Grant helps Windsor film school find innovative employment solutions

(Photo courtesy of the Windsor Centre for Film Digital Media and Creative Arts Facebook page)

The Windsor Centre for Film, Digital Media and the Creative Arts is getting a second provincial government grant to develop local talent for Ontario’s film industry.

The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development awarded it $572,610.

“Doing what you love doesn’t have to mean giving up a good paycheque,” said Labour Minister Monte McNaughton. “The creative industries offer many exciting and well-paying opportunities for young people looking to start an in-demand career. This project will support bright young minds who face multiple barriers and need a leg up.”

The money will help pay for a pilot project that allows qualifying participants to test the curriculum, both in the classroom and on the job. It’ll offer education in animation/gaming, music for digital media, production design and film production. Employers will get a stipend to hire underrepresented workers, while an online talent database will be rebuilt.

In partnership with the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce, the centre will also offer entrepreneur and networking training for those seeking a second career.

A previous grant from the Ford Government amounted to $980,000, so it could open the centre in the old Downtown Mission building on Victoria Avenue, just steps from the St. Clair College Mediaplex and the University of Windsor’s School of Creative Arts.  The centre chipped in another $790,000.

Last June, Gellman said the centre focused on stemming the brain drain of talent to larger markets like Toronto, New York City, and Los Angeles.

The centre started ten years ago and has grown beyond its popular Film Camp for Kids and Youth.

In 2020, the Ontario film industry contributed $1.5-billion to the provincial economy.