NSI launches Lifestyle Series Producer course

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The National Screen Institute has launched its new Lifestyle Series Producer training course as part of a push for more Canadian factual and lifestyle series producers.

The program includes an initial week of training followed by an eight-week apprenticeship on an existing lifestyle series by Shaw Media, Corus Entertainment and Bell Media, each a program partner.

“Bell Media believes this training initiative will further expand the skills and talents of Canada’s factual producers. We take great pride in commissioning programs seen around the world and we are committed to working with the production community to ensure the next generation of producers is just as able to compete at an international level,” said Discovery Channel Canada president and general manager Paul Lewis in a statement.

“By apprenticing in the production of existing series, the participants of this course have a tremendous opportunity to learn from the best and in the best setting. This is the kind of program our industry needs to continue to keep up with the demand for talented lifestyle showrunners,” said Corus Entertainment VP original programming, lifestyle, reality, factual entertainment Vibika Bianchi in her own statement.

The program, in which candidates will meet leading lifestyle series producers, network and production execs to bolster their knowledge base, will be lead by Al Magee as program advisor and NSI’s Brandice Vivier as program manager.

While there is no call for applications, production companies can nominate a candidate from within their company who is qualified to make the leap to being a series producer.

So far, Cineflix Media, Paperny Entertainment, Peace Point Entertainment Group and RTR Media Inc. have signed on as participating production companies in the program, with six spots still up for grabs for additional production companies to participate.

The course cost is $25,000 per candidate, paid by the nominating production company, with $13,000 payable to the NSI to offset training costs, and $12,000 to cover the participants’ stipend during the eight-week apprenticeship.

Shaw, Corus and Bell have approved a new line item in the series’ budgets that covers the participants’ stipends for participating production companies, and the stipend can be counted towards tax credit calculations.

The nomination deadline is Oct. 5, with training scheduled to take place the week of Oct. 15 to 19 in Toronto.

For more information, visit the NSI website.

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