Interested in a career in the Toronto film industry but aren’t sure where to start? This page provides a variety of resources to help you get the right training and connect with organizations in the industry to help you get into your dream career.
The programs listed are directly related to training and education specific to Production, Post-Production, Visual Effects (VFX) and Animation. Skills-specific courses such as Accounting, Make-up and Hair, Construction and Carpentry are also avenues to gain experience and entry into skills-specific positions in the screen industry.
Canadian Film Centre: The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) is home to a range of intensive, hands-on programs in film, television, screen acting, music, and digital/immersive media that empower, shape and advance opportunities for Canadian creators and entrepreneurs working in screen-based industries. Programs include CBC Actor’s Academy, Slaight Family Music Lab and CFC Feature.
Centennial College: The School of Communications, Media, Arts and Design at Centennial College offers a way to turn creativity into a career, with an array of industry-recognized programs such as digital visual effects, film and television – business and recording arts.
George Brown College: George Brown College allows students to learn and work alongside industry professionals including actors, directors, designers, and technicians with a focus on industry-ready training. Programs offered include Media Foundations, Video Design and Production.
Humber College: Humber College offers hands-on experience through Live Labs, regular performances, and ongoing work-integrated learning, as well as the industry-specific business skills. Programs include 3D Modelling and Visual Effects, Film and Multi-platform Storytelling, and Post-Production.
OCAD University: OCAD is Canada’s largest and oldest institution for art and design. Programs offered by OCAD include Experiential Animation, Integrated Media and Indigenous Visual Culture.
Ryerson University: With partnerships around the world, Ryerson University’s unique faculty offers opportunities to educate the next generation of creative leaders. Programs include Business of Film, Film Technology and Microcinema.
Seneca College: An emphasis on experiential learning and a curriculum that integrates new and traditional media, prepares students for a fulfilling career in the dynamic creative economy. Programs include 3D animation, Visual Effects and Documentary Production.
Sheridan College: Internationally recognized for outstanding programs, training performers, animators, filmmakers, designers and to realize the full potential of their talents. Programs include Interactive Design, Craft and Textile Design and Digital Creature Animation.
Sheridan Screen Industries Research and Training Centre: Sheridan Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT) is a premier destination for training, collaboration and creation for the screen-based industry in Ontario and around the world. Courses include video editing, post-production and after effects.
Toronto Film School: The Toronto Film School is ranked as a top film school by the QS World University Rankings and offers a fast-paced, hands-on and highly collaborative learning environment. Programs include Writing for film, Film Production and Acting for Film and TV.
University of Toronto Continuing Studies: University of Toronto Continuing Studies offers a wide range of continuing studies courses, including Screenwriting, Comedy Writing and Visual Design.
York University: York University has more than 50 years of nurturing creative, bold and meaningful work by new generations of filmmakers and scholars. Programs include Film Production, Screenwriting and Media Arts.
Becoming a member of an industry organization as an individual or a company can help broaden your understanding of the intricacies of the film industry, provide networking and learning opportunities, and help you stay attuned to industry developments.
Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television: The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television is a non-profit organization with a mandate to honour outstanding achievements as well as provide critically needed, high-quality professional development programs, conferences and publications. Professional development programs include the Directors Program for Women and the Ways and Means Panel Series.
Canadian Alliance of Film and Television Costume Arts and Design: Canadian Alliance of Film and Television Costume Arts and Design (CAFTCAD) brings together costume professionals from all corners of the industry, regardless of union affiliation, experience, background, ethnicity, and identity. Through shared interest, CAFTCAD provides its members with an online and physical forum, promoting open discussion, shared learning, resources and professional networking.
Canadian Cinema Editors: The Canadian Cinema Editors (CCE) is a professional, educational and cultural membership-based association. It offers events and mentorship opportunities, and its mission is to support the pursuit of artistic and technological pre-eminence, and excellence in post-production and to promote the education of peers, producers and students in the art and science of editing.
Computer Animation Studios of Ontario: Computer Animation Studios of Ontario (CASO) is the only industry association that solely represents the priorities and interests of Ontario studio owners and operators in Visual Effects (VFX) and/or animation, through advocacy, professional development, and marketing initiatives specific to the needs of the VFX and animation studios in Ontario.
FilmOntario: FilmOntario is an industry consortium representing the over 35,000 individuals working in the screen-based industry in Ontario. Its member organizations are from all parts of the film, television and digital media industries, including unions and guilds, production companies, studios, suppliers, and financial and legal services organizations.
Visual Effects Society – Toronto Section: The Visual Effects Society (VES) is membership-based and represents the full breadth of visual effects practitioners including artists, animators, technologists, model makers, educators, studio leaders, supervisors, PR/marketing specialists and producers in all areas of film, television, commercials, music videos and games.
Women in Film and Television-Toronto: Women in Film and Television-Toronto (WIFT Toronto) is a member-based, not-for-profit organization of passionate individuals dedicated to the development, advancement and celebration of women in the screen media industry. WIFT Toronto offers mentorships, internships, networking opportunities, bursaries and industry programming.
BIPOC TV and Film: BIPOC TV and Film is a grassroots organization and collective of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) in Canada’s TV and film industry. BIPOC TV & Film hosts a series of panels, Q&A sessions, workshops, networking events and provides opportunities to secure employment in the television and film industry, specifically targeted to BIPOC.
Being Black in Canada: Being Black in Canada represents Canada’s largest mentorship, training, and creation program to be entirely dedicated to Black filmmakers across Canadian cities.
Black Women Film!: Black Women Film! Canada is both a leadership program and a new collective dedicated to forwarding the careers, networks and skills of filmmakers and media artists who are Black female identified of the Canadian African diaspora. The organization also operated the Black Women Film Directory for black women in film to list themselves for employers to browse.
Creators of Colour Incubator: The Creators of Colour Incubator (CCI), is a year-round development and production hub for Canadian women of colour producers that aims to create strong, compelling and sustainable media content for the global market.
CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals: CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals is a Toronto based charity that is dedicated to addressing the economic and social barriers that affect black youth with a focus on workforce development, education and advocacy, with training programs in several sectors including the entertainment industry.
HXOUSE: HXOUSE is a Toronto-based, globally focused think-center. Serving its community as an incubator and accelerator, it helps to foster innovation and opportunity for creative entrepreneurs. HXOUSE runs programs and workshops for individuals in creative industries and internal programs for those that have been accepted into the Tenancy Program.
imagineNATIVE INSTITUTE: The imagineNATIVE Institute houses year-round professional development programs within imagineNATIVE, events and talks for Indigenous screen and digital content creators.
Liaison of Independent Filmmakers Toronto: The Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) is an artist-run, membership-based charitable organization dedicated to facilitating excellence in the moving image through media arts education and production resources. Training includes introductory level workshops, camera, sound, writing and producing.
NIA Centre for the Arts: Nia Centre is building Canada’s first professional multi-disciplinary Black Arts Centre. It offers professional development, youth mentorship, exhibitions and special events including programs in film and television professional development.
OYA Media Group Emerging Filmmakers: OYA Media Group is a production company bringing Black Canadian perspective to media platforms. It runs the OYA Emerging Filmmakers training program for emerging black youth in the film, television and digital media.
POV: POV provides industry led training, skills development, scholarships, mentorship and employment to young creatives who want to develop their skills, build their networks and launch their careers into the TV and film production sector.
Reelworld Screen Institute: Reelworld Film Festival and Screen Institute are dedicated to changing the face of the media landscape by empowering and showcasing Canadians of diverse backgrounds in screen-based industries. The Institute runs several training programs for participants of all ages and experience levels, as well as operates Access Reelworld, a database of Canadian Black, Indigenous, Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American in the Creative Industries.
The Remix Project: The Remix Project was created in order to help level the playing field for young people from marginalized and under served communities. The programs and services serve youth who are trying to enter into the creative industries including film and television or further their formal education.
Reel Asian: Reel Asian is a not-for-profit charitable cultural organization that advocates for Asian representation through media arts. The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival® is a unique showcase of contemporary Asian cinema and work from the Asian diaspora, with industry initiatives to educate and connect youth to the film industry.
Regent Park Film Festival: The Regent Park Film Festival is dedicated to showcasing local and international independent works relevant to people from all walks of life, with a focus on inviting those of us from low income and public housing communities. Year-round programming also focusses on education and training.
Hot Docs Industry Training: Hot Docs invests in the next generation of documentary storytellers through innovative training programs and resources that offer access, mentorship and inspiration to help emerging filmmakers take their careers to the next level.
TIFF Industry Talent Development: TIFF runs tailored professional development programs to help talented filmmakers fast-track their careers and projects. The range of programs on offer includes bespoke opportunities for writers, directors and actors.
The Black Academy: The organization is dedicated to breaking down barriers of discrimination and combating systemic racism in Canada. By honouring, celebrating, and showcasing established and emerging Black talent, The Black Academy will elevate and inspire Black talent in both the Anglophone and Francophone communities across the country for generations to come.
Indigenous Screen Office: The Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) is an independent national advocacy and funding organization serving First Nations, Inuit and Métis creators of screen content in Canada. The ISO’s mandate is to foster and support narrative sovereignty and cultural revitalization by increasing Indigenous storytelling on screens and promoting Indigenous values and participation across the sector.
Black Screen Office: The Black Screen Office (BSO) supports Black Canadians working throughout the screen industries to build their careers, strengthen their networks, and share their stories.
xoTO Schools: A program run by the City of Toronto and the Toronto District School Board to educate students about film industry careers and do on-set placements for co-op credits.
Reel Canada: Reel Canada is a charitable organization that celebrates Canada through film, bringing film screenings, special guests and lessons to schools across the country to foster an understanding and appreciation of the screen industry.
Reel Start: Established in both Toronto and Los Angeles, Reel Start is building a path from the classroom to the film industry- giving students in grades 10, 11 and 12 the chance to turn their stories into films, and their passion for filmmaking into a lifelong pursuit.
The screen industry workforce in Toronto is, in large part, represented by unions and guilds. Television series and feature films are, on average, signatories of union and guilds labour agreements, making the majority of workers on these sets union or guild members. Commercials, music videos, broadcasts and short films are often non-union projects, meaning the workforce associated with the production can but does not have to be a member of a union or guild. A person can often be a member of more than one union or guild at the same time and gain required and valuable experience in Apprenticeships and Permittee status before becoming a full member. Unions and Guilds offer significant training for members to broaden their skills and make it to the next level in their craft.
ACTRA Toronto: ACTRA is a member-driven union that secures the rights of, and promotes respect for the work of professional performers in the recorded media across Canada, in languages other than French. ACTRA Toronto represents 15,000 Ontario performers.
Canadian Media Producers Association: The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) is Canada’s trade association for independent producers. It represents hundreds of companies engaged in the development, production and distribution of English-language content for TV, feature film and digital media channels.
Directors Guild of Canada – Ontario: The Directors Guild of Canada – Ontario (DGC Ontario) is a provincial labour organization representing more than 2,600 key creative and logistical personnel working in the screen-based industries in the areas of direction, assistant direction, design, production management, locations, accounting and editing. It runs a Guild Apprentice Program (GAP) for individuals with some experience but not yet eligible for membership.
IATSE Local 411: IATSE Local 411 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees represents members across the province of Ontario in the categories of Production Coordinators, Office Production Assistants Craftservice Providers, Honeywagon Operator.
IATSE Local 667: IATSE Local 667 represents camera professionals, unit publicists and Visual Effects Supervisors who work in all phases of the screen industry. It runs a Camera Trainee program for individuals with some experience but not yet eligible for membership.
IATSE Local 873: IATSE Local 873 is the largest entertainment technicians union in Toronto and North America and represents nearly 2300 members in the categories of Boom Microphone Operator, Carpentry, Costume, Craftservice, Electric, Grip, Hair and Makeup, Props/Set Decoration/Greens, Scenic, Script Continuity On-Set, Sound Recordist and Utility, Special Effects and Transportation.
NABET 700-M UNIFOR: NABET 700-M represents film, television and new media technicians in the GTA in the categories of Continuity, Construction/Carpentry, Costume, Grip, Hair, Make-up, Labour, Lighting, Paint, Props, Set Decoration, Sound, Special Effects, Videotape and Transportation. Its Apprenticeship Program designed to provide training and paid placements for individuals wishing to begin a career in production.
Writers Guild of Canada: The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) is a professional association of more than 2,300 English-language screenwriters and also represents Story Coordinators.