Apprenticeship and Cultural Mentorship Funding, supported by Netflix - ISO-BEA

Maximum Funding Amounts

  • $60,000 for Apprenticeships
  • $25,000 for Cultural Mentorships

Program Overview

ISO has partnered with Netflix to provide funding to support training, professional development and culturally specific approaches for Indigenous on-screen content creators and Indigenous-owned production companies. There are two funding streams available:

  1. Apprenticeships: The intent of this funding is to support new opportunities for hands-on training and career progression for Indigenous creatives through all stages of production, or in a production studio. The apprentice(s) should have a record of production experience and demonstrate that this opportunity, with the support of the proposed mentor(s), will support their skills building and career development.
  2. Cultural Mentorships: This opportunity was created for Indigenous producers, directors and writers to be able to engage in cultural mentorship, community engagement, cultural learning, and protocols work during the pre-development, development, and production phases of their projects. This may include working with Elders, language speakers, knowledge keepers and/or community members to develop their project idea or to support their personal growth and development in their career as a screen-based storyteller. Indigenous owned production companies may apply for this funding to bring cultural mentor(s) on set for cultural learning, knowledge sharing, and to implement cultural and traditional practices related to the completion of a production.

Program Summary

Who Can Apply

For Indigenous on-screen content creators and Indigenous-owned production companies.


Provides funding to support training, professional development and cultural specific approaches.

Key Dates

Opening Date

Closing Date

First deadline: September 20, 2023
Second deadline:

Program Goals

  • To create new training, career development and job opportunities for Indigenous screen-based creatives, with a focus on those who have gained experience in the sector and want to expand their skill set;
  • To build capacity within the sector, at all stages of production;
  • To support Indigenous producers, directors and writers to engage in cultural mentorship learning and protocols work during the development and production phases of their screen-based project;
  • To recognize and support Indigenous ways of working, which often requires extensive engagement, consultation and learning at the community level.

Submission Process and Notification

Applications must be completed in ISO Apply and be submitted by 5pm EST on the first deadline (September 20th, 2023) or the second deadline (December 7th, 2023). The portal will close at the deadline and applications will not be accepted after that time. Please expect delays for holiday closure in December.

  • Funding notifications can be expected 3-4 months following the deadline;
  • Administrative follow ups may be conducted via email for additional information on the application if required;
  • Please note, applicants may receive less than the request amount.

Program Eligibility Criteria

Please note the spirit and intent of ISO funding is to support Indigenous creators and companies that are controlled by Indigenous people, who have decision-making authority and creative control.

For the purposes of ISO programs, “Indigenous” is defined as status and non-status First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples of Canada. All applicants must be residents of Canada.

Please consult the Building Trust and Accountability: Report on Eligibility in the Indigenous Screen Sector which informs the ISO in regards to Indigenous identity, relationality, and access to funding programs. We also encourage applicants to consult the ISO’s working document on identity: ISO Policies and Processes for Eligibility in Relation to Indigenous Identity.

General Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants must be screen-based as their primary focus, including TV, film, web, gaming, apps, and XR (VR, AR);
  • Applicants must own 100% of the copyright of the project and it be controlled or optioned by the applicant;
  • Production companies cannot receive funding from other ISO programs for the same training program or initiative. For example, funding for trainees cannot be included in another application to ISO Funding Programs;
  • Applicants must be able to accept a direct deposit in the name of the applicant;
  • Applicants may only submit one application per fiscal year to the funding program;
  • You must be in good standing with ISO.

Eligible Applicants

Individuals (including sole proprietors):

  • Are a First Nations, Inuit or Métis person residing in Canada and who is a citizen or permanent resident of Canada who has resided in Canada for at least eight months over the last one-year period;
  • Working in screen-based content, including TV, film, web, gaming, apps, and XR (VR, AR);
  • The project is under the financial and creative control of Indigenous persons; two of the three members of the key creative team (director, writer, showrunner/producer) must be Indigenous;
  • Is not in a state of bankruptcy within the meaning of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Canada).

Individual Applicants (this includes sole proprietors):
Please be advised the Canada Revenue Agency considers this funding as taxable income.  Please keep all expense receipts related to these funds to offset your tax obligations. If you are registered as a sole proprietor, you must apply under your business name for the funding to be deposited to your business bank account. The funding will not be deposited to an account in any name other than the applicant name.


  • Indigenous-controlled (minimum 51% ownership by person/s who are First Nations, Inuit or Métis);
  • The project is under the financial and creative control of Indigenous persons; two of the three members of the key creative team (director, writer, showrunner/producer) must be Indigenous;
  • Registered as a corporation with its head office in Canada;
  • Letters of incorporation, a shareholder registry, and bios for each owner of the company must be provided, as well as their individual percentage of ownership;
  • Main activity of the organization is the production or support of screen-based content, including TV, film, web, digital narrative content, and XR (VR, AR);
  • Is not insolvent or bankrupt, or in the course of the reorganization of its business within the meaning of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Canada).

Program Categories

This program has two streams, which Indigenous-owned Companies and Indigenous Individuals may apply to:

  1. Indigenous-owned Production Companies: Indigenous-owned production companies may apply to this program to bring a maximum of four (4) Indigenous apprentices on a production or in studio. The production company must be 51% Indigenous owned, with two of the key creative roles (producer, director, writer, showrunner) held by an Indigenous person. The company must be registered in Canada.
  2. Indigenous Individuals: Indigenous individual creatives may apply directly to serve as an apprentice on a production, to apprentice in a studio, or to participate in a cultural mentorship.  For apprenticeships, the specialist who will be serving as mentor may be Indigenous or non-Indigenous. Cultural mentors must be Indigenous. The applicant must be a resident of Canada. Indigenous individuals may apply to be apprentices on any type of production but must have a confirmation letter of role and fee.

Apprenticeship Eligibility

  • Apprentices may be at any stage in their career (emerging, mid-career, experienced), but the opportunity must provide enhanced experience, training and professional development that will support career progression;
  • Apprentices must have demonstrated production experience;
  • For all apprenticeships (in development or production), the applicant must provide letters or contracts of confirmed public or broadcast funding (Telefilm, Canada Media Fund, Canada Council, provincial or territorial funding, Canadian broadcaster funding);
  • Apprentices must be working with a more senior professional with a demonstrated track record in their area of practice;
  • Apprentices must be compensated at an industry standard for their experience level and hours worked;
  • Apprentices cannot already be trained in a role they are already credited in on the production;
  • Apprentices must be Indigenous, however, the mentor may be non-Indigenous;
  • Apprentices must be residents of Canada;
  • One production company may submit ONE application with up to four (4) apprentices. However, the maximum total request cannot exceed $60,000.00 for apprenticeships.

Cultural Mentorship Eligibility

  • Cultural Mentors must be compensated a minimum of $500 per single engagement (Applicants are encouraged to reach out to funding@iso-bea while drafting their application if this is not possible);
  • Cultural Mentors must be confirmed and provide a signed letter confirming their participation and short bio;
  • An applicant can engage up to three (3) cultural mentors. The maximum total request cannot exceed $25,000.00 for cultural mentorships;
  • Applicants must provide contextual and project-specific rationale for the selection of the Cultural Mentor(s).

Screen-based projects in all genres are eligible for apprenticeships. The following types of productions are eligible:

  • Feature-length works;
  • Television series;
  • Web series;
  • VR/AR/XR, 360, video games, digital, and interactive works;
  • Ongoing studio work.

Training and professional development for the following key creative roles are eligible for apprenticeships:

  • Producer;
  • Director;
  • Screenwriter;
  • Showrunner;
  • Editor;
  • Director of Photography;
  • Costume Designer;
  • Sound Designer;
  • Production Designer;
  • Lighting Designer;
  • Animation/Effects.

If your position or project type falls outside of the lists, please reach out to to discuss your specific opportunity.

Other Eligibility Criteria

  • Apprentices, mentors, and cultural mentors must be confirmed in order to apply as these are key to the assessment process;
  • Applicants may only apply to either the Apprenticeship Program OR the Cultural Mentorships Program per deadline;
  • You must be in good standing with ISO;
  • Applicants cannot be listed as a mentee in one application and as a mentor in a different application in the funding program.

Production companies cannot receive funding from other ISO programs for the same training program or initiative. Example: If you apply for ISO Production Funding, you cannot have the proposed apprentice listed in the budget or as a key creative. The intent of the program is to create new opportunities for training.

If you have an apprenticeship or training program that will support more than four (4) roles please speak with the Program Manager for the Sector Development Funding.

Eligible Expenses may include, but are not limited to;

  • Apprentice, mentee and mentor fees;
  • Apprentice/mentee travel and living expenses;
  • Accessibility costs during production, post production and in studio, as needed;
  • Fees and honorariums for guests, Elders, or community engagement;
  • Hospitality, food and gifting expenses;
  • Technology costs, including purchasing of equipment and software, when applicable;
  • Translation and language support;
  • Project-specific expenses.

Application Requirements

For Indigenous-owned production companies:

  • Articles of incorporation, and/or relevant ownership agreements, including individual percentages of ownership;
  • Bio(s) and CV(s) for confirmed apprentice(s)/mentee(s) as well as contact information;
  • Bio(s) and CV(s) of mentor(s);
  • Signed letter from apprentice(s) confirming participation;
  • Signed letter from mentor(s) confirming their participation;
  • Community engagement plan, as applicable;
  • Budget related to the apprenticeship or cultural mentorship with ISO funding separated;
  • Project information including: scope of work, plan of execution and intended impact.

Project Information required:

  • Project logline, series/content bibles, demo reel(s), trailer(s), lookbook(s), links to game play, prototype(s), community engagement plan;
  • Complete Production or Development Budget and Financial Structure;
  • Confirmation letter(s) or signed contract(s) for confirmed public development or production funding;
  • Production or development schedule.

For individual applicants:

  • Bio and resume/CV;
  • Project information including: scope of work, plan of execution and intended impact;
  • A signed letter of confirmation from production team, mentor(s) or cultural mentor(s);
  • Bio of mentor(s);
  • Budget, with ISO funding separated;
  • Community engagement plan, as applicable;
  • Timeline and/or work plan that clearly articulates the apprenticeship over the course of development, production, or in studio;
  • Training plan with milestones.

The ISO Program Manager will reach out to the confirmed mentees for a maximum of two (2) check-ins.

Funding Process And Priorities

ISO staff will internally assess each application in line with the program focus and the assessment criteria.

The following priorities may be considered as part of the assessment process:

  • Regional representation;
  • Representation of diverse Indigenous perspectives and intersections including women and 2SLGBQTIAP+;
  • Emerging voices;
  • Representation of Indigenous languages.

The assessment criteria will be based on the following:

  • The apprentice or mentee has a demonstrated commitment to working in the screen sector;
  • The mentor has the expertise and/or cultural knowledge required to provide the training or mentorship;
  • A clearly articulated plan for training and development;
  • A viable project with the capacity required to include trainees;
  • Impact, including the opportunity for learning and career, personal and/or cultural development.

When a project is unsuccessful in its application, a brief explanation or feedback can be provided, upon request.

Please note, this program is not designed as a placement opportunity for applicants looking for opportunities for training.

Accessibility And Accommodation

The ISO provides up to $500.00 CAD in additional funding to cover accessibility costs incurred during the stages of applying for funding, completing a project, and writing your final report. Requests for support are encouraged at least two weeks prior to the application due date.

If you have barriers to access including but not limited to language, internet or physical barriers, please contact the ISO to discuss accommodations and support at

Support may include telephone or video application submission, language interpretation, or support worker assistance. Equipment purchases are not eligible for accessibility support.

Program Closure

If applicants wish to access the application in the portal, they must contact within 10 business days of the program’s closure. The ISO will provide a downloaded copy if requested. Otherwise, all in-progress applications will be deleted 10 business days after the program has been officially closed.

General Criteria

All applicants to ISO programs must confirm they have read the General Funding Guidelines prior to submitting an application.

Eligibility Review

An initial review for eligibility and missing documentation will be conducted by the ISO Program Manager. The ISO program manager will reach out if any of this information is needed and applicants will be given a short period (maximum 10 days) to submit anything outstanding.

Ineligible or incomplete applications can be withdrawn at any time in the process. Applicants will be notified by the ISO when the application is withdrawn.


If at any time, an Applicant, as required by the Criteria or as requested by the ISO, provides false information or omits or misrepresents material information in connection with an application, including  with respect to Indigenous identity, such provision of false information, omission or misrepresentation will be considered an event of default and the ISO may exercise the following contractual rights:

  • termination of any contracts, including any remedies thereunder;
  • denial of eligibility for existing and future funding;
  • repayment of any funds already advanced; and
  • civil and potential criminal prosecution, in the case of fraud.

These measures may be imposed not only on the Applicant but also on related, associated and affiliated companies and individuals that are parties to the application. Any Applicant receiving approval for funding will be required to sign a legally enforceable agreement, which includes provisions concerning misrepresentations, defaults, and related matters.

Final Reporting

A final report will be required within three months following the completion of the project. Applicants with overdue final reports will not be eligible for ISO funding until the report is submitted and approved.

Final reports can be accessed via the ISO Apply portal.

Recognition Of Contribution

Recipients must acknowledge ISO support with textual reference and/or logo in the credit sequence, or appropriate placement in the completed work (where applicable).  ISO logos are available for download on the ISO website.

When sharing information about your participation in the proposed activity. Please also tag the ISO on any social media posts related to this contribution:

  • Instagram – indigenousscreen
  • Twitter – screen_office
  • Facebook – ISO.BEA

Questions are encouraged at least two weeks prior to submission or the application closing date and may be directed at any time to


Does this program place creatives on a production to apprentice?
No, this program does not offer placements. It is intended to support Indigenous creatives who have an opportunity to apprentice or companies who wish to bring on apprentices, and provides funding to do so. The ISO has other opportunities for training, which can be found on our website:
Do the apprentices/mentors/mentees need to be confirmed in order to apply?
Yes - the key mentors, mentees, or apprentices should all be confirmed in order to apply as they are key to the assessment process.
What is the maximum amount of funding I can request in this program?
The maximum request amount is $60,000.00 for apprenticeships, and $25,000.00 for cultural mentorships. A reminder that the ISO can allocate less than the requested amount to successful projects.
What happens to my in-progress application if the program closes before I submit?
Please refer to the “Program Closure” section of the guidelines. If you wish to access the application after the program has closed, please contact within 10 business days of the program’s closure.
What if I or my company already has received previous ISO funding for the same project?
If the main applicant(s)/company currently has an ISO supported project that is not yet complete or reported on from another program, the applicant will be required to submit a Final Report on the previous application with an updated budget.
Can I submit multiple applications? Can I apply for the apprenticeship and the cultural mentorship streams of this program?
Applicants may only submit one application to this program per fiscal year. Applicants may only apply for an apprenticeship, or a cultural mentorship, but not both in the same fiscal year.
I’m not sure my project is a good fit for this program.
Reach out!

Maximum Funding Amounts

  • $60,000 for Apprenticeships
  • $25,000 for Cultural Mentorships

How to Apply

Please read and complete the following steps prior to submitting your application.

  1. Read the ISO General Funding Guidelines Policy

  2. Read the ISO Determining Indigenous Identity Guide

  3. Read the Apprenticeship and Cultural Mentorship Funding Guidelines outlined on this page or download the PDF

  4. Complete the Apprenticeship and Cultural Mentorship Fund application checklist

  5. You are ready to complete the application in the ISO Apply Portal

Deadline Reminder

First deadline: September 20, 2023
Second deadline:


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Recognition of Contribution