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How OMNI Television’s new scholarship program will empower our next generation of diverse content creators

As part of Rogers Sports & Media’s commitment to amplifying diverse voices and empowering the next generation of journalists and content creators, OMNI Television recently announced that they will be awarding $60,000 in scholarships over the next three years to post-secondary students across Canada who are pursuing careers in ethnic and third-language journalism.

We sat down with Jake Dheer, Senior Manager, Community Liaison, OMNI Television, who is leading the program for Rogers Sports & Media to learn more about the inspiration behind the program and the important role the scholarship program will play in the lives of the recipients and the future of ethnic media in Canada.

Tell us about the OMNI scholarship program.

The OMNI scholarship program is intended to support journalism students who are interested in a career in ethnic and third-language journalism. The program is open to all journalism students across Canada who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents, and who are entering their third year of a Bachelor degree or second year of a diploma program. Each scholarship is worth $2,000, and 10 will be awarded annually over the next three years.

Can you explain why this scholarship program is important to OMNI?

COVID-19 really reinforced how critical ethnic and third-language media is when it comes to engaging Canada’s multicultural communities with the latest news and information.

OMNI is Canada’s only multilingual and multicultural television broadcaster, offering a wide range of ethnocultural and third-language programming to the country’s diverse communities. With daily national newscasts that are broadcasted in six languages, OMNI is home to a variety of locally produced current affairs programs. At OMNI Television, we are truly invested in supporting the third-language journalism talent that will increase the pipeline of ethnically and linguistically-diverse professionals for careers in news broadcasting. We hope, and believe, that this scholarship program will inspire even more diverse young talent to pursue the important genre of news.

Can you share some details on the application details for the scholarship program?

$20,000 will be divided amongst 10 provinces (BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, Newfoundland & Labrador), and each winning student will receive $2,000 towards their final year(s) of study at the bachelor or diploma level. Deadline for applications is 1 p.m. (EST), May 12, 2021. 

Scholarship Partners Canada (SPC), a division of Universities Canada, will administer the scholarship program on behalf of OMNI and selection of scholarship awardees will be done by members of the OMNI Advisory Council, based on the eligibility requirements. Interested students can go directly to the OMNI Scholarships portal on Universities Canada’s website to get complete details and to apply.

What do you think will make an application stand out?

OMNI’s Advisory Council members helped create the eligibility criteria and will be selecting the scholarship awardees, and one of the things they mentioned which will stand out for them is the applicant’s personal statement explaining why he/she should be the chosen one! I would encourage interested applicants to take the time to reflect and clearly articulate their interests in a career in ethnic and third-language journalism, and how they think journalism in Canada will benefit from their participation. Ultimately, the Advisory Council want to learn more about each applicant and what it means to them.

To learn more about the vital work OMNI Television is doing to support Canada’s next generation of diverse journalists and content creators, please visit