NSI Business for Producers

Application deadline

Applications are closed.

What is NSI Business for Producers

Read the full course information.

NSI Business for Producers is a distance learning and mentorship program designed to help up to 20 emerging producers nurture creative ideas (of all genres) while navigating the logistics and legalities of screen-based storytelling.

Specifically created for emerging producers who want to learn the essential elements of producing, this program will provide instruction on the basic skill set producers need in a COVID-19 environment and beyond.

Training will be delivered through a series of interactive online sessions that may include:

  • Pitching
  • Storytelling for producers
  • Leadership and collaboration
  • Budgeting
  • On Screen Protocols and Pathways: A Media Production Guide to Working with First Nations, Métis and Inuit Communities
  • Conflict resolution
  • Conditions for successful negotiations
  • Tax credits, finance structure and cash flow
  • Creativity post-COVID-19
  • Post production
  • Fundamentals of business affairs
  • Human resource management

Masterclass sessions with renowned producers will be woven throughout the interactive online components. They’ll share their experiences and knowledge through insightful case studies.

Once equipped with the knowledge provided during phase 1, participants will be matched with a regional mentor in phase 2 – someone on the ground who knows the local crews, funders, logistics, etc. Regional mentors will work with participants one-on-one to identify challenges and areas of need (ie: budget, chain of title, securing the right cast and crew) to best prepare projects for production.


Industry experts from across the country will be confirmed as presenters for phase 1.

Each producer will be supported by a regional mentor in phase 2 for one-on-one mentorship advice and guidance.

How much does it cost?

  • $50 non-refundable submission fee per application.
  • $250 non-refundable tuition fee for each participant (due one week after notification of acceptance to the program).

When does it take place?

The program takes place between October 2020 and February 2021 and is comprised of two phases.

Phase 1: six-week online training – October and November, 2020

During phase 1, participants will be offered up to 20, one- to two-hour sessions, scheduled Monday to Friday, over a six-week period.

Attendance at some sessions will be mandatory and include interactive group discussions, round tables, peer review, PowerPoint presentations and masterclasses.

Some sessions will be recorded to provide flexibility for participants. There will be homework assignments to complete throughout phase 1, and program advisors will provide set times during the work week to be available for consultation.

Phase 2

Each participant will meet with advisors to identify challenges and areas of need, to determine goals for further development. A regional mentor will be assigned based on these conversations.

Who are the NSI Business for Producers advisors?

Jeff Peeler (Baroness Von Sketch Show, Still Standing) and Jennifer Podemski (Future History, The Other Side, Moccasin Flats).

NSI’s commitment to underrepresented voices

NSI is committed to selecting participants from a diverse community of voices including women and/or Indigenous and/or People of Colour and/or LGBTQ2+ and/or people with disabilities.

Participants will be asked to voluntarily self-identify on their application form.

Additionally, NSI is committed to training producers from outside large urban centres.

The first edition of NSI Business for Producers

In summer 2016, the first edition of NSI Business for Producers was launched. That iteration of the program was aimed at Western Canadian content producers in television, film and digital media running small and mid-sized enterprises who wanted to grow their companies in the domestic and international marketplace.

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NSI Business for Producers is funded by Program Partner Canada Media Fund (CMF); Strategic Sponsors Telefilm Canada and The Winnipeg Foundation; Supporting Sponsors Corus Entertainment and Super Channel; Industry Consultants Executive Education Centre, Asper School of Business, Facilitated Solutions and People First HR Services. NSI Core Funders are Manitoba Sport, Culture & Heritage and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council.