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Canada’s Broadcasters and Industry Leaders Stand Together in Unprecedented Collaboration to Take Meaningful Action Against Systemic Racism in Screen-Based Industries with Launch of HireBIPOC Initiative

October 5, 2020

News Releases

The Online Roster Launches Today With 500+ Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour Creatives and Crew

TORONTO, Oct. 5, 2020 /CNW/ – Canada’s broadcasters and industry leaders, in partnership with BIPOC TV & FILM, are working together to eradicate systemic racism in the media and entertainment industries with HireBIPOC, an industry-wide initiative to create meaningful change around hiring practices and ensure a more inclusive workforce. Launching today, with over 500 members already registered, the online roster is an unprecedented collaboration between 20+ Canadian media organizations and signals a landmark commitment to change and action.

Canadian broadcasters Bell Media, CBC/Radio-Canada, Corus Entertainment, and Rogers Sports & Media are Foundational Partners. Bell Media, Corus Entertainment and Rogers Sports & Media have committed to making the use of HireBIPOC a specific condition of greenlight for original productions, ensuring that the site is used by internal groups and external companies. CBC/Radio-Canada urges all producers to use resources such as HireBIPOC and similar industry sites that are dedicated to amplifying talent from Black, Indigenous and People of Colour communities.

“If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that now is the time for brave steps towards radical change. HireBIPOC is one step amongst many, in order to transform the face of our industry. We need measurable commitments to hiring more Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. We all have a circle of influence and it is up to each one of us to use it,” said Nathalie Younglai, Founder, BIPOC TV & FILM.

“Creating real, systemic change to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Canadian media industry is a long-term commitment, and a top priority for Bell Media,” said Randy Lennox, President, Bell Media. “We’re proud to make use of HireBIPOC among our production partners a condition of green light for Bell Media original productions. It is our ardent hope that HireBIPOC is a game-changer for Canadian content in seeing more Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour on screens across the country.”

“HireBIPOC is a transformational industry commitment that will drive real, sustainable change to ensure we are advancing diversity both on and off air,” said Doug Murphy, President and CEO, Corus Entertainment. “This initiative complements our proactive and comprehensive approach to diversity and inclusiveness and we are confident it will have meaningful long term impact to our audiences, our people and our partners.”

“The past several months have provided ample opportunity for reflection about the important role we all play in uplifting our most vulnerable communities.  At Rogers Sports & Media, we have been listening intently and learning from our team members and partners about the steps we can take to eliminate systemic racism in Canada.  This is why we recently launched our action-oriented program All IN, and now HireBIPOC is another critical initiative that will help to ensure the Canadian media industry more fairly and accurately represents the communities we serve.  While there is still much work to be done, we are stronger together,” said Jordan Banks, President, Rogers Sports & Media.

“CBC/Radio-Canada is committed to supporting all industry efforts to advance the inclusion and representation of Black, Indigenous, Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern and Latinx talent in our creative communities and original programming,” said Catherine Tait, President and CEO, CBC/Radio-Canada. “Resources like this new database will ensure greater access and exposure for more racially diverse producers and creatives, both in front of and behind the camera, in order to better reflect our country across all areas of the industry.”

The initiative is further supported by an expanding list of Industry & Community Partners:
Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television
Banff World Media Festival
Canadian Film Centre (CFC)
Canada Media Fund (CMF)
Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA)
CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals
City of Toronto
Content Canada
Focus Media Arts Centre
Hot Docs
ImagineNative
Indigenous Filmmakers Association
Inside Out
National Screen Institute (NSI)
Ontario Creates
Playback
Pride Toronto
Reel Asian International Film Festival
Racial Equity Media Collective (REMC)
Remix Project
Touchwood PR

HireBIPOC is an initiative created by BIPOC TV & FILM and Bell Media in consultation with BIPOC members and support of community groups. The site has been designed and developed by the Bell Media Digital Team under the direction of Judy Lung on behalf of BIPOC TV & FILM.

HireBIPOC will facilitate and increase BIPOC hiring in the country’s screen-based industries (television, film, digital), whether Canadian or shot-in-Canada, in roles at all levels, across all areas of the industry, including production (above and below the line), behind the scenes, executives, communications & marketing, and on-air.                                               

HireBIPOC is operated by BIPOC TV & FILM, a volunteer-run advocacy group founded nearly a decade ago with deep roots in the BIPOC community as well as a track record for practical training and educational work, and building solidarity across industry organizations.

#HireBIPOC #RepresentationMatters

About BIPOC TV & FILM
BIPOC TV & FILM is a grassroots organization and collective of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour in Canada’s TV and film industry. From writers, directors, producers and actors to editors, crew members and executives, our members are a mix of emerging, mid-level and established industry professionals. BIPOC TV & FILM is dedicated to increasing the representation of BIPOC both in front and behind the camera.

BIPOC TV & FILM was founded in 2012 as Indigenous & Creatives of Colour in TV & Film by Writer/Director Nathalie Younglai, who saw a need to form a community for others like her, who were also feeling isolated by the overall lack of representation of BIPOC in the industry. This collective is the only intersectional organization in Canada dedicated to providing safe spaces for all Black, Indigenous and People of Colour in the 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. We also hold occasional events throughout the year that are open to allies, as we believe the support of allies is integral to creating a welcoming industry for BIPOC. Learn more at www.bipoctvandfilm.com.

About Bell Media
Bell Media is Canada’s leading content creation company with premier assets in television, radio, out-of-home advertising, digital media, and more. Bell Media owns 35 local television stations led by CTV, Canada’s highest-rated television network, and the French-language V network in Québec; 29 specialty channels, including leading specialty services TSN and RDS. Bell Media is Canada’s largest radio broadcaster, with 215 music channels including 109 licensed radio stations in 58 markets across the country, all part of the iHeartRadio brand and streaming service. Bell Media owns Astral, an out-of-home advertising network of 50,000 faces in five provinces. The country’s digital media leader, Bell Media develops and operates websites, apps, and online platforms for its news and entertainment brands; video streaming services Crave, TSN Direct, and RDS Direct; and multi-channel network Much Studios. The company owns a majority stake in Pinewood Toronto Studios; is a partner in Just for Laughs, the live comedy event and TV producer; and jointly owns Dome Productions Partnership., one of North America’s leading production facilities providers. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. Learn more at www.BellMedia.ca.

About CBC/Radio-Canada
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster. Through our mandate to inform, enlighten and entertain, we play a central role in strengthening Canadian culture. As Canada’s trusted news source, we offer a uniquely Canadian perspective on news, current affairs and world affairs. Our distinctively homegrown entertainment programming draws audiences from across the country. Deeply rooted in communities, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We also deliver content in Spanish, Arabic and Chinese, as well as both official languages, through Radio Canada International (RCI). We are leading the transformation to meet the needs of Canadians in a digital world.

About Corus Entertainment
Corus Entertainment Inc. (TSX: CJR.B) is a leading media and content company that develops and delivers high quality brands and content across platforms for audiences around the world.  Engaging audiences since 1999, the company’s portfolio of multimedia offerings encompass 34 specialty television services, 39 radio stations, 15 conventional television stations, a suite of digital assets, animation software, technology and media services. Corus is an established creator of globally distributed content through Nelvana animation studio, Corus Studios, and children’s book publishing house Kids Can Press. The company also owns innovative full-service social digital agency so.da, and lifestyle entertainment company Kin Community Canada. Corus’ roster of premium brands includes Global Television, W Network, HGTV Canada, Food Network Canada, HISTORY®, Showcase, Adult Swim, National Geographic, Disney Channel Canada, YTV, Global News, Globalnews.ca, Q107, Country 105, and CFOX. Visit Corus at www.corusent.com.

About Rogers Sports & Media
Rogers Sports & Media is a diverse sports and content company that engages more than 30 million Canadians each week. The company’s multimedia offerings include 56 radio stations, 29 local TV stations, 23 conventional and specialty television stations, podcasts, digital and e-commerce websites, and sporting events. Rogers Sports & Media delivers unique storytelling through its range of powerful brands: Citytv, OMNI Television, FX, TSC, 680 NEWS, 98.1 CHFI, KiSS, Breakfast Television, Cityline, CityNews, Sportsnet – Canada’s #1 sports network, and the Blue Jays – Canada’s only Major League Baseball team. Rogers Sports & Media is a subsidiary of Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX, NYSE: RCI). Visit RogersSportsandMedia.com.

SOURCE HireBIPOC

For further information: Judy Lung, VP, Communications & Marketing, Touchwood PR, judy@touchwoodpr.com; Patricia Garcia, Corporate Communications, Bell Media, Patricia.garcia@bellmedia.ca; Leon Mar, Corporate Spokesperson, CBC/Radio-Canada, leon.mar@cbc.ca; Melissa Eckersley, Corporate Communications Lead, Corus Entertainment, melissa.eckersley@corusent.com; Ashley Applebaum, Director, Publicity, Corus Entertainment, Ashley.applebaum@corusent.com; Andrea Goldstein, Rogers Sports & Media, Andrea.Goldstein@rci.rogers.com