FUNDING YOUR PROJECTS SERIES: ALBERTA EDITION
Funding is a key element in content creation in Canada. National and provincial funds are available to artists to work in every stage of their projects, from pre-development to marketing and even travels to festivals and events.
Over the years, Black Artists and Artists of the Global Majority from the Film and TV Industry have been sidelined in these initiatives. Some work has been done lately to improve our access to funds, but it is still hard to break down the biased focus of some institutions.
In the first installment of our Funding Your Projects Series, we are going to discuss the opportunities the country and most specifically, Alberta, is offering to its artists, and what are the best practices and the right ways for projects from Black Artists and Artists of the Global Majority to be successful in their applications.
Kizzie Sutton, Founder and Managing Director, Diaspor_iq
Kizzie Sutton is social justice advocate, speaker, facilitator, mentor, and artist in the mediums of Film, Theatre, and Visual Arts. Having recently left the role of Executive Director at the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers, to start her own entrepreneurial company Diaspor_iq (www.diasporiq.ca) - to officially launch this summer - which will tackle the needs of BIPoC creators, and allies in the fields of her expertise. Not only is she a sought-after jury member who adds diversity and insight throughout the jury process, she currently has two films in the preproduction phase and is looking forward to sharing them later this year or early 2024. She holds a Diploma in Broadcasting, Radio and Television from the School of Communication Arts at Seneca College, and a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Theatre and Film Studies from Queen's University. Kizzie has applied her skills and talents in a gamut of ways nationally and internationally including lighting and sound design, dramaturgy, production management, directing, youth mentorship, program management, and of course filmmaking.
Carmen Bachez, Producer & Development Manager, Prairie Dog Film + Television
Carmen Bachez is a first generation Canadian, born and raised in Edmonton. She’s worked on five seasons of television including the award-winning series TRIBAL as associate producer. She was nominated for Best Web Series at the 2022 Alberta Film & Television Awards and selected as a 2023 Netflix-BANFF Diversity of Voices participant.
Erin O’Connor, Business Development Manager, Programming, Calgary Film Centre
Erin O’Connor is the Business Development and Programming Manager at the Calgary Film Centre. Primary responsibilities include ecosystem development and creative industries sector growth in alignment with the Calgary Film Commission and business development, sales and marketing strategies for the Calgary Film Centre. As well, Erin leads Alberta film and television talent acceleration programs and oversees the implementation of workforce development strategies. Erin is responsible for all initiatives towards eco-responsible and sustainable production practices in Alberta.
Kathryn Fasegha, Managing Director, BalminGilead Movie Productions Limited
Kathryn’s first film "Treacherous Heart" Premiered in 2012 and won an award for “Best Drama in Diaspora”. Her second film “2 Weeks in Lagos” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019; opened in Cinemas in February 2021 and Netflix in July 2021 and was nominated for an award for “Best film by an African Living abroad”.
Perpetual Atife, Grant Program Specialist, Calgary Arts Development
A recent immigrant from Nigeria, Perpetual has a decade old experience working in the non-profit arts sector. Held a key management office at the Musical Society of Nigeria, she is a Grant Specialist with Calgary Arts Development.
She holds a BA in Music and the Rozsa Arts Management certificate offered in partnership with Haskayne School of Business.
When she takes off her arts manager hat, she is an artist. Recent outstanding appearances include the Canadian Jazz Festival, and her self-curated sold-out concert, Ije Live.
Her most recent recognition is the Queen Elizabeth II’s Jubilee Medal (2023).