founder – Reelworld Film Festival), and Alison Sealy-Spears (Street Legal, Obsidian Theatre Company)

More info here.

Introduction to Background Acting (Becoming an Extra) For Film & Television

Saturday March 27th, 1:00pm – 3:00pm

With Leah Erum (BG Casting), Puneet Chawla (AD), & Lorraine James (Actor/Host)

More info here.