FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Toronto, February 10, 2022 - OYA Black Arts Coalition (OBAC) is pleased to announce the successful candidates for the initial cohort of their OBAC Business Affairs Boot Camp.
The Boot Camp will provide 11 Black-owned mid-career film, television, or digital media production companies with a transformative opportunity to scale up their operations. This will take the form of the program’s in-depth, business-focused workshops, mentoring, and networking opportunities including one-on-one meetings with broadcast executives, which will run for 3 months (January - March 2022).
OBAC received a $3-million non-repayable contribution from the Government of Canada through the Black Entrepreneurship Program (BEP) Ecosystem Fund delivered by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).
“The Government of Canada is proud to support the OYA Black Arts Coalition in launching the first cohort of their Inaugural Business Affairs Bootcamp, with support through the Black Entrepreneurship Program Ecosystem Fund,” says the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. “This programming will give Black entrepreneurs in the film, television and digital media industry the tools they need to bring their businesses to the next level.”
The Boot Camp, first announced alongside news of the overall OBAC launch in November, is composed of a select group of Ontario-based multimedia producers responsible for original, creative Canadian works across film, music, theatre, photography, digital content and more. More specifically, they include podcasters, documentary filmmakers, video producers, theatre directors, and others, whose burgeoning work spans Caribbean screenings, global audiences and multiplatform stakeholders. Partners of the OBAC Business Affairs Bootcamp include Bizable Media, I.M.P.A.C.T., RBC, and WIFT Toronto.
Participants can expect to learn valuable industry insights from a business planning perspective based on OBAC’s focus in the key areas of technical, creative storytelling, production, and administrative skills, as acquired from experts from across various touchpoints in OBAC’s holistic ecosystem, encompassing program partners and stakeholder organizations. They are CFC Media Lab, Corus, Entertainment One (eOne), Regent Park Film Festival, TIFF, WIFT Toronto, xoTO, among others.
The first cohort of Business Boot Camp consists of:
- Tony Acheampong, Anansesem Productions
- Henry Amankwaah, Jamaal Bailey, HNTRS CLUB Inc
- Josiane Blanc, Diversified Voices
- Kathryn Fasegha, BalminGilead Movie Productions
- Krystle Ferdinand, Gravitate Productions
- Cherene Francis, Cherene Francis Inc
- Fonna Seidu, Snail Mail Media Inc.
- Ryan Singh, Ryan Singh Productions Ltd
- Adrian Wallace, Eh Dubbed Media
- Lanette Ware-Bushfield, A WWB Production, Inc.
- Abigail Whitney, Whitney Arts & Media
Together, they represent an important generation of diverse Black voices, whose storytelling will be deeply impacted by OBAC’s support system.
“We are thrilled to engage this initial OBAC Business Boot Camp cohort, they show up with a proven track record of capacity, and expansive inspiration; we are ready to boost their impressive resumes so that more audiences can learn of the stories they are creating. Through the Business Affairs Boot Camp, we will level the playing field for how they navigate the various legalities, paper trails and multifaceted requirements of Canada’s internationally respected creative industries,” says Alison Duke, co-founder OBAC.
“As an actor, I wanted to be able to learn how to produce my own content, as well as see the ins and outs of a production company. After completing the program I landed a program coordinator role with OBAC and have been involved in helping bring all the scale-up initiatives to life,” says Anthony Jhade, Program Coordinator, OYA Media Group.
Applications for the second cohort of this program will open in Summer 2022.
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About OYA Black Arts Coalition
OYA Black Arts Coalition (OBAC) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting Black artists, creators and entrepreneurs within Canada’s entertainment sector. This is made possible by equipping and empowering Black creatives with the skills, support and resources necessary to succeed. OBAC addresses systemic inequalities by providing sustainable solutions including mentorship, networking, programs, unique initiatives, and industry training by providing safe space for experimentation.
About FedDev Ontario
For more than 12 years, FedDev Ontario has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation and growth in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving their productivity, growing their revenues, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects.
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Wendy Vincent, Director, Konvo Media Inc., 416.722.0608,
Monica Granados, Press Secretary, Minister Jaczek,