Canada’s Youth Media Alliance (YMA) has announced Elizabeth Nunan as the second recipient of the YMA Andra Sheffer Scholarship. Nunan is a student from Centennial College’s Children’s Media Program in Toronto.
In addition to researching the world of children’s entertainment, Nunan is also completing an undergraduate degree in social services, specializing in psychology at the University of Ottawa. Nunan was selected by a jury of YMA members for the quality of her media project currently in development, as well as her commitment to working in the children’s entertainment industry.
Through the scholarship, Nunan will receive a travel grant (valued at US$1,555), as well as accreditation to attend Kidscreen Summit (valued at US$1,595) and the Banff World Media Festival (valued at US$1,695). Kidscreen Summit will be held in Miami, Florida from February 12 to 15, and the Banff World Media Festival takes place in Alberta from June 10 to 13. Both conferences include workshops, keynotes, presentations and panels exploring the industry’s trends, innovations, critical issues and business solutions.
The scholarship also includes mentorship by YMA staff, its board of directors and industry professionals. The mentoring and networking opportunities include help with choosing these conferences’ most appropriate sessions, event orientation, personal introductions to industry professionals, attendance of networking meetings and a review of the student’s pitch documents.
The YMA Andra Sheffer Scholarship was re-opened in September 2016. Each year, the scholarship is awarded to a Canadian university student with a passion for creating innovative content and who plans to pursue a career in children’s animation, television or digital media production. Sheffer is the CEO of the Independent Production Fund and the COGECO Program Development Fund, both of which are private entities supporting the Canadian digital media, TV and film industries. The Scholarship’s financial partners include 9 Story Media Group, Apartment 11 Productions, Breakthrough Entertainment, Brunico Communications, CMPA National, CMPA-BC Producers Branch, DHX Television, Give me Chocolate, Guru Studio, marblemedia, Portfolio Entertainment, Radical Sheep – A Boat Rocker Media Company, Secret Location, Sinking Ship Entertainment and Shaftesbury.
Last year’s recipient, Anthony Suen, received mentoring from Breakthrough Entertainment execs as well as the YMA. The scholarship also afforded Suen a meeting with Andra Sheffer and Kim Wilson , and a visit to the Kids’ CBC studios with Marie McCann.
In other YMA news, the association has appointed Jonathan Finkelstein (president and executive producer at Apartment 11 Productions), Marney Malabar (director of Kids TV at TVO) and Jennifer Twiner-McCarron (president of Atomic Cartoons) to its board of directors. They are joining the board as the terms of Vince Commisso (president and CEO, 9 Story Media Group) and Alexandra Raffé (VP, Thunderbird Entertainment) come to an end.