CBC Unveils New BIPOC Showrunner Accelerator Program


CBC, BIPOC TV & Film and the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) have partnered for a new accelerator program, the CBC-BIPOC TV & Film Showrunner Catalyst.

The program will support the career advancement of senior writers who identify as Indigenous, Black or people of color through hands-on and personally tailored on-set experience. It offers a professional coaching opportunity, designed through an anti-racist and equity-focused lens while providing participants with additional tools and support systems to reach a showrunner level in the Canadian film and television industry.

CBC, BIPOC TV & Film and the CFC have made an initial commitment of three years to the program, with the opportunity to renew. The 2022 inaugural participants are Andrew Burrows-Trotman, MOTION and Ian Iqbal Rashid.

Kadon Douglas, executive director at BIPOC TV & Film, said: “It is imperative that while we are opening doors at entry level for BIPOC creatives, we are simultaneously creating pathways for mid-level and senior BIPOC writers to have the opportunities to bring their careers to the next level. The Canadian industry needs to see BIPOC writers as showrunners—leaders who can helm the vision of a show, from both the creative and business standpoint.”

Sally Catto, general manager for entertainment, factual and sports at CBC, said: “Within our industry, there are limited opportunities for equity-deserving senior writers to take on a leadership role, and we are honored to work with Kadon and the dedicated team at BIPOC TV & Film in partnership with the CFC to help bridge that gap with the Showrunner Catalyst. By launching this tailored and practical program, we help to ensure that the future of Canadian storytelling reflects the changing face of our country. We offer our sincere congratulations to this year’s talented participants, who have already made great strides in their careers.”

maxine bailey, executive director at CFC, said: “We’re thrilled to work with BIPOC TV & Film and CBC on this new initiative to help catalyze change in the Canadian film and television industry by including and growing Black, Indigenous and racialized creators in leadership positions. This shift is required to truly reflect today’s Canada, and the CFC is excited to be part of this change.”