Seneca News

Sori Park and Jair Castillo

May 4, 2021

Hollywood North 2.0 is coming to webinar near you.

As part of the Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery (C2R2) coalition to bridge the skills gap in a post-pandemic world, Seneca is hosting a webinar on how digital transformation has Canada poised to take centre stage in the entertainment industry.

“The trend was underway before COVID-19, and it hasn’t stopped,” said Kurt Muller, Dean, Faculty of Communication, Art & Design. “The growth of streaming services means we need more content while new technologies like virtual production are transforming the way films are made. Demand for studio space is also skyrocketing.”

Hollywood North 2.0, which takes place from 1 to 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 13, features a panel of speakers headlined by Jeff Melanson, a partner with the Stratagem Group. This year, Stratagem Studios will launch more than 200,000 square feet of feature stages and support spaces in Toronto.

Joining Mr. Melanson is Thiago Carneiro, a Seneca professor who also works as an Unreal Engine artist with Pixomondo, an international visual effects company with a studio in Toronto.

Rounding out the panel is Kadon Douglas, the first executive director of BIPOC TV & Film, an organization dedicated to increasing the representation of Black, Indigenous and people of colour in screen-based industries.

“The demand for content means more jobs,” Mr. Muller said. “We need to fill that pipeline with skilled workers, and we also need to make sure that workforce is inclusive and sustainable.”

Last fall, Seneca partnered with industry leaders Stratagem and Avid Technology to offer a six-month Film & Television Career Launch program free of cost to participants. Thanks to a grant from Ontario’s Skills Catalyst Fund, 40 students with little to no experience learned from industry experts and accessed state-of-the-art equipment at Seneca — in person and virtually.

“Seneca is the central hub for all this,” Mr. Muller said. “We worked with our partners on the content and delivered all of the courses. The program will give the students a head start to enter the film and television production industry.”

In addition to digital media, Seneca is leading the business focus under the C2R2 coalition. Seneca is one of the founding members of the group, which has a goal to train at least 50,000 Canadians with specialized skills as part of its mandate to support a sustainable economic recovery.

“C2R2 is leveraging the strength of each member who has demonstrated leadership in sustainability-related education, research and engagement,” said Mary Vaughan, Dean, Seneca Business. “Our focus is to prepare students for work, make a positive difference for the environment and address socio-economic inequality — and we are in a much better position to achieve that as one.”

Register for the Hollywood North 2.0 webinar