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Sheridan partners with WarnerMedia Access Canada (now part of Warner Bros. Discovery) and the City of Toronto to create and deliver first Virtual Production micro-credential with focus on equity, inclusion

Apr 22, 2022

Logos from left to right: Sheridan, City of Toronto and WarnerMedia Access Canada
Sheridan is introducing a Virtual Production micro-credential to provide opportunities for students to develop the in-demand skills needed to succeed in the growing field of virtual production in the film, television, gaming and visual effects industries.

With the support of WarnerMedia Access Canada, a founding partner of the micro-credential, and the City of Toronto, Sheridan will be delivering its new program with a key focus on providing opportunities for people from underrepresented communities to harness virtual technologies and build an inclusive workforce across Canada’s rapidly growing creative technology sector.

Offered through Continuing and Professional Studies at Sheridan, the Virtual Production micro-credential will leverage the expertise, technology and partnerships of Sheridan’s internationally renowned Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT) and will build on Sheridan’s reputation as one of the top 10 visual effects schools in the world.

In addition to providing support to develop the curriculum, WarnerMedia Access Canada is also fully sponsoring tuition fees for five students per year from historically underrepresented groups, including Indigenous, Black, and racialized communities, as well as people living with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ2+ communities. Thanks to the support of the City of Toronto's xoTO Screen Industry Pathways, Sheridan will be able to boost access to the program for members of underrepresented groups and deliver the training for free to another 15 individuals in 2022.

Nazlin Hirji, Executive Director of Continuing and Professional Studies at Sheridan, says the Virtual Production micro-credential represents a unique and exciting opportunity to address the screen industry’s needs in a way that also addresses equity.

“Virtual production offers us the unique and exciting opportunity to ensure students are ready to work in virtual production to produce content free of the constraints of traditional technology,” Hirji says. “At the same time, consumers are demanding more and more content – content that must reflect the diverse fabric of our communities. We are grateful to WarnerMedia Access Canada and the City of Toronto for enabling us to build programming like this micro-credential that ensures participants from traditionally underrepresented communities are included. By developing their skillset in virtual production, they’ll be ready to bring their unique voices to audiences through their storytelling.”

"SIRT is proud to be an innovator in virtual production and to enable partnerships like that with WarnerMedia though SIRT’s Virtual Production Innovation Hub (VPIH). VPIH enables the industry to be trained on the outcomes possible with SIRT’s cutting-edge innovative technology,” adds David Dexter, Director of SIRT. “This partnership with WarnerMedia Access Canada and the City of Toronto will ensure we continue to serve industry in a way that is inclusive and equitable for everyone.”

The Virtual Production micro-credential will introduce students to virtual production concepts and emphasize technical skills as well as critical skills such as collaboration and leadership. Throughout the 12-week program, students will learn both online and in-person in addition to hands on components at SIRT’s Pinewood Toronto Studios.

“We are committed to ensuring equitable access to best-in-class training and resources in the rapidly growing Virtual Production space,” says Melanie Hadley, Executive Director, WarnerMedia Access Canada. “We are thrilled to be part of a program that enables underrepresented and under-served communities to benefit from this growth, the huge demand for skilled and specialized talent, and to contribute as leaders in this field.”

“We are pleased to support the Screen Industries Research and Training Centre and their work to deliver training to underrepresented groups across Toronto. Our City’s own xoTO Screen Industry Pathways program scaled up its initiatives to train and fast-track new participants into in-demand jobs with industry partners and community groups. We know we need to invest in future talent and we are committed to doing so to ensure that the screen industry is more inclusive and representative of Toronto’s diversity,” says Toronto Mayor, John Tory.

Approximately 30 seats are available for the spring cohort, which will begin May 30, 2022. The program is designed to appeal to individuals with an interest in virtual production, including those who have worked on traditional production crews or who are looking to accelerate their career in this new field. Individuals with expertise in computer programming languages such as C++ and Python will also benefit, as well as electronic and traditional artists such as animators or those in the gaming industry who are looking to move ahead in their own industries.

Those interested in learning more can register for two virtual information sessions, which will be held April 26 and May 5.   

About WarnerMedia Access Canada
Established in 2020, WarnerMedia Access Canada elevates, activates, and connects Canadian talent from communities that have been historically marginalized with global opportunities and global audiences. This suite of above- and below-the-line initiatives builds on WarnerMedia’s relationships with creators, craftspeople and technicians of all genders and abilities from communities including Indigenous, Black, and racialized groups, people with disabilities, and members of LGBTQ2+ and Francophone minority communities. WarnerMedia Access Canada values the undervalued and celebrates the underrepresented — all to bring the best and most promising talent in Canada to the world.

About WarnerMedia Access
At WarnerMedia we believe in authentic, meaningful connection—to each other, to culture, and to our consumer. That’s why we empower fearless storytellers who bring our world into focus—and create cultural touchstones with the power to draw us together. Through best-in-class talent development programs, mentorship, placement opportunities and industry exposure, WarnerMedia Access serves as a powerful conduit connecting underrepresented talent to our content and brands. For more information on WarnerMedia Access visit Warner-Access.com

About WarnerMedia
WarnerMedia is a leading media and entertainment company that creates and distributes premium and popular content from a diverse array of talented storytellers and journalists to global audiences through its consumer brands, including HBO, HBO Max, Warner Bros., TNT, TBS, truTV, CNN, DC, New Line, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies, and others. WarnerMedia is part of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T). 

About Warner Bros. Discovery 
Warner Bros. Discovery (NASDAQ: WBD) is a leading global media and entertainment company that creates and distributes the world’s most differentiated and complete portfolio of content and brands across television, film and streaming. Available in more than  220 countries and territories and 50 languages, Warner Bros. Discovery inspires, informs and entertains audiences worldwide through its iconic brands and products including: Discovery Channel, discovery+, CNN, DC, Eurosport, HBO, HBO Max, HGTV, Food Network, OWN, Investigation Discovery, TLC, Magnolia Network, TNT, TBS, truTV, Travel Channel, MotorTrend, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Television, Warner Bros. Games, New Line Cinema, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies, Discovery en Español, Hogar de HGTV and others. For more information, please visit www.wbd.com

About the City of Toronto
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture, and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit www.toronto.ca or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CityofToronto, on Instagram at www.instagram.com/cityofto or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cityofto.

About Sheridan  
Founded in 1967, Sheridan is one of Ontario's leading postsecondary institutions, educating approximately 43,000 full- and part-time students every year from campuses in Brampton, Mississauga and Oakville. An award-winning institution, Sheridan attracts students from across Canada and more than 110 countries. As a trailblazer in unique arts, technology and health care programs, Sheridan has always been on the leading edge of innovation ensuring students learn job-ready, practical skills and develop the confidence, empathy and problem solving savvy that allows them to push boundaries in an ever-changing world.

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