imagineNATIVE Institute announces Mentees of the GTHA Below-the-Line Mentorship Supported by Netflix and IATSE-873

imagineNATIVE Institute

The imagineNATIVE Institute is thrilled to announce details of two new on-set mentorship opportunities for Indigenous creatives looking to expand or begin careers in the Art Department on long-form productions located in and around the Greater Toronto + Hamilton Area and the Greater Sudbury Area.

Today, the imagineNATIVE Institute has announced Bert Whitecrow (Dresser/Sewer), Morgan Spence (Set Decorator), and Riley Assinewa (Carpenter) are the mentees of the Greater Toronto + Hamilton Area Below-the-Line Mentorship, supported by Netflix and IATSE-873. This mentorship is designed for one costume designer/sewer, one carpenter, and one set decorator looking to begin or expand on a career in the Art Department of a long-form production. These selected participants of the GTHA Below-the-Line Mentorship will receive a 4 to 5-week paid on-set mentorship within the Art Department on the Netflix Production You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah! this summer to shadow and learn from industry leaders.

“Thanks to the continued support of the imagineNATIVE Institute’s Lead Partner Netflix, the Institute is thrilled to extend our professional development reach with these new opportunities offered to below-the-line creatives looking to begin or grow their careers in the film and screen Industry. On-set production mentorships can provide rich and invaluable spaces for Indigenous creatives to learn, hone, and share their skills,” said Jamie-Lee Reardon, imagineNATIVE Institute Manager. 

Later this year, applications will open for the Northern Ontario Below-the-Line mentorship, supported by Netflix and DGC Ontario. 

These opportunities would not be possible without the continued support from Institute’s lead partner Netflix and partners IATSE 873 and DGC Ontario. Chi Miigwetch!

The imagineNATIVE Institute is a department within imagineNATIVE that houses year-round professional development programs, events, and talks for Indigenous creatives. The Institute provides Indigenous-led professional development opportunities that address gaps within the industry and build capacity for Indigenous creatives. The Institute is proud to present these programs and the generous contributions to their initiatives by lead partner Netflix.

Bert Whitecrow – Dresser/Sewer mentee

Bert Whitecrow is a Two-Spirited, multidisciplinary artist from Seine River First Nation. Their work explores methods of storytelling, through preserving and practicing ancestral knowledge. They attended the Indigenous Visual cultures program at OCAD University and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2022. Bert explores the ideas of Indigenous futurisms, the belief of inherent queerness in nature, and their relationship to place throughout their artistic practice. Bert has worked within community arts for five years as a facilitator and artist.

Morgan Spence –  Set Dec mentee

Morgan Spence is a proud Mushkegowuk (Swampy Cree) from Moosonee, Ontario. She moved to Toronto in 2020 and recently graduated from the Indigenous Production Assistant Training Program with POV and Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment & Training. She currently works as a Production Assistant in film and television. Prior to working in the industry, she worked closely with the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres as well as working in the youth department for the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto. She continues to support and be an active community member with these and other related organizations that focus on uplifting and supporting Indigenous youth and community.

Riley Assinewai – Carpenter Mentee

Riley is an Ojibwe man currently based in Toronto, who grew up in WIkwemikoong, Ontario located on Manitoulin Island. In 2018, Riley got the opportunity to go to Scotland and work on Outlander, and since then he has worked on various shows as an actor. Most recently, he had the chance to help behind the camera on a film. Now, Riley is interested in working more on set in all areas, behind and in front of the camera.

Toronto, Ontario

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Media Contact: Damien Nelson, damien@wantandable.ca

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