Canadian Aboriginal Writers Selected for NSI Storytellers Training Program

by NationTalk on November 14, 20071457 Views

Media Release
NSI Storytellers/Aboriginal writers named
November 13, 2007

Winnipeg — Six writers from Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Yukon have been chosen for NSI Storytellers – a training program run by the National Screen Institute — Canada (NSI) in association with the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) to develop above-the-line Aboriginal talent.These participants will develop and write scripts for a six-part serial that may go into production for broadcast on APTN.

The NSI Storytellers 2007 participants are:

Keith Lawrence – Hythe, Alberta
Elizabeth Denny – Winnipeg, Manitoba
Adam Garnet Jones – Toronto, Ontario
Mike Gosselin – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Trevor Cameron – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Dennis Allen – Whitehorse, Yukon

The National Screen Institute and APTN were so impressed with the calibre of applications that a special training position was created for one of the applicants, Joe Thornton from Calgary, Alberta. Joe will be shadowing Peter Lauterman as a show runner.

“We were overwhelmed with the level of applications – and spoilt for choice,” says NSI Storytellers Program Manager, Brandice Vivier-Burns. “I’m thrilled that NSI and APTN can provide this opportunity for Aboriginal writers and can’t wait to see these participants progress through training.”

“APTN is very proud of the extremely high calibre of talent in this program,” says Jean LaRose, APTN Chief Executive Officer. “We expect that this partnership with NSI will provide us with new, innovative and highly creative Aboriginal production talent that will assist APTN in offering its viewers the best programming possible in the coming years.”

Phase one training spans seven months. Writing participants will learn the basics of narrative writing while developing storylines and series arcs. As with all NSI programs, training will be intensive and delivered by industry experts.

In 2008 the program will provide training for directors and producers. A separate call for applications for these phases will be issued. Information will be available at:

NSI Storytellers is made possible through the generous funding of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, NBC Universal and CHUM.

About the National Screen Institute:
With headquarters in Winnipeg, NSI is Canada’s oldest nationally-recognized film and television training school. The National Screen Institute helps emerging writers, directors and producers bring their stories to life to share at home and abroad. Its market-driven programs have led to employment for National Screen Institute graduates by giving them a competitive edge – according to the latest National Screen Institute Alumni Survey, 97% of respondents are working in the industry. For more information:

About APTN:
September 1, 2007 marks the eight-year anniversary of the launch of the first national Aboriginal television network in the world with programming by, for and about Aboriginal Peoples to share with all Canadians and viewers around the world. APTN is available in over 10 million Canadian households and commercial establishments with cable, direct-to-home satellite (DTH), telco-delivered and fixed wireless television service providers. APTN does not receive government funding for operations but generates revenue through subscriber fees, advertising sales and strategic partnerships. APTN broadcasts programming with 56% offered in English, 16% in French and 28% in Aboriginal languages. For more information, please contact APTN at (204) 947-9331 or toll-free at 1-888-278-8862, or visit the website at

The National Screen Institute — Canada operates with ongoing funding from Telefilm Canada through Canadian Heritage, and Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism. Additional support provided by Patrons: CTV, CBC Television and The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation. Also, financial assistance provided by the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council.


Liz Hover | Publicity & Outreach | National Screen Institute
Direct line: 204-957-8481 | email:

Chris Allicock | APTN Network Publicist
Direct line: 416-319-8003 email:

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